The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is a staple in the daily lives of thousands in the Greater Boston area. Residents expect to be able to travel on the T and other MBTA vehicles to get around town safely.
Unfortunately, disturbing accidents can still occur, as the experience of the late Mr. Robinson Lalin demonstrates. Learn more about his tragedy and what you can do after a fatal MBTA accident.
Coping With Tragedy on the Tracks
Despite modern safety technology and practices, hundreds of injuries and a couple of fatalities occur yearly during MBTA travel. Recently, Mr. Lalin died when a door on a Red Line train at the Broadway station trapped his arm. The train dragged him over 100 feet, and he ended up lying lifeless near the tracks.
Subway trains usually have safety mechanisms that should keep them from running if anything blocks a door. An investigation found that Mr. Lalin’s subway car had a problem with the control system, which allowed the operator to start driving the train despite the door catching his arm.
Mr. Lalin’s family has filed a lawsuit that asserts the MBTA did not do enough to maintain the train, monitor the station or assist Mr. Lalin at the time of the incident. They seek compensation for Mr. Lalin’s pain and suffering, as well as damages and legal costs.
Of course, the public hopes that the MBTA can correct any related issues and ensure no one suffers from such a tragedy again. If a situation like Mr. Lalin’s occurs in the future, a victim’s family should be aware of what they can do to pursue justice.
Filing a Report
If you witness an emergency or accident on the T or another form of MBTA travel, the first thing to do is to contact the authorities or ensure someone else does. You can report the incident by calling 911 or the MBTA Transit Police at 617-222-1212.
When authorities arrive, they will take over the investigation. The scene may be chaotic, so officials can get things under control and help preserve evidence for an official account of the event.
You can help your case by providing as much information as possible, including the number of the transport vehicle, location, time and nature of the accident. Offer as many details as you can without saying anything to assign blame to the injured party.
Contacting an Attorney
The hassle and stress of a fatal accident will likely overwhelm any victim’s family. The aftermath usually leaves people in shock and distress.
Anyone who suffers an injury on an MBTA vehicle has three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. For a wrongful death, the time starts counting from when the victim died or when the deceased’s personal representative becomes aware of the cause of death. However, the family has two years to file a claim with the responsible agency.
Working with an attorney can assist you in not delaying too long in submitting the appropriate paperwork for a claim and a lawsuit. Also, your attorney helps you take sufficient time to gather evidence and build a strong case before filing suit.
Remember, you do not have to rush to file your claim. Consider the case of Mr. Lalin’s family. Though the accident occurred in April 2022, the family representatives were able to file a suit nearly a year later. Your lawyer can help you determine the ideal timeline for taking legal action.
Additionally, the guidance of an attorney is beneficial when the family is mentally and emotionally distraught. In such times, it’s easy to make rash decisions. An attorney helps you pursue maximum compensation and protect your rights in challenging moments.
If you are on the scene at the time of the accident, you can make notes about the incident or take photos if you are physically and mentally capable. If you are unable or were not at the scene, try to gather details from witnesses and official reports.
Request a copy of the accident report and check any other reporting or online accounts. Individuals nearby may have posted information or images on social media.
Buses and subway cars should have surveillance video you can request. A competent lawyer can help you secure these pieces of evidence and help you interview any witnesses and first responders.
The key to gaining compensation depends on interpreting the evidence and establishing liability. Transportation officials may try to claim negligence or improper action on your deceased loved one’s part, so you need facts to counteract such assertions.
You must also discern whether another individual or entity was responsible for the death and could be liable. For example, did someone push or attack the victim, leading to the accident and death? Was the incident due to operator error, or was there a mechanical failure that may require suing an equipment manufacturer?
Furthermore, if your loved one was an employee of the MBTA or on an assignment from work while traveling, you might need to handle wrongful death claims through workers’ compensation insurance. Work with your attorney to figure out all parties who bear responsibility.
The loss of your loved one is not only emotionally devastating but also brings a negative financial impact on the family. You lose the earnings and support of a loved one and have to cover medical, funeral, and burial expenses. The cost of caring for your psychological health after the event may be another burden.
An MBTA accident lawyer can work with you to establish the cost of monetary damages as well as noneconomic damages for your pain and suffering or that of your loved one during the accident. No amount of money can replace a family member, but the law offers you options to ease a portion of the loss.
Contacting Jason Stone Injury Lawyers for Help After a Fatal MBTA Accident
Assistance is available for securing compensation for the financial and emotional losses that occur if a loved one has a fatal accident on the MBTA due to another person’s negligence. Call Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. Our team of experienced lawyers helps families navigate the legal process after a tragedy with compassionate guidance and steady support.