Many types of accidents can arise in New York City as a result of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)’s negligence. From defective steps and faulty escalators to poorly maintained stations and subway platforms, countless residents, visitors, and commuters have suffered injuries due to the MTA’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Not surprisingly, a considerable amount of litigation is commenced against the public authority every year. Suing the MTA or any City agency might feel like an uphill battle. That is, unless you have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side who knows what it takes to prevail in these types of claims. Significantly, suing the MTA is not the same as pursuing a legal action against an individual or a private entity. There are specific administrative procedures, requirements, legal nuances — and challenges — involved.
Be Aware of Shorter Statutes of Limitation
If you’ve been injured on property the MTA neglected to maintain, don’t delay seeking counsel. No matter how severely you’ve been hurt, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. If you miss the statute of limitations, you could forever be barred from recovering the compensation to which you might be entitled.
If you’re going to attempt suing the MTA, the City of New York, or any City agency, you only have one year and 90 days to do so. Importantly, if the City or one of its agencies should be named a party in the lawsuit, you are first required to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days from the accident date. Filing a Notice of Claim is a prerequisite to filing the actual lawsuit — failure to file by the deadline could harm your case.
Expect Delays . . . And More Delays
When the MTA is a defendant in a personal injury case, don’t expect your case to be settled right away. Most personal injury cases take some time to go through the litigation process. But when you sue a public authority, they typically have no incentive to settle and will often drag out the case for as long as possible.
Additionally, the MTA often gets adjournments and extensions that go well beyond those given to an individual or a private entity.
The MTA might also request a 50-h hearing after receiving the Notice of Claim before the case is even commenced. Similar to a deposition, a 50-h hearing allows a public authority or City agency to have the opportunity to ask you questions about the accident and your injuries while you’re under oath.
The Discovery Process May Be Daunting
Discovery is crucial in an MTA accident case — and it can be difficult to obtain. It’s important to have a good personal injury lawyer who knows how to fight for the evidence that will prove your case.
Significantly, you must be able to show that the MTA had written notice of the defect that caused your injuries prior to the accident. In addition, you are required to demonstrate that the MTA failed to remedy the defect within a reasonable amount of time.
Your lawyer can acquire documents, video footage, accident reports, records, and various other evidence that will establish your claim through the formal discovery process. However, if the MTA refuses to comply with discovery demands — which is not uncommon — it may be necessary for your lawyer to file a motion to compel production.
Contact an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were hurt due to the MTA’s negligence, you shouldn’t leave your personal injury case to just any lawyer. It’s essential to work with an attorney who has the skill and experience to handle a lawsuit brought against a public authority. Our firm has regularly obtained settlements and verdicts in the millions for clients who have been injured in MTA accidents.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, we have been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.