Common Causes of MTA Accidents

Common Causes of MTA Accidents
Calendar icon December 6, 2023
Common Causes of MTA Accidents


  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has the legal obligation to promote the safety of New York’s public transportation system, which includes buses, trains, and the NYC subway system.
  • Human error can play a role in MTA accidents. It may stem from individual carelessness, a lack of relevant training, or negligent hiring practices by the MTA. 
  • Maintenance failures can compromise the safety of subway tracks, buses, trains, and transport hubs.
  • Third-party manufacturers and contractors may be responsible for MTA accidents caused by defective products or shoddy work.
  • Personal injury claims against government agencies and municipalities have additional stipulations for eligibility, which are best understood with the help of a New York personal injury lawyer. 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority oversees New York’s public transportation system, operating a vast network of buses and trains, as well as several bridges and tunnels. With an average daily ridership exceeding eight million people, the MTA is responsible for ensuring the safety of tourists and locals alike. 

When a negligent employee’s actions or an infrastructure failure causes an MTA subway or bus accident, passengers often pay the price for their health, finances, and emotional well-being. At Cellino Law, our personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of filing an MTA accident claim. Call (888) 888-8888 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Driver or Operator Error Contributes to Serious Injuries in MTA Accidents

While there are examples of egregious negligence, such as operating a train or bus while under the influence, MTA accidents involving human error are more commonly caused by an operator’s carelessness or poor judgment. Bus drivers and train conductors are susceptible to becoming distracted, fatigued, or frustrated, leading them to operate recklessly and endanger their passengers and other travelers.

For example, an MTA bus driver may rear-end another vehicle because they were speeding or following too closely, sideswipe a car because they made an unnecessarily wide turn, or close the door on a passenger while in a rush. MTA train conductors can injure their passengers in a NYC subway accident by starting or stopping too quickly, failing to observe signals, or traveling too fast.

Inadequate Training and Negligent Hiring Practices Set MTA Employees Up For Failure

MTA train operators and bus drivers have to contend with unruly passengers, adverse weather conditions, strict schedules, and other stressors. Meanwhile, they are still responsible for avoiding MTA bus accidents and train accidents to ensure the safety of their passengers. Given the trust the public places in MTA employees and the challenges of their jobs, it is incumbent upon the MTA to hire and train capable individuals.

If an MTA employee who should have been disqualified during the hiring process causes injuries, the MTA may be considered liable for a plaintiff’s damages. The agency can also be found at fault if an employee caused injury because they did not receive sufficient instruction on policy, how to understand signals on the track, or how to maneuver a bus through traffic.

For example, if the MTA hired a bus driver applicant with a record of speeding-related accidents, that could constitute negligence because the MTA should have recognized the risk of hiring that individual.

Poor Maintenance of Tracks, Equipment, and Transport Hubs May Result in MTA Accidents

The New York City subway system’s network of tracks requires constant maintenance and repair as it experiences considerable wear and tear. Tracks can also sustain damage caused by flooding, vandalism, or debris. The MTA is responsible for overseeing these repairs to mitigate the risk of a train needing to stop suddenly, colliding, or even derailing.

The subway cars themselves also need regular upkeep, as do city buses. Without diligent servicing, an unaddressed mechanical failure can spiral into a catastrophic MTA accident. For example, if the MTA failed to replace a burnt-out headlight in a city bus, a driver could miss a pedestrian crossing the street, leading to a fatal collision.

Additionally, New Yorkers are more vulnerable to injury in slip-and-fall accidents as they board or disembark from public transportation when the MTA ignores dangerous maintenance situations. Bus stops and subway stations are frequently the sites of serious slip-and-fall accidents caused by preventable issues such as: 

Third-Party Manufacturers May Be Held Responsible For Rider Injuries Caused by Mechanical Failure

Although the MTA is often the most obvious potential culprit in an accident involving its employees, infrastructure, or equipment, an MTA accident can also be attributed to the negligence of a third party. In a case where a contractor incorrectly installed a portion of the track, they could face a personal injury claim for its role in causing a subway car to unexpectedly stall and injure riders.

Another possible cause of an MTA accident is mechanical failure due to manufacturer negligence. If a company relies on a defective design, weak materials, or a flawed production method to create bus or train parts, this can result in an MTA accident if the product fails. As a result, a plaintiff may be able to recover compensation in a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Choose the Experienced MTA Accident Attorneys of Cellino Law to Represent You

The MTA is a government organization, which means that there are additional procedures you must follow if you want to pursue a claim against it. The Cellino family has worked in New York personal injury law for over 65 years, so we understand how to navigate these unique requirements and secure the best possible settlement outcomes for our injured clients.

At Cellino Law, we place a high value on client satisfaction. This has helped us become one of the most respected personal injury law firms in New York. We will unapologetically advocate for maximum compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Cellino Law For Help With Your New York MTA Accident Claim

MTA accident claims against the government require a greater degree of expertise. At Cellino Law, not only do our personal injury lawyers possess the knowledge needed to establish liability and document the value of your damages successfully, but we also have the skills to negotiate a claim involving a government entity. We will relentlessly seek a fair settlement on your behalf.

New Yorkers who have been injured in a bus or train accident turn to our team of personal injury attorneys because they know that we are not deterred by challenging claims and consistently provide excellent representation. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your MTA claim by calling (888) 888-8888 or filling out our online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of lawyer do I need to represent me after an MTA accident?

If you are looking to pursue compensation for your damages in an MTA accident lawsuit, look for a capable personal injury lawyer to represent your case. They deal with civil claims focused on reimbursing plaintiffs who have been injured by the negligent actions of another party.

How can tourists stay safe on the New York City subway?

Tourists planning to take the New York City subway should take precautions for their own safety. This includes concealing valuables, avoiding deserted subway cars and obscured areas of subway stations, and traveling during busier hours. Tourists should also be mindful of potential slip and fall hazards, as well as standing too close to the edge of the platform.

If you were injured in an out-of-state accident on a NYC bus or train, contacting a New York personal injury attorney is important because they will have knowledge of the relevant laws and procedures that will influence your claim.

How long do I have to file an MTA accident lawsuit to recover compensation?

If you have reason to believe that your injuries were caused by the negligence of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, you have 90 days to file a Notice of Claim that alerts the government of your intention to pursue a personal injury claim against it. Missing this deadline can render your claim ineligible, regardless of its merit.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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