What to do if You’re Injured in an Accident with New York’s Public Transit System*

Every day, thousands of people travel on public transit system, which includes buses, trains and the subway. Public transit, one would think, should be far safer than travelling on busy highways in one’s own vehicle. This may be the case most of the time, but not always. When an accident happens, it’s likely to be serious, as a public transit vehicle is large and heavy. Fortunately, if you were injured because of the poor driving of a public transit carrier you may be entitled to personal injury compensation from the the state. However, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who will work hard on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.

How an Accident Can Happen on City Buses and Subway

There are many reasons why accidents happen with a public transit vehicle, including:

  • inexperienced drivers
  • fatigue
  • poor maintenance of the vehicle
  • badly maintained roads and tracks
  • poor road signage

Damages You Could Claim

If you have been injured in a city bus accident, and believe that the accident was the fault of the driver, you should be able to make a claim for compensation. Damages you could claim include the following:

  • the cost of medical treatment
  • lost earnings such as wages
  • property damage e.g. damaged car, bicycle or motorcycle
  • compensation for pain and suffering

All claims must take into account any future predicted costs associated with ongoing injury. Long term or permanent injuries or disability caused by the accident can cause huge financial pressure unless carefully accounted for in the claim.

How to Make a Personal Injury Claim

As soon as you have been injured by a public transit vehicle, the police should be informed. Following on from that is getting the names and contact details of any witnesses. You could also take some photos of the accident site that may help to prove the accident wasn’t your fault. Once all the information has been collected, your attorney should start to put together your case which will be presented to the insurer.

The fault could lie with the the vehicle itself rather than the driver, if the accident was caused by poor vehicle maintenance. The application should include details about medical costs, a medical report from the treating physician and a statement from your employer showing your normal wages. It should be filed within the state's statute of limitations, which is currently six months from the date of the injury.

Why You Should Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Making a claim against a government entity is never that simple and the time limit is less than that for a private individual or entity. A personal injury lawyer can work on your behalf to get a satisfactory claim that suits the financial hardship caused by the injury.

Additional Resources


The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the MTA, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.