New York City has over 400 subway systems and is home to the longest system of train lines in the
United States. With over 2 million passengers riding the New York City subway system daily,
accidents occur frequently, with over one-third of all subway incidents being accidental. Personal
injury accidents such as slips and falls, train collisions, and assaults committed by other passengers
can all occur in a New York City subway and cause serious bodily and mental trauma to victims.
Slip and fall accidents are among the top causes of personal injury incidents within the subway
system. These accidents usually occur due to wet or slippery flooring near platforms, stairs, exits, and
entrances. Other objects such as debris, and uneven or damaged flooring can also cause these types
of accidents as well as large gaps between the train car and subway platform and poor lighting within
the subway stations. Any passenger who suffers from a slip and fall accident may incur a variety of
injuries, for example, fractured or broken bones, concussions, brain injuries, back and spinal cord
injuries, bruising, and abrasions to the legs and arms.
Train collisions are another prevalent cause of personal injury accidents within New York City
subways and are caused by an object or train car striking a passenger. Train collision accidents are
extremely dangerous and often cause catastrophic injuries even resulting in death. In 2020, the MTA
reported that there were nearly 170 collisions between passengers and trains with about one-third of
the accidents resulting in death. In 2021, 50 people were killed in train collision accidents in addition
to 6 other train collision incidents that ended in serious bodily harm. Finally in 2022, there was a
dramatic increase in the number of passengers being struck by trains. With a 25% increase in train
collision accidents and about 234 passengers involved in a train collision with 88 passengers being
fatally injured, the MTA acknowledges that passenger safety in the subways is becoming more
difficult to manage.
With nearly 400 felony assaults and 5 homicides committed in New York City subways in 2022,
assaults committed by other passengers are another common type of personal injury accident that
may occur in subways. This may include attacks such as physical assault, sexual assault, and verbal
assault. A subway passenger who is assaulted can suffer from a variety of injuries depending on the
severity of their assault facing both the physical and emotional effects of harm. These attacks can
cause contusions, bruising, lacerations, cuts, broken bones, head injuries, facial injuries, and soft
tissue injuries, all of which are consistent with a brutal assault. This type of attack can also cause
long-term psychological effects on the victim such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
If you or a loved one has been injured in a subway accident, it is crucial for you to seek aid from an
expert personal injury attorney as soon as possible; time is of the essence. In New York, you usually
have up to 3 years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim, however, any case
against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) requires a Notice of Claim within 90 days
of the incident for all subway accidents. Once a Notice of Claim is filed, you then have only one year
to file a lawsuit once the 90-day period has passed. The process of filing a claim can be complex and
stressful, but acquiring a skilled attorney can provide aid in comprehending your legal rights and
exploring your legal options as well.
Aside from obtaining expert legal counsel, there are other steps you can take to ensure your safety
when taking the train such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding the edge of the train
platform when a train is not in the station, watching your step when entering and exiting the subway
cars, being mindful of your personal belongings as well as reporting any hazards and risks or
suspicious behavior to the proper authorities. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
recommends that passengers avoid empty train cars, utilize the conductor’s car during off-peak
hours, and avoid dozing off while riding the train.
All personal injury accidents that occur in New York City subways can have catastrophic and life-
altering effects. However, by taking the proper safety measures and seeking legal assistance, you can
protect yourself or a loved one from these types of accidents.