More than 5 million residents of the five boroughs use New York City public transit each day. When an injury occurs on a bus or train, whether from an accident or a fall, the injured person may be able to seek legal restitution.

If a person wants to sue the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for an accident injury, they must follow a specific procedure to ensure their claim is valid.

Public transit negligence

Not every public transit accident warrants a lawsuit. The plaintiff must prove that the accident occurred because of negligence on the part of the MTA. Examples of negligent actions or inactions include:

  • Failure to provide adequate construction safety measures
  • Traffic signal failure
  • Poor station or track maintenance
  • Equipment failure
  • An error committed by the transit operator.

The statute of limitations

While the statute of limitations for a typical personal injury claim in New York is just three years, claims against the government are subject to a shorter time frame. The injured person must file a Notice of Claim against the MTA within 90 days of an accident or fall. For this reason, individuals should seek medical care right after this type of incident. The Notice of Claim form must include the plaintiff’s name and address, the name and address of the attorney, details about the accident, and the requested amount of compensation.

After filing a Notice of Claim, the MTA has 30 days to request a hearing or offer a settlement. If the agency does not successfully negotiate a settlement with the injured person, they have one year after the initial Notice of Claim to file a lawsuit. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in case dismissal.