Slips and Falls in the Subway: Who is Responsible?
Unveiled in 1904, the New York City subway system is one of the oldest and most frequently used public transit systems in the world. Additionally, it has the most subway stations out of any other — both nationally and internationally. In total, the New York metro has 472 stations, connecting through Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. While these stops are managed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), there are so many that adequately maintaining stations can be difficult. As a result, poor maintenance in neglected stations can create many risks for injury within the New York City transit system.
Of these risks, slipping and falling in a subway station is perhaps one of the most frightening. According to a 2016 report from the MTA, there were 168 incidents involving contact with trains, in which 48 people were killed. In poorly maintained subway stations, travelers are not only at risk for injury if they slip and fall — they are in danger of being killed. Some of the most common slip-and-fall hazards in poorly maintained New York subway stations include:
- Cracked or uneven flooring – All property managers have a responsibility to properly maintain their facilities, especially if that facility is meant for public access. If you sustain injuries from slipping and falling on old, cracked, or uneven flooring because of a negligent property owner, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.
- Insufficient lighting – Proper lighting is crucial to safely walking through an underground metro. If the lighting in a station is too dim for travelers to recognize hazards that should be obvious in a well-lit area, then property managers could be held liable for negligence in the event of a slip-and-fall incident.
- Debris or walkway obstructions – All too often, walkway obstructions such as cleaning supplies, boxes, crates, or tools are left out in the open. If these obstructions contribute to a slip-and-fall accident, property owners could be held liable for negligence.
- Lack of railing on stairways – In older subway stations, stairway railing may have worn or broken off. It is up to the property owner to ensure that all stairways are properly maintained with railing for safety.
- Wet or slick flooring – There are a number of reasons why flooring in subway stations may be slippery. Rain or mud could be tracked in from outside, a pipe could burst, the roof may leak, or the flooring could have been freshly mopped. Whatever the reason, the hazard should be labeled for travelers to see.
- Unmarked construction hazards – If a subway station is undergoing construction or renovation, it is the responsibility of the property manager to make sure that all hazards are clearly marked and made obvious to travelers.
Contact a New York Slip and Fall Attorney
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in a New York City subway station due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our knowledgeable team of New York slip and fall attorneys will help guide you through the complex legal processes needed to get the financial compensation you deserve. As residents of New York and with an office located on Madison Avenue, we know all-too-well the dangers commuters face when using our subway system. We’ll be ready to go to bat for you and help you get the full compensation you’re owed when you call (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free consultation.