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Massachusetts Subway & Transit Accidents

Experienced Boston Attorneys Fight for Victims of Subway and Transit Accidents

Determined legal team pursues full compensation

Massachusetts, and Boston in particular, relies heavily on mass transit. While buses, subways and light rail transportation are generally very safe, the combination of heavy equipment and the crush of ridership can result in accidents with serious injuries. If you’re hurt while riding public transportation, you face an uphill battle against a governmental entity determined to reduce your injury claim. Fortunately, you can rely on the experienced legal team at Feinberg & Alban, P.C. to pursue your case zealously to help you obtain the maximum possible recovery.

Recent legal changes affecting accident victims of MBTA negligence

A 2009 amendment to the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, MGL c. 258, sec. 2, brought the MBTA under the protection of that law. Now, the MBTA is a “public authority” covered by the Tort Claims Act. This has several implications. The most important is that sec. 2, at first blush, permits a recovery of only $100,000. However, where the MBTA is concerned, the law will allow for a recovery in excess of $100,000 if the claim is for “serious bodily injury.” Another change in the law is that pre-judgment interest can no longer be collected against the MBTA.

A crucial change brought about by the 2009 amendment, and one that is consumer-friendly, is that the statute of limitations against the MBTA has been extended to three years.  This comports with the statute of limitations for almost all injury claims. Previously, the statute of limitations against the MBTA was two years, an anomaly in the law, which trapped many an experienced lawyer. That two year statute of limitations could not be avoided by adding a contract claim against the common carrier. See Thomas v. MBTA, 389 Mass. 408 (1983). Contract claims carry a six-year statute of limitations. In any event, this is no longer a concern. Bear in mind, that under M.G.L. c. 258, notice must be given prior to filing suit. Significantly, the notice must be directed to the executive officer of the MBTA within two years of the accident and prior to filing suit.

Injury scenarios on Massachusetts public transit

We’ve all seen frightening videos of out-of-control subway trains plowing into stations and causing terrible destruction, personal injury and wrongful death. Major accidents occur when equipment fails or an operator exhibits misconduct. Derailments and collisions can result from:

  • Track fatigue due to poor maintenance
  • Faulty signals
  • Vehicles on tracks at train crossings
  • Operators speeding
  • Operators running signals
  • Operator distractions, such as cellphone use
  • Operator fatigue or intoxication

Robert Feinberg will soon be publishing four video blogs on a recent case involving the MBTA, Fyffe v. MBTA, No. 13-P-186. The Appeals Court set aside a verdict for the plaintiff of $1.228 million dollars. The case arose from a serious collision in 2009 when the operator of a trolley caused a collision because he was texting while operating. It was such a case of clear negligence that the defendant MBTA stipulated to liability. The Appeals Court was so troubled about improper conduct by the plaintiff’s attorney in the course of the trial that it set aside the verdict. While this case has broader applicability than just concerning a common carrier, the plaintiff’s counsel made frequent references to the MBTA’s duties in operating its trains. The plaintiff’s attorney overreached. When trying a case against the MBTA, many proper points can be raised without running afoul of evidentiary rules and judicial admonitions.

While train derailments grab headlines, such devastating accidents are rare. More common mass transit accidents include:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents on station stairways and platforms
  • Falls when detraining or stepping down from a bus
  • Sudden movement or abrupt stop of train or bus
  • Pedestrian or bicyclist struck by bus

There are numerous possible reasons for these types of accidents. Poor maintenance of stations, especially in inclement weather, can allow debris, snow and ice to accumulate, causing preventable falls. General principles of injury law apply in those instances such that the entity in control must have a reasonable opportunity to maintain the property. An operator’s failure to hold a bus or train in position while passengers exit and enter can cause injury. Of course, operator error can result in collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians.

A proven law firm working to build your case

Transit accidents are often complicated, and the rules for presenting a claim against a government entity differ from those governing lawsuits between private parties, as we have seen with the MBTA’s relatively recent inclusion in Chapter 258. To succeed, you need capable, experience legal representation. At Feinberg & Alban, our attorneys have an impressive track record in complex injury litigation. We have the resources necessary to take on a government entity and present a compelling case for full compensation.

Take the first step to recover for your transit accident – Call today!

If you or your loved one has been injured  in a transit accident, Feinberg & Alban, P.C. is prepared to serve you in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Our legal team can provide reliable advice on the best steps for obtaining compensation for your injuries and loss. Call 617-232-5950 or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • "Robert was so accommodating to the special circumstances of our case and our family.He came to our home for meetings,for our convenience. He kept us informed and prepared for all stages of the process. He was always reachable and responsive. Robert worked tireless for us and towards the best possible outcome. Our case was recently settled for what Robert anticipated. I cannot imagine a more positive experience. I would choose Robert all over again."

  • "Colleen Santora was very attentive to my needs throughout the duration of my cases. Additionally, she was very effective in communicating with me regarding any issues that came up or any questions that I had. I felt that Colleen was truly on my side, and this greatly decreased the level of stress that I felt during the duration of my cases. I am very happy with the results that Colleen was able to achieve for me, and I highly recommend her for those seeking legal counsel in the Boston area."

  • "Robert Feinberg and Colleen Santora represented me in a case that lasted almost four years. They showed consistently superior professionalism, skill, and knowledge throughout the process, and worked tirelessly with persistence and patience to achieve an excellent settlement. Moreover, they placed a high degree of importance on ethical behavior and honest communication. I recommend them and the firm unequivocally."

  • "My Family contacted Feinberg & Alban after my mother was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. She suffered a life threating brain hemorrhage, a broken neck, and will be affected by traumatic brain injury symptoms for the rest of her life. Thanks to the efforts of Robert and his team my mother was accepted as a patient by the best neurological doctors and health care professionals in the state of Massachusetts. Ultimately Robert was able to negotiate a very favorable settlement for my mother. I would highly recommend Feinberg & Alban to anyone with a personal injury case."

  • "So glad that Feinberg & Alban were recommended to me after I was injured in a car accident. I'd never been in an accident before, didn't know what to do, didn't know how to deal with the insurance companies, didn't know what to expect with the process. Fortunately, Marsha Alban is experienced, knowledgeable and excellent at her job. She put me at ease right away, and explained the options I had. Throughout the process, Marsha and her team handled everything, keeping me apprised along the way. I'm pleased with the outcome and happy that I had Feinberg and Alban on my side."

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