nyc train station

Each and every day, millions of people rely on passenger trains to get commute to and from their destinations. We often believe trains to be a safe form of travel. While trains are safer on average than passenger vehicles, accidents can still happen. Accidents such as derailments, collisions with cars or other trains, and trains hitting pedestrians can become deadly. Unlike passenger vehicle accidents, train accidents can affect many people all at once. Damages from accidents involving trains can be catastrophic. 

New York is home to numerous train systems, including the New Jersey Transit, Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson), and the New Jersey Rail and Port Authority. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were a total of 8,363 train accidents reported in 2021. Of the over eight thousand accidents reported, there were 822 fatalities. Thankfully, train accidents do not occur as often as other forms of transportation. However, when they do occur, they result in severe injuries and even fatalities. 

When a train accident occurs, a careful investigation must take place in order to determine who is liable for the accident. The railroad company may not be liable under all circumstances. Our attorneys at Tona Law have experience representing train accident victims. Whether you are a passenger or railroad worker, we want to help you get the compensation you deserve after your injury. Our train accident lawyers will investigate the cause of your accident. Call us today at 800-TONALAW for a free consultation of your case.

Negligence

The most common cause of train accidents is negligence. In New York, railroad workers owe their passengers a duty of care as a common carrier. A common carrier is an individual who is responsible for providing public transportation services. Railroad conductors, diesel mechanics, and signal operators are among a few of the many railroad employees responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers as common carriers. 

As a common carrier, railroad workers have a duty to conduct their work in the same manner as a reasonable prudent railroad worker under similar circumstances. When a railroad worker’s conduct falls below this standard of care, they have breached their duty. If an individual is injured because of the worker’s breach, the railroad may be liable for negligence. If the railroad is found liable for the injury, the passenger may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical bills.  

Human Error

Human error is the second leading cause of train accidents. Inexperienced railroad workers can easily make mistakes. However, fatigue plagues both experienced and inexperienced railway workers. Each year, New Yorkers take over one billion individual train rides. To ensure that passengers can commute with ease, railroad workers must work long hours, often from early in the morning to late in the evening. 

To better understand the pressures faced by railroad workers, the United States Department of Transportation examined the effect of fatigue in the United States railroad industry. The study concluded that the risk of an accident caused by human error is elevated from eleven percent to sixty-five percent by exposure to fatigue. Moreover, the amount of sleep and the time of day when sleep occurs account for eighty-five percent to ninety-six percent of fatigue exposure. Work schedules determine the amount and time of day of sleep. As a result, dispatchers and train and engine workers have the highest exposure to fatigue due to their unconventional work schedules. 

In addition, stress is a major contributor to railway accidents. When posed with an obstacle, railroad operators face significant pressure to make decisions without time to consider the possible outcomes. This pressure can lead even experienced railway operators to make errors.  

Mechanical Failures

Sometimes, the issue is not with a person but the train itself. Mechanical failures are a leading cause of train accidents. Common mechanical failures include faulty communication equipment, damaged railroad tracks, and signal malfunctions. The subway system, operated by the New York City Transit Authority, is responsible for six hundred miles of tracks alone. Many of these tracks are decades old. Also, the sheer magnitude of the railroad system means that hazardous conditions are often overlooked. Unfortunately, train and engine workers charged with maintaining the safety of the railroads are among the most susceptible to fatigue, which in turn, leads to mistakes. For a train operating at full speed, these hidden hazards can cause severe injuries and even fatalities.  

Contact a Train Accident Attorney at Tona Law

In New York State, train accidents are categorized as negligence cases. The statute of limitations allows an injured party three years to file a claim against the negligent party. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Thus, if you are injured in a train accident, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys at TonaLaw to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation by calling 833-866-2529 (833-TONALAW). Our team of lawyers is here to help you understand negligence law in New York State and help you receive the compensation you deserve after your injury in a train accident. 

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What Our Clients Are Saying

TonaLaw
5.0
Based on 224 reviews
powered by Google
Dawn DemartinoDawn Demartino
16:25 11 May 22
From start to finish I was informed every step of the way of the status and updates of my case… the time and steps taken to resolve my case in the best possible outcome was just one of the many great things Tonalaw provided. Personal care and commitment is top notch. Thank you !!
Louis B.Louis B.
15:27 08 Apr 22
Over the last few years Tona Law has guided me through the process with clear communication throughout. They are truly a client advocate and will do everything in the best interest of the client. Cannot thank them enough for all their work done for me.
Richard WoolleyRichard Woolley
19:49 26 Mar 22
Tom Tona and his team are fantastic. They do a great job for their clients. Can't recommend them highly enough.
Stacy LofredoStacy Lofredo
23:41 24 Mar 22
Tona Law has simplified no fault medical billing in a way that allows staff to effortlessly navigate through what could be a confusing process. Their staff is knowledgeable and responsive that we never have to worry about the ever-changing regulations because they are on top of keeping up to date with any changes in keeping their clients informed which is priceless!
Ruben ReyesRuben Reyes
15:29 13 Aug 21
They responded right away and were very professional. Brittany Reyes was very helpful. Thank you for your help
Randy RodriguezRandy Rodriguez
03:24 09 Aug 21
Would highly recommend if anyone is seeking any legal advice!
js_loader