Accidents in New York on Public Transportation: Liability

Have you been hurt in a commuter accident on Metra or as a passenger on a Pace Bus? While transit accidents in New York are not common, they do occur. Companies such as Pace, Metra, and CTA have a special responsibility to protect and ensure passenger safety.

If the negligent party breaches this obligation, the victim will be compensated for the damages. Unfortunately, train and bus accidents can be catastrophic and sometimes even fatal due to the sheer size, power, and momentum of these vehicles.

If you hit and fall inside a bus or train, you can also suffer life-altering injuries. But with so many moving parts, should you place blame on the person driving the public transportation?

According to the New York City Department of Health, motor vehicle traffic-related injuries killed an average of 292 New Yorkers every year, killing 1.6 of every 100,000 people. The rates were highest among males and New Yorkers, aged 65 and older.

Are There Any Protections for Me?

No matter what type of public transport operates in the state of New York, public carriers are liable for the Public Carriers Liability Act. The New York Transit Authority, Metra, Pace, and other public transportation systems are included in the Common Carrier of New York.

As a general rule, common carriers are not allowed to limit their liability under common law when a good is transferred from one place to another, whether it’s within or outside of the state.

A carrier can be sued for damages on behalf of a victim if it fails to abide by regulations, or if it does not exercise the care and diligence under regulations. Whether you are riding the bus or the train, you are safe because the Public Carrier Liability Act covers injuries to passengers.

Against Which Technical Legal Standards Am I Protected?

Among the most popular public transportation providers are the New York Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace. Each of them is subject to a specific set of liability laws. Public transportation has high standards for passenger safety. Equipment maintenance, platform, and shelter maintenance, hiring, and training standards, and passenger handling procedures are addressed.

Besides warning passengers of potential hazards, joint carriers are also responsible for implementing processes to minimize the threat. Failing to comply would constitute negligence.

Can I Sue Common Carriers If I Have Proof?

When a defendant is strictly liable, regardless of whether they intended to do so, their actions are responsible for the crimes they committed. This does not apply to the common causes of the carriers, which means that the victim must prove wrongdoing on the part of the public transportation company to prove compensation.

The following four things must be proved either way:

  • There was a duty on the part of the defendant to the plaintiff (common carriers must exercise the highest degree of care and diligence towards their passengers)
  • As a result of this breach, injuries occurred (for instance, because the defendant failed to remove ice from the wings of an aircraft that was made to make an emergency landing)
  • The plaintiff’s injury was the result of the breach (there would have been no damage without the breach)
  • An injury has occurred to the plaintiff (it could be physical, emotional, or financial).

In The Event of an Accident Involving Public Transit, What Should I Do?

If you have been injured in public transportation accidents in New York, you should call 911. You should call the service for two reasons:

  • The first is to seek medical attention for any injuries you have. Even if you do not have any injuries, always go to the hospital and get evaluated. All of the medical reports will be important for your documentation purposes.
  • Second, you need a police report on file. This is essential in proving your case. The police report should bear the name of the officer who responded to the scene. More details will be necessary to prove your case.

You should always see a doctor. It does not matter what evidence you collect, or how you obtain it, you should always consult an expert, eyewitness, or forensic expert. Take pictures, collect information, and make sure to preserve records.

Call Us after Accidents in New York:

To make the court process as straightforward as possible, we train our attorneys to be skilled and experienced in representing victims of negligence. We make sure that all aspects of your recovery are addressed, both physically and emotionally. Call us today about your accidents in New York.