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MTA train delays and injuries: What recourse do riders have?

Photo of Harlan Thompson

As New York City subway riders, we've all experienced MTA train delays that involve waiting endlessly in a station (or even leaving to take a bus or walk home), having to get off a train that goes out of service, or getting stuck on a train in between stops. These time-killing episodes are just an annoying part of life -- usually.

But what about train problems that actually lead to people getting hurt? What can you and your family you do when a subway situation extends beyond inconvenience into actual danger and injuries?

Real subway injuries

Each year, many MTA riders are hurt in the subway system. Some experience circumstances where:

  • Being trapped on a train causes a serious medical event like a heart attack or seizure
  • A power outage (which can affecting lighting, heating or cooling) in a stalled train exacerbates an existing medical condition
  • MTA customers have to exit a train in a dark tunnel and get hurt while getting off or while walking on the tracks
  • A train malfunction or derailment causes severe injuries from falls or from the impact of a collision

Steps you can take

Everyone knows that train delays can be frustrating. But injuries can be expensive, disruptive and debilitating. If you or someone in your family was hurt in the subway system, you can:

  • Document what happened -- record the date, time, exact location and circumstances.
  • Use your phone to photograph the scene and any injuries you may have.
  • Get names and contact information from witnesses.
  • Get proper medical care as soon as possible.
  • Talk to an experienced attorney about your legal rights.

Every situation is different. Err on the side of caution and get the help you need if you or one of your family members was hurt.


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