Residents of Brooklyn and other areas of New York City who regularly use the subway may want to know more about the lawsuit process when injury happens on public transportation. Different from personal injury lawsuits, these lawsuits may take aim at city and state authorities that manage the subways.
Identifying liable parties
One of the important matters right from the beginning is determining the owner of the accident site. Since both public and private trains may share a station, such as with Amtrak and New York Metro Transit Authority trains, the first thing is to find out the owner, private or government.
Another important factor is identifying the cause. Some of the common causes for subway accidents and injuries include the following:
- Driver error
- Insufficient maintenance
- Negligent security
- Insufficient lighting
- Equipment malfunction
“Sovereign immunity” is in force
Sovereign immunity means that you cannot sue a government in its own courts unless it consents to the suit. Some states have set caps on the damages that they will pay out.
For example, in a federal lawsuit, the cap for passengers injured in a train accident is $200 million. State laws may have an impact on the liability of the state and an influence on your ability to recover after an accident.
A notice is a requirement, and timing is important
It is a requirement that a notice of claim be filed when you are suing state authorities. It must be within a specific time period that those with subway accident injuries file a claim. There is a statute of limitations that sets the period deadline to file in each state. It is usually a 30- to 60-day window. However, in New York City, you have 90 days to file a claim caused by a subway accident.
If you or a loved one received injuries in an accident in the subway, it may be helpful to consult an experienced attorney. Legal counsel might help ensure that your injury lawsuit against the subway helps you recover and move on.