New York residents know that riding the subway comes with its own dangers. Hazards range from derailments to loose tiles that lead to falls. Since subways are usually owned and managed by local government authorities, filing a lawsuit after a subway accident involves some unique factors.
The first step that victims must take is to find out who owns the subway and station where the incident took place. The subway system may be privately owned; for example, the same train station could see Amtrak trains pulling in side by side with city trains. Depending on who was responsible, the statute of limitations and the cap placed on damages will differ.
Those who are going to sue a state agency should know about the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, which states that a government can only be sued in its courts when consent is provided. Victims must also make sure to file a Notice of Claim before the statute of limitations runs out. This makes the other side aware of the injured party's intention.
In addition, victims should be aware of the cap placed on train accidents. Federal law puts it at $200 million, while states may place their own caps.
Before filing a claim, a victim may want to consult with a lawyer who works in the field of mass transit accident law. The attorney can determine if there is enough proof supporting the victim's side. Once any comparative negligence has been factored in, the lawyer could see if the other side is willing to negotiate out of court. If not, litigation is an option.