We all rely on subways to get us around New York, sometimes every day and sometimes every now and again. Just like on city streets and inside of stores, we expect those who own and maintain the subway platforms to take reasonable steps to make sure we stay safe. When they fail to do so, their negligence can allow terrible accidents that result in serious injuries, trauma, and even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a subway platform, take action to protect your rights and get compensation for your pain and suffering. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353. Speak with one of our experienced, knowledgeable New York subway accident attorneys, tell us about what happened, and we can discuss your options going forward.
Serious slips and falls can occur just about anywhere, including subway platforms throughout New York. Whether they happen while you are going down stairs or walking across a platform, these accidents are not only painful, but dangerous. Falls on stairs are particularly dangerous because your back, neck, and head can strike the corner of a step as you fall, which can cause broken bones, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or death.
Platforms can be slippery if not maintained properly. They are particularly treacherous in the winter, when people track snow, ice, and slush into subway stations on their shoes. Watch out for wet and slippery areas and be sure to notify someone with New York City Transit Authority (MTA) about potentially dangerous slipping hazards.
The threat of violence can be particularly worrisome on subway platforms because they are removed from the eyes and open air of city streets. A crowded platform can be an ideal location for criminal activities, since the crowd of people provide distraction and concealment before and after the crime. You should expect to feel safe while on a subway platform, but a lack of security can make violence or theft more likely. Simple features like the presence of security professionals, police, and cameras can help deter crime and keep you safer while riding the subway.
Harassment includes things like threats, improper sexual comments and contact, intimidation, and physical assaults or inappropriate touching. It is important to recognize that harassment can be verbal or visual, and that anyone can be the target of harassment, no matter their age, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, or disabilities. If you feel like you are the victim of or witness to harassment, you probably are and should report it immediately.
It is important to note that harassment is not only harmful in and of itself, but can also be the first act in behavior that can escalate. Inappropriate comments or touching may lead to sexual assault or physical violence. Threats and intimidation can escalate into an attack, so harassment should always be taken seriously. If you are the victim of harassment, do what you can to safely leave the area and find a police officer to help you and deal with the situation.
As traumatic as it may be, victims of rape and sexual assault need to report what happened to MTA police and the NYPD immediately so that vital evidence is not lost and the violator can be apprehended as quickly as possible. The line between harassment and sexual assault can sometimes be blurry, especially when seemingly "minor" touching is involved. Any kind of inappropriate sexual conduct can quickly cross the line from harassment to assault, so it is important to take action immediately if you suspect something is happening.
Remember: rape is never the victim's fault. No matter how someone talks, dresses, or behaves, he or she always has to consent before any kind of sexual activity.
Physical violence and attacks can also occur both in subways and at subway stations. If you are the victim of an assault or witness one happening, contact MTA police and NYPD as soon as possible. A violent assault might also be part of another crime, such as a robbery, so reporting such an event can help in more ways than one. If you witness an act of violence, you must be careful not to escalate the situation or become a victim yourself. Help in any way you safely can, but be sure to get the police involved as soon as possible to protect everyone.
Liability for an injury on a subway platform really depends on the specifics of how the accident happened. In general, the MTA is usually the first organization to look at for liability after an accident, though others may also be to blame. To prove liability, you have to show that there was negligence on the part of the NYC Transit Authority (which is a failure to act in a reasonable way), and that the negligence directly caused the accident and injury.
For example, if you slip and fall while coming down the stairs, the cause of that slip affects who is liable. If another person shoved you, that person can be liable for your injuries. On the other hand, if you fell because the stairs were broken or not properly lit, the MTA might be liable since it is their job to make sure the platform and areas around it are properly maintained. It can also be a combination of factors that make multiple people liable, such as if you are robbed due to a lack of security. The criminal himself can be held liable, and possibly the MTA for failing to provide proper security.
Accidents and injuries on subway platforms are a serious matter that can result in pain, loss of income, and medical expenses. Don't feel like you have to handle all of this on your own. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353 to talk about what happened and explore your legal options.
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