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Suing a Public Transportation Authority

When you’re injured on a public transportation system, it can feel like there’s no one to help you. You may feel overwhelmed and wonder who is responsible for your injuries and how you will get compensation. 

Luckily, public transportation is subject to tort law, just like any other private party or individual. Even so, special rules apply because it is a public entity, which can sometimes cause confusion unless you work with a skilled attorney with experience with these types of cases. 

Suing a Public Transportation Authority vs. Suing a Private Entity

Firstly, in New York, you must send a Notice of Claim stating your intention to sue within 90 days after your accident. This notice must be sent to the Office of Risk Management for the MTA New York City Transit. The MTA will then evaluate your claim and decide whether or not it will pay any damages associated with your injury.

You should also keep in mind that special rules exist because of the unique nature of public transportation. It’s rarely possible for passengers to be completely free from risk while riding a train or bus, and because of this, they have special protections under the law and sometimes even immunity from any personal injury lawsuits, depending on the circumstances.

  • Passenger Negligence – If you were injured because of your own negligence, for example, if you were texting and fell out of your seat, then you will not be able to sue a public transportation authority.
  • Public Transportation Authority Negligence – However, if there is evidence that neglect on the part of the train company led to your injury, for example, if there were no safety barriers between cars, then you may be able to sue them for damages.
  • Passenger Safety – Public transportation providers are required by law to keep their vehicles in good condition and post clear safety warnings when dangerous conditions exist. If they fail to do so, then they could be held liable for any injuries you sustain.

Navigating Complex Rules for the Public Transportation Authority

New York’s pure comparative fault laws add another layer of complexity when it comes to suing a public transportation authority. Essentially, the court will calculate your compensation in proportion to your own liability for your personal injury. 

So, if you are 40 percent at fault, you will receive 60 percent of your damages from the public transportation authority. Sometimes, multiple people are involved, so liability may be split between several parties.

Talk to Your Lawyer About Suing a Public Transportation Authority

Your lawyer must leave no stone unturned when proving who was at fault when it comes to pure comparative fault. Otherwise, you may only be able to collect a fraction of the compensation you deserve. 

Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has years of experience handling these cases. If you’re struggling to prepare for your claim, reach out for a free consultation about your claim. Call 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or fill out our online form to ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover fully.

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