Subways are a very popular means of transportation in major cities. In New York City alone, 11 million people use the subway as a means of public transit. While taking the subway can be considered a relatively safe means of travel, there are certain situations in which one might find themselves slipping and falling, incurring significant injury and medical bills as well as lost wages due to time missed from work. Cracks in the subway’s floors, for example, or improperly maintained train platforms and/or spilled or pooled liquids on the subway floors can cause one to sustain a slip and fall injury. If you do happen to face such an injury on the subway, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
If you hope to receive any form of compensation when you suffer a slip and fall injury on the subway, you absolutely must be able to determine who is at fault and you must be able to prove fault. After all, if you do not know who was responsible for your fall, you will be hard-pressed to obtain damages from the liable party.
The responsible party for a slip and fall accident on a subway will vary depending on the nature of the accident. Was the fall due to negligence of the conductor? Was it due to the negligence of the transit authority? Did another passenger cause the injury? Once fault has been established, you can pursue the process of obtaining damages from the responsible party.
Filing a Lawsuit against the Responsible Party
Once you know who is to blame for your slip and fall injury, you need to begin the process of filing a lawsuit against that person or entity. If the injury was the fault of the transit authority itself, the case may prove to be a bit more complicated as the cities that own and operate these systems often have laws in place that significantly limit their liability in such situations. For example, if the city did not properly maintain its platforms and your injury occurred due to that fact, you could most definitely seek damages due to their negligent behavior and failure to carry out their responsibilities and duties to subway passengers. If, on the other hand, your fall occurred due to someone spilling his or her drink, then the municipality operating the subway would likely hold no liability. In such a case, the person who spilled the drink and did not clean it up would be the responsible party. Finding that party may be a difficult task for you to take on yourself. Furthermore, if it was a subway employee who spilled the beverage, due to the way many cities have their laws written, the city itself would not be liable for damages that occurred.
Because slip and fall accidents involving subways can be so convoluted, with there being difficulty of proving fault and, at times, difficulty holding those at fault responsible, it is usually wise to retain the services of a personal injury attorney to represent you in your slip and fall case. Even if fault is admitted to and you are entitled to a claim, working directly with the responsible party’s insurance company is most likely not in your best interests as the insurance company likely does not want to pay you as much as you are possibly entitled to, but rather as little as they can get away with. Having a personal injury attorney working on the case will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive any compensation that may be due to you including reimbursement and coverage of accident-related medical expenses, compensation for lost wages due to time missed from work, and compensation for pain and suffering.