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The Hidden Dangers of NJ Transit

New Jersey Transit is a primary source of transportation for many commuters in New Jersey and the New York City area. The mass transit system carries more than 300,000 people every day and over 95,000 people to Manhattan alone. The NJ Transit Authority has a legal duty to maintain its trains and buses adequately to ensure the safety of riders, transit workers, motorists and pedestrians.

But federal inspectors have found scores of New Jersey Transit train cars riddled with fire risks, faulty brakes and electrical hazards as they scrutinized the system, according to a recent Bloomberg news report. Poor maintenance and disrepair have led to conditions that could make an NJ Transit injury more likely.

One engine was so defective it was declared unsafe, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act. In some cases, NJ Transit’s own checks failed to identify faults brought to light a day or two later by Federal Railroad Administration officials.

Riders have complained for years about the conditions of the trains, but until a few years ago, their complaints fell on deaf ears. A series of safety and equipment failures led federal inspectors to take a closer look at the transit system’s equipment starting and conduct more frequent tests of the transit system.

Federal inspectors reported 787 rules violations on the NJ Transit trains and property from January through September 2017. Of those 42 percent involved safety issues and 22 percent involved equipment brakes. Inspectors found more than 140 dangerous issues with the floors and passages in passenger cars. It would be easy for a passenger to suffer a trip and fall injury in these conditions.

NJ Transit says it has addressed many of the issues raised by inspectors.

People who are injured on an NJ Transit bus, on a train or in a transit station may be legally entitled to seek compensation if their injuries were caused by neglect on the part of the transit authority or transit employees. But special rules apply to suing public entities such as the NJ Transit Authority.

Any individual who is injured in an accident involving NJ Transit must notify the NJ Transit Authority of the injuries within 90 days by completing a Tort Claim notice. If the notice is not properly filed within the time allowed, the claim may be dismissed. An attorney at DSS law can review your accident and help you file an appropriate claim notice. Some buses are owned and leased by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Normally, in New Jersey,  there is a two-year Statute of Limitations to bring a claim for personal injury, but the law is different for claims against the Port Authority of NY & NJ. A person has only one (1) year to sue for their injuries.

If you suffer an NJ Transit accident injury, take the following steps immediately to protect yourself and your legal rights:

  • Get medical attention and evaluation as soon as you can. An accurate and thorough understanding of your injuries is vital for a claim.
  • If you can, document the scene by taking photos and collecting witness information.
  • Give notice to the operator that you were injured.
  • Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands public transportation laws in NJ and can help develop your claim. Claims against government entities can be difficult. Working with a highly qualified lawyer will improve your chances of receiving a just recovery.

NJ Transit Injury Lawyers Can Help You Recover

The NJ Transit system is full of problems that could harm you and your family. At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., our lawyers have experience handling NJ Transit injury claims. We know how to build your claim and fight for just compensation for accident victims.

We serve all of New Jersey including Newark and Jersey City. We are also proud to represent people living in New York and the New York City area. If you, or someone you love, has been involved in a New Jersey Transit accident injury, contact us today for a free consultation.