How to Start an Injury Claim Involving Mass/Public Transit in NY

Public/Mass Transit Accident Resources, Information, & Help

The experienced New York injury attorneys at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick answer frequently-asked-questions about mass transit liability.

Why Do I Need Legal Help After a Mass Transit or Public Transit Accident?

There are many reasons that an accident victim should consult with an attorney who can provide knowledgeable legal help.

The most important reason to turn to a lawyer experienced in mass/public transit accidents is because you need a legal advocate after a serious accident. You need someone on your side who will actively work to protect your rights.

Frequently Asked Mass Transit & Public Transportation Accident Legal Questions

Have a question you don't see below? Our mass transit injury lawyers provide FREE consultations; call 866-502-9091 to get yours.

I was hurt while riding on New York public transportation. What should I do?

A quick checklist of actions you should take immediately after a transit accident:

  • Accept on-site medical treatment AND see your private physician as soon as possible.
  • Verbalize all of your aches, pains and complaints to each treating medical provider.
  • Identify yourself to investigators at the scene and let them know that you are injured. If possible, get the investigators' names and identification numbers.
  • Contact an experienced transit accident lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will collect evidence and ensure that you don't forfeit any legal rights.
  • Start a medical journal of your symptoms/injuries and bring it to every doctor appointment.

Attorney Stephan Peskin discusses rules to follow after a NYC bus accident. Our New York Legal Help page also has information useful to accident victims.

I heard that I cannot sue New York City or New York State for my injuries. Is that true?

You can hold NYC, NY State and its government entities liable for your injuries. However, you must go through a special procedure that begins with filing a timely Notice Of Claim. A New York injury attorney experienced in municipal liability will guide you through the steps.

Is there a time limit to bring my railroad or bus accident claim?

If you are suing a government agency, you have as little as 90 days after an accident to file a Notice Of Claim. If you are suing a private company like Greyhound or a quasi-government entity like Amtrak, the timeline and process may be different.

In New York, the statute of limitations provides strict deadlines for filing lawsuits involving physical injury or death. Currently, you have one year and 90 days from the date of the occurrence, or two years from the date of death, to file a lawsuit. You need to speak with an attorney to sort out what specific time constraints are involved with your claim.

The bus I was on got into an accident. I didn't feel injured and declined medical treatment, but now my back and neck hurt. Do I have any rights?

Yes. Ideally, you would have accepted on-site medical treatment and immediately visited your physician or the ER, but it is medically normal for an accident victim to feel no whiplash or back injuries until hours or days after a crash. It is important for you to visit a doctor immediately to document your symptoms.

At the very least, be certain to identify yourself to investigators at the scene of the accident and obtain their names and identification numbers to prove that you were injured at the location you have claimed, or by the vehicle you claim is involved.

If you unduly delay or refuse medical treatment and later pursue an accident claim, the defending party is going to point out that your actions were inconsistent with the injuries you are alleging to have. Additionally, you owe a duty to mitigate your damages; you cannot allow your injuries to worsen by forgoing treatment and then expect the defendant to pay for your own negligence.

What are common causes of New York railroad accidents?

Common factors contributing to NY railroad collisions and derailments include:

  • Overworked employees and railroad engineers
  • Excessive speed
  • Failure to inspect and maintain railroad tracks
  • Failure to maintain rail cars and locomotives
  • Insufficient safety protocol
  • Insufficient safety features on passenger cars and locomotives
  • Motor vehicles unsafely crossing railroad tracks
  • Failure to supervise and screen employees with health conditions such as sleep apnea

What are common causes of New York bus accidents?

Common factors contributing to NY bus crashes include:

  • Drugged or drowsy bus drivers
  • Failure to react to traffic and brake lights
  • Taking a turn too wide
  • Negligent driving by other motorists
  • Negligent maintenance of buses
  • Negligent supervision/training of drivers

I lost my spouse in a New York transit accident. Do I have a right to sue?

New York's wrongful death statute allows certain family members to seek money damages after a fatal accident, effectively standing in the shoes of the deceased. This claim is usually brought by a surviving spouse or the deceased's children, although other family members may have legal rights in certain situations.

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