From trip and fall accidents to massive derailments, subways in New York and across the U.S. can be the setting for a wide range of incidents. Those who are hurt in a subway accident may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit, in which case they will need to keep the following in mind.
One of the first steps is to determine who owns the subway: usually it is a government authority. Another factor to consider is how private trains sometimes share a station with public transit: Amtrak trains may pull into a station alongside MTA trains, for example.
Under the principal of sovereign immunity, a government agency cannot be sued unless it consents to the lawsuit. In some states, this principal is used to set caps on damages (that is, limits on the compensation the plaintiff can receive) or to shorten the amount of time the victim has to file a notice of claim.
The deadline for filing a notice of claim is typically shorter than the statute of limitations, which limits the time the victim has to file the claim itself. The former is about 30 to 60 days, whereas the latter is normally one year or more. As for the cap, it can sometimes be determined by both federal and state laws.
Those who are injured in a public transit accident may want to consult with an attorney who works in personal injury law before making a move. An attorney might evaluate the case and take it on if the grounds seem good enough.
The attorney may then hire investigators to show what happened and prove as best they can that the plaintiff was not negligent. If possible, the attorney might negotiate for a settlement out of court. Successful injury lawsuits frequently cover losses like medical expenses and lost wages.