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.
While many people think of slip-and-fall accidents as simple mishaps, these types of accidents can be very costly from both a physical and financial standpoint. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of older people sustain serious — even fatal — injuries that often render them disabled. From 2007 to 2016, fatalities from slips and falls have steadily increased by 30 percent. Researchers have estimated that if rates continue to rise, then by 2030, there will be seven fall-related deaths every hour.
While it is impossible to reverse the impact of a slip and fall, you can receive financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and losses if your accident was the result of another party’s negligent actions. If you or a loved one has been involved in a slip-and-fall accident, here are seven steps you can to protect yourself.
Get Medical Treatment
Taking care of your health should be your main priority after a serious slip-and-fall accident. Additionally, you will have your injuries documented by an experienced medical professional who knows what to look for.
Observe the Scene of the Accident
The best time to figure out the cause of the accident is to immediately after it takes place. Was the floor too slippery? Were there walkway obstructions? If you can understand the cause of the accident, then you can find out if there was anything a potentially liable party could have done to prevent it.
If possible, take photos of the accident scene to capture the details of what took place. Photos are incredibly valuable pieces of evidence. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, take as many pictures as necessary. An attorney can help you understand what’s important later.
Speak to Witnesses
Witnesses can be crucial in verifying your version of what happened. After the accidents, gather names, contact information, and even a brief statement. An attorney can contact the witnesses you spoke to, and collect an official written statement from each of them.
Write Down What You Remember
Be sure to write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you possibly can. Over time, memories can fade, and details can become less vivid. Record your injuries, pain, and symptoms in a clear narrative that an attorney can follow later.
Make Official Reports
Making official reports is another way to keep documentation of the accident. In injury cases, it’s essential to have as much documentation on hand as possible. Don’t embellish or exaggerate, but write down as much detail as you can remember.
Seek Help From an Experienced Attorney
Personal injury cases can be extremely complex, even when they seem relatively clear-cut. An attorney can guide you through the legal processes, and ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of. Remember: the defense’s goal is to discredit your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be on your side and take every action possible to prevent that from happening.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
Hach & Rose, LLP has built a reputation as one of New York’s premier injury firms over the past 15 years. We have a consistent history of results in personal injury cases, including getting $3,150,000 for a construction worker who slipped and fell on a construction site. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident because of another party’s negligence, our team of experienced attorneys will fight for you to receive the financial compensation you deserve.
The New York Daily News reported on September 21, 2019, that one-time street boss of the Colombo crime family “Tommy Shots” Gioeli won a $250,000 settlement for an August 2013 slip and fall accident while playing ping-pong inside Brooklyn’s Manhattan Detention Center. His injuries required surgery and a month-long hospitalization, but the Daily News reported that federal prosecutors were seeking to use the settlement to cover $360,000 in court-ordered restitution the now-67-year-old owed to a bank and a fur store.
This past June, the Associated Press reported that studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that fatal falls had nearly tripled in older Americans in recent years, rising to over 25,000 deaths annually. Analysis looking at 16 years of vital statistics in the United States showed that fatal falls increased from 8,600 in 2000 to 25,190 in 2016, and CDC data showed there were nearly 26,440 fatal falls in Americans 75 years of age and older in 2017.
Both of these stories demonstrate that older Americans are far more likely to fall, but older individuals are not the only ones who can be hurt in such accidents. So, who is responsible for your safety when you’re in a store, office building, public place, or private property? Read more on defective conditions and constructive notice in New York.
What is Constructive Notice?
Unless it can be proven that a property owner created a defective condition, an injured person will need to prove that the owner had either actual knowledge or constructive notice of a defect. The Court of Appeals of the State of New York held in Gordon v. American Museum of Natural History, 67 N.Y.2d 836  that “a defect must be visible and apparent, and it must exist for a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit defendant’s employees to discover and remedy it” to constitute constructive notice.
Constructive notice can be established by proof of a “recurring condition,” which is actual knowledge of an ongoing defective condition. A property owner may be able to employ what is known as the “storm in progress” defense, which the First Department Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ruled in Hussein v. New York City Transit Authority, 266 A.D.2d 146 [1st Dep’t 1999], “Just as landowners have no duty to clear outdoor public spaces while precipitation is still falling, they are not required to provide a constant, ongoing remedy when an alleged slippery condition is said to be caused by moisture tracked indoors during a storm.”
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a slip and fall accident in New York City, you will want to speak to an experienced injury attorney to discuss your rights and legal options. Make sure you contact Hach & Rose, LLP as soon as possible.
Our firm can fight to prove another party’s negligence and help you recover every last dime of compensation you are entitled to. We can examine your case when you call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Rochester, NY (July 4, 2019) – A woman from Rochester suffered injuries on Thursday, July 4th, after falling into the gorge at the bottom of the Lower Falls in the city. The incident was reported to have happened at an unspecified time during the afternoon hours for reasons that are being investigated.
Brockport, NY (April 1, 2019) – A serious personal injury accident was reported to have occurred after a man fell into the Erie Canal on Monday, April 1st. According to authorities, the victim suffered from hypothermia after falling into the canal near Main Street around 3:30 a.m. in what may be considered a slip-and-fall or unsafe property incident.
Manhattan, NY (January 29, 2019) – A woman tragically died after falling down stairs inside of a subway station in Manhattan on Monday night, January 28. Authorities stated that the fatal accident occurred at around 8:00 p.m. while the victim, identified as 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson, of Stamford, CT, was holding her one-year-old daughter.
Halina Radchenko, attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP discusses why her team is the right choice for people who have been hurt in slip-and-fall accidents in New York City and across the state. Watch the video above to learn why, and contact us at (212) 779-0057 to get the qualified legal help you deserve.