This year’s snowfall has been quite heavy in New York City. One of the biggest problems with the snow is the snow-packed, poorly-shoveled subway steps. There are numerous videos online of people struggling to climb up and down the stairs, clinging to the railing, and even sliding down the steps. In some cases, the stairs were packed with snow to the point where steps were barely visible. These kinds of dangers are unacceptable, and the MTA should give out compensation for slip and falls it allows to happen. The experienced New York personal injury lawyers of Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, may be able to take your case and help get you compensated for your slip and fall on MTA property.
How is the MTA Held Responsible for Falls?
The MTA is responsible for their property in the same way that any other property owner would be responsible for their property. Every year, thousands of people across the United States slip and fall because of sidewalks, footpaths, and stairs that are not properly cleared of snow and ice. While the MTA has a lot of property to take care of, they also have a lot of employees to clear the snow and should be expected to keep their stairs safe.
In a slip and fall case, where snow or ice was not properly cleared, there are four elements that must be proven to get compensation:
- The MTA had a duty to keep its premises safe for commuters.
- They breached this duty by failing to clear snow and ice.
- That failure caused you to fall and be injured.
- Those injuries can be proven in court and compensated – these harms are known as “damages.”
The part of this that is most likely to cause debate in a court is what exactly the MTA’s duty was. The courts could hold the MTA to a strict duty that they must clear all ice and snow, but this is unlikely. Because there was so much snow, it is expected that anywhere you go in the city, you will face snowy and icy conditions. On the other hand, especially on staircases, and especially at busy subway stops, the expectation that the MTA would clear the snow is higher. All of these play into how the court might establish the duty, and whether your case will succeed or fail.
Our lawyers have years of experience with personal injury lawsuits in New York City, and have had many cases against the MTA. Because of this, we have a better idea than most about what duty courts will place on the MTA and how much you might be able to win in a settlement or court case.
How is a Lawsuit Against MTA Handled?
First, and most important in any injury case, is seeking medical care. If you have been injured, you should see a doctor. Sometimes, injuries from a slip and fall can be extremely serious, especially for older adults, children, and people who already have injuries or handicaps. When you fall, you often have little control over how you fall, and can get very hurt. Injuries to the head, back, and neck can be extremely severe, or even life-threatening. If left untreated, these injuries can affect you for the rest of your life or cause even worse, permanent problems.
Getting medical treatment can also help establish how severe your injuries are. This is one of the biggest factors in how much your case is worth. More severe injuries mean higher compensation, and even less-severe injuries can still get high payouts if they will have prolonged effects or long recoveries.
If you can, get pictures of the subway stop the way it looked on the day you were injured. This helps show a jury or the MTA how bad their negligence was. Even if the case never goes to court, this kind of proof is excellent for convincing the MTA to pay you a settlement for your injuries. If you are unable to get pictures, the MTA’s security cameras may have captured what happened.
In any case, contact an attorney as soon as you possibly can. The evidence of snow and ice on steps can be easily cleared away, and security camera footage is not often kept for a long time. Without this evidence, we need to rely only upon witness statements about the conditions, which is much weaker evidence than photos or video.
The ultimate goal of a personal injury attorney is to get you a settlement, and avoid going to court. If the MTA refuses to pay you for your injuries, though, we will fight your case in court to get you the compensation you deserve.
Queens Personal Injury Attorneys for Accident Victims
Our primary office is located in Queens, but our Queens subway injury attorneys are always looking to help clients throughout New York City with their personal injury cases, including MTA accidents in Brooklyn and Manhattan. If you have been injured by a slip and fall on MTA property, call the New York slip and fall accident lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw today at (718) 843-0300.