According to statistics gathered and reported by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the New York subway system transported more than 1.6 billion riders to and from work, school, state attractions and other destinations in the year 2011. Although the overwhelming majority of these subway riders enjoyed a perfectly safe and peaceful time while in transit, a number of them were not so fortunate.
The MTA released the findings of a 2011 study in March of 2012, showing that the number of individuals actually hit by moving subway trains had increased to 147 in one year, up 15 percent as compared to the last study.
Types of Subway Accidents
A subway accident can be defined as any negative event that occurs within or around a subway train or depot. The reasons for subway accidents in New York can typically be divided into one or more of the following categories:
- Operator Error – When the employee or employees responsible for operating a subway train or components of its station fail to perform their duties in a safe and professional manner, they are often found liable for the death and injury of their passengers. This can include anything from operating the train under the influence of drugs or alcohol to failing to pay mind to the complex processes involved in keeping the train functioning properly. In a 1991 derailment near Union Square in New York, the operator’s intoxication resulted in the death of five people. 200 more passengers were reported as injured. The driver was found guilty of manslaughter and imprisoned for 15 years.
- Accidental Falls – Every year, dozens of subway passengers slip and fall into the path of an oncoming subway train. Fortunately, many of these people are able to escape certain death or extensive injury before the train arrives. Others, however, are not always as lucky. New York subway committees have begun to improve the cleanliness and accessibility of depots in an effort to lower this number, but this type of necessary improvement is a constantly growing and demanding occupation.
- Equipment Failure – When any component of a subway train, one of its cars or the rails it follows fails to function properly, the risk of accident is increased dramatically. A seemingly simple problem with tracks can quickly lead to a major collision that causes hundreds of injuries and deaths. Other issues that are more common, such as car door malfunction, can cause comparatively minor injuries like contusions and broken bones, but should still be investigated.
Compensation for Subway Accident Injuries
All individuals, whether they are passengers, bystanders or employees involved in the operation of the subway in question, should expect a safe environment when using the New York subway system. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury related to an accident that occurred on or near a subway train in New York, it is advised that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible in order to pursue appropriate compensation.
Disparti Law Group, P.A. is a social security disability law firm located in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, please visit us at www.socialsecuritydisabilitychicago.com.