The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Company is one of the most important for the overall New York City metropolitan area. Millions of New Yorkers and visitors ride this railroad each month, leading to plenty of opportunities for accidents and injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured while using the services of the LIRR Company, you may have grounds for a potential lawsuit.
What Is The Long Island Rail Road?
The Long Island Rail Road is a commuter railroad that operates in and around Long Island to ferry passengers to and from Manhattan and two other areas. In fact, it’s the busiest commuter railroad in all of North America.
The Long Island Rail Road carries (200,000) customers or riders each weekday using (947) daily trains. Over the years, the Long Island Rail Road’s ridership has increased over time. According to the 2022 Annual Ridership Report from the Long Island Rail Road’s executive summary, total ridership for that year reached (52.5) million customers (a 50% increase compared to 2021).
With so many different riders, workers, and other individuals bustling together, it’s possible for safety procedures and policies to slip through the cracks. If you or a loved one were injured on the Long Island Rail Road because of negligence, you need to know whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Railroad Accidents And Injuries
The LIRR Company does its best to ensure that every train trip is safe for each of its riders. However, accidents still happen. Passengers, pedestrians, and individuals who work on the railroads can be injured in railroad accidents.
For example, someone can fall onto the tracks, be electrocuted, or be hit by a train in the worst possible scenario. Some of the most common injuries from railroad accidents include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations
- Lost limbs
- Paralysis and other spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) like concussions
Many of these injuries can be debilitating and quite expensive to treat. Injured victims need to know their legal options, particularly whether or not they can sue the Long Island Rail Road Company for getting hurt.
In addition, railroad accidents can result in fatalities. Passengers and other individuals are very exposed compared to railroad vehicles and heavy equipment. If one of your loved ones was a victim of a wrongful death, you could still have grounds to sue the Long Island Rail Road Company if that company was responsible for the accident.
Can You Sue The Long Island Rail Road?
In short, you can sue the Long Island Rail Road. Still, things can be a bit complicated in practice.
To successfully sue the Long Island Rail Road, you need to prove that the company was being grossly negligent in its behavior toward you and other passengers. You also need to prove that you received your injuries because of this negligence and not because of other potential hazards in the area.
As an example, you may be able to sue the Long Island Rail Road if the company did not alert you to a slippery floor near the train tracks. However, it is highly unlikely that you can pursue a lawsuit against the Long Island Rail Road if you intentionally place yourself in front of a moving train and are subsequently struck.
If you aren’t sure whether you or a loved one has grounds for a successful lawsuit, you should speak to knowledgeable personal injury attorneys right away. Schwartzapfel Lawyers can provide you with assistance with your case by gathering evidence, giving sound legal counsel, and much more, so contact us today at 1-516-342-2200 or online for a free consultation.
What Do You Need To Prove Negligence?
To prove negligence on the part of the Long Island Rail Road, you must show that four separate factors are true for your case. Let’s go into these factors one by one.
1. There Was An Established Duty of Care
First, you must establish that the at-fault party (the Long Island Rail Road, in this case) had an established duty of care. In other words, the party at fault or accused must be demonstrably responsible for your injuries or those of other accident victims.
As an example, a medical professional operating on a patient has an assumed duty of care toward that patient. The medical professional must take all reasonable steps to ensure the patient’s safety and can’t act in a reckless or hazardous manner.
The LIRR Company, as well as the MTA/Metropolitan Transit Authority and all of its employees, have an assumed duty to take steps to ensure the safety of their passengers. As such, if your railroad accident injuries were caused because one of the employees of the Long Island Rail Road wasn’t doing their job, that may serve as sufficient grounds to prove negligence.
2. The LIRR Company Didn’t Uphold The Duty of Care
Next, you must show that either the Long Island Rail Road or one of its employees did not uphold the duty of care. Again, it all revolves around whether or not the LIRR Company did what was reasonably expected of them in regard to passenger safety.
For instance, if the Long Island Rail Road did not maintain the safety and stability of the brakes for one of its trains, and that train then hits several passengers, those passengers may have grounds for a lawsuit. The LIRR Company demonstrably failed to meet its standard of care by neglecting essential maintenance.
3. You Were Injured Because Of The Breach Of Duty Of Care
In addition to the above requirements, you must prove that you were injured directly because of the breach of duty of care. In other words, if the breach of duty of care didn’t directly lead to your injuries, you don’t have grounds for a lawsuit.
Simultaneously, you must prove that you were not responsible for your injuries, at least in the majority. Under rules of pure comparative negligence, a New York court might find that you are partially responsible for your damages. In this case, your total damage award could be reduced by the percentage of responsibility attributed to you for those injuries.
There Are Compensable Damages You Can Recover
Lastly, you must show the court that there are compensable, real damages that you can recover. If you experience an accident at the hands of the Long Island Rail Road but don’t suffer any physical injuries and only claim to have suffered emotional harm, you’ll likely encounter added challenges in pursuing a successful lawsuit, let alone recovering monetary compensation.
Note: The reverse is often true if you can prove that you have medical bills, lost income from time spent away from work, or other damages that the Long Island Rail Road could potentially be on the hook for. Your skilled lawyer can tell you which damages are most likely to result in compensation on your behalf, as well as advise you regarding your overall legal strategy going forward.
Potential Compensation From A Successful Long Island Rail Road Lawsuit
If your lawsuit against the LIRR Company is successful, you could recover financial compensation and damages for:
- Past and future medical bills for any expenses related to your railroad accident injuries
- Income to compensate you for any time spent away from work due to your injuries
- Compensatory damages for pain, suffering, and discomfort, as well as emotional trauma (in certain cases, such as with PTSD)
- Compensation for loss of companionship if you lost a loved one through wrongful death
- Loss of ability compensation if your injuries are debilitating or paralyzing to some extent (on a permanent basis)
- And more!
To maximize the damages you can recover from your lawsuit, you’ll need the assistance of experienced attorneys who can help you gather evidence and present it compellingly in court. In fact, your attorneys may be able to gather such excellent evidence that it could lead to a settlement with the Long Island Rail Road Company, avoiding the need for a court trial.Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
In the end, you may not know whether you have grounds for a lawsuit against the Long Island Rail Road Company. To discover more about your legal options and to maximize your chances of recovering financial compensation, you should speak with Schwartzapfel Lawyers. Our experienced attorneys have helped New Yorkers just like you recover damages to pay for medical bills, lost income, and so much more.
Reach out to our award-winning legal team today by dialing 1-516-342-2200. Alternatively, you cancontact us online to schedule your free consultation and/or case evaluation. It will be our honor and privilege to fight for you!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!