Each day, more than 240,000 individuals rely on the Long Island Rail Road either for commuting to work or traveling to New York City for arts and entertainment. While traveling by train is relatively safe, derailments and other accidents are not uncommon. Given the fact that the LIRR is publicly-owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, pursuing a personal injury claim can be complicated, much like a claim against the New York City Transit Authority for a subway accident or against Amtrak for a train accident involving a railway operator. This is why it is critically important to work with the right personal injury attorney.
Located in Garden City, the Law Office of Robert Purzak routinely handles train accident cases on Long Island and throughout the greater New York area. Whether you were injured in a railway incident on the LIRR, injured on a platform (e.g. falling between the gap), involved in a subway collision or Amtrak accident, we have the essential knowledge and skill for pursuing successful claims. Knowing that being injured in a train accident is an overwhelming experience, we will offer you knowledge, compassion and a superior level of personal service.
CALL US AT 516-222-1188 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
Common Reasons for a Train Accident on Long Island
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are about 3,000 train accidents each year throughout the nation, resulting in more than 1,000 injuries. Common reasons for train accidents include:
- Engineer/conductor error or violations
- Engineer impairment by alcohol or drugs
- Engineer drowsiness or fatigue
- Railway negligence
- Equipment/mechanical failure
- Objects on the tracks/broken rails
- Inspection and maintenance violations
In particular, Long Island train accidents can occur when one train collides with another, either because an engineer or conductor failed to obey signals or the railway signals or switches were defective. Train accidents are also common at railroad crossings in Nassau and Suffolk Counties when a car, bicycle, or person appears on the tracks and the train either cannot be stopped quickly enough or stops too abruptly, injuring passengers.
Similarly, subway accidents are often the result of:
- Sudden stops (due to an obstacle or person on the tracks)
- Insufficient maintenance
- Slips (or pushes) and falls from the subway platform
- Being caught between subway doors
Long Island Train Accident Injuries
Given the fact that trains and subways travel at high rates of speed and do not provide special protection for passengers, such as seat belts, train accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities. Passengers can also be injured while boarding or exiting a train or subway car, particularly if there is a gap between the train and the platform or if there are any other hazardous conditions such as puddles, snow or ice on the train platforms, stairways, waiting areas, and parking lots.
Common injuries resulting from train accidents on Long Island include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Severe fractures
- Crush injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The most catastrophic of these injuries may lead to paralysis, cognitive impairment, or other permanent disabilities.
Because commuter rail lines like the LIRR and railway companies like Amtrak are considered “common carriers” (entities that transport the public for a fee), they have a higher responsibility to safely move passengers by taking necessary safety precautions to avoid accidents. In short, a common carrier can be held liable for failing to use the highest degree of care to avoid causing harm to passengers. Examples of negligence for which railway operators can be held liable include an inoperable crossing arm, a defective warning signal, or an engineer missing a signal or exceeding the speed limit.
Compensation You Are Entitled to After Being Injured in a Train Accident on Long Island
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to obtain compensatory damages for:
- Medical, surgical and rehabilitative costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
In addition, if the accident was the result of extreme negligence, such as uninspected or improperly maintained equipment or a drunk or drugged engineer, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Such damages are designed to punish the responsible party and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct.
Contact Our Long Island Train Accident Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert Purzak, we are well-versed in the regulations governing mass transit on Long Island and the New York City area. Our team has a proven history of achieving successful outcomes both in and out of the courtroom. By thoroughly investigating the cause of the train accident that caused your injuries, we will work to hold the responsible party accountable. Above all, we will fight to help you obtain just compensation for the harm you endured. Please contact our office today — the consultation is free and you will not pay any attorney fees until we win your case. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.