Who Is Liable for a Train Accident in New York City?

Train accidents are rare but catastrophic events involving serious physical harm and property damage that can happen to anyone without warning. The likelihood of such an incident is high, particularly in a state like New York which has a robust public transit system consisting of extensive networks of subways and trains. Getting injured in an accident involving a train can be a highly traumatizing experience that can leave you frustrated and confused regarding your next steps and who to hold responsible for your losses. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not always simple. Due to their complex nature, lawsuits surrounding train crashes might involve multiple individuals and entities depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. If you or your loved one got injured in such an incident, you should consult an experienced lawyer immediately to assess your damages and formulate a legal strategy to recover your losses.

Causes of Train Accidents

Train crashes might result from a wide range of causes that could be attributed to the train operator, railroad staff, pedestrians, and more. Trains could collide with unexpected objects in their way, such as pedestrians or vehicles on the train tracks. An unwitting bystander could fall on the track and become susceptible to catastrophic physical injury and a high risk of instant death. Aside from human error, such incidents might also occur due to manufacturing defects or maintenance errors in trains that could cause equipment failure resulting in devastating accidents. Some examples include improper railroad maintenance, malfunctioning mechanical components, defective safety instruments, and more. 

Determining Liability in Train Crashes

Establishing negligence in train crashes is a highly complicated legal process that depends on multiple variables related to the incident. For instance, the type and severity of the accident, individuals, or entities (government or private) involved, local regulations, and other factors might influence the outcome of such a case significantly. The intrinsically challenging nature of this legal process necessitates the assistance of a lawyer who is well-versed in New York law and train regulations and has represented clients in train incidents in the past. In some cases, the train operator might be held liable for the incident if they are found to be involved in reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, impaired driving, failing to recognize signals, or braking on time, etc. In other cases, the train company could be held liable if it is discovered that it failed to adhere to inspection and maintenance standards and regulations. The train manufacturer could also be held liable for the incident if it resulted from a defect in one or more parts of the train, such as the brakes, windows, doors, or other components. Additionally, the government agency responsible for the regulation of the train system in the city could be held liable for damages if they failed to enforce appropriate safety measures.


Train crashes can have lasting monetary and non-monetary consequences for the victims of the incidents. If you find yourself in such a position, you should immediately consult an attorney to discuss your legal options. An experienced New York Train accident lawyer can help you obtain fair financial compensation for your physical and property losses and fight for your rights in a court of law. They will assess the situation and make sure you get the justice you deserve. It’s best to reach out to a legal professional that best suits your specific needs.

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