Issues with the Baltimore Metro subway system are far from uncommon as it’s one of the country’s least reliable transit systems. If you have been injured in an accident, it’s crucial to contact an experienced Baltimore Metro accident lawyer as soon as possible to pursue the fair compensation you deserve.
William G. Kolodner, P.A. has represented injury victims in Baltimore for more than 40 years. Contact our Baltimore office to schedule a free consultation, you can give us a call at (410) 837-2144 to speak with an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help with a Metro Accident Case in Baltimore
Tens of thousands of residents rely on the Baltimore Metro Subway for safe and efficient transportation around the city. What happens when you are left seriously injured in an accident caused by poor maintenance, unsafe practices, or negligent operators?
Recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries can be an uphill battle. The MTA’s investigation of your accident may take a year or longer. Your injuries may be downplayed and the MTA or an insurance company may try to shift blame onto you.
At William G. Kolodner, P.A., our skilled lawyers have a combined 100 years of experience serving as advocates for our clients. We are here to help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve. We are not afraid to go up against government entities, insurance companies, and major corporations to seek the full compensation you deserve under Maryland law.
When you hire William G. Kolodner, P.A. to represent you, you can count on us to:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to find out how and why it happened
- Work with experts to ensure we gather the strongest evidence of liability and the extent of your injuries
- Handle administrative tasks including submitting a claim letter to the MTA and handling court filings
- Negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies
While most personal injury cases are settled out of court, we are not afraid to take your case before a jury if we cannot reach a fair settlement. Our Baltimore motor vehicle accident lawyers have decades of experience presenting strong cases to juries and we have recovered significant settlements and jury awards for our clients.
Contact William G. Kolodner, P.A. today to find out how a personal injury lawyer in Baltimore is prepared to fight for you.
Baltimore Metro Statistics and Facts
Public transit, especially trains and subway systems, is considered one of the safest ways to travel. You rely on the Metro to get to work and travel around the city, but accidents are more common than you may believe. Rapid transit trains can derail, strike pedestrians and vehicles on the track, suffer electrical arcing or mechanical failure, or experience a critical system malfunction.
The Metro SubwayLink, also known as the Baltimore Metro or the Metro Subway, is a rapid transit system serving Greater Baltimore. Operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), the section of line in the central part of the city is underground while most of the rest is at surface grade or elevated.
There are 14 Metro SubwayLink stations with an estimated 18,000 riders on the average weekday. The Baltimore metro travels at speeds of up to 70 mph with trains drawing power from an electric third rail.
Metro cars are 75 feet long and attached in pairs with up to 6-car trains, each car holding up to 166 passengers.
According to the Federal Transit Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration’s transit systems, including the Baltimore Metro, break down more than any other major transit system in the U.S. The 15.4-mile Baltimore Metro Subway system with just one line and no new stations added since 1995 had 29 major breakdowns per 100,000 revenue miles in 2018. Washington’s six-line Metrorail system, by comparison, covers 117 miles and had just 5 major breakdowns.
In 2018, the MTA infamously shut down the Baltimore Metro system unexpectedly for an entire month when a routine inspection found large sections of the track were too worn for safe operation. The condition of the track was bad enough, especially at curves, that there was a risk of derailment when traveling at normal speeds.
At the time, the MTA released safety reports showing the tracks had not met safety standards since 2016. The union representing MTA drivers had repeatedly raised concerns about the safety of the rail since 2015.
What Causes Baltimore Metro Accidents?
Baltimore Metro accidents can occur for many reasons. Sometimes accidents are caused by poor maintenance, operator error, or defective parts. They can also be caused by vehicle drivers on the track. Some of the most common causes of Baltimore Metro Subway accidents include:
- Metro cars that are poorly maintained or defective
- Metro rail track that is not properly maintained or repaired
- Metro operator who is fatigued or distracted
- Drunk driving
- Defective warning system at crossings
- Vehicle drivers on the tracks
If you have been injured in a Metro accident in Baltimore, our auto accident attorneys are here to help. We will investigate your accident to determine how it occurred and who is liable for the injuries you have sustained.
Can You Sue the Maryland Transit Administration for Injuries in a Metro Accident?
When there is an accident involving the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink, the Maryland Transit Administration may be liable. Depending on the circumstances, other parties may also share liability including defective product manufacturers, maintenance companies, and other government agencies.
The Baltimore Metro system is operated by the MTA which, by operating a public transit system, owes a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of passengers. This includes:
- Hiring experienced and qualified operators
- Hiring experienced, trained maintenance staff and technicians
- Providing adequate training and supervision
- Performing repairs promptly
- Performing necessary maintenance
- Reviewing and making necessary updates to safety procedures
- Conducting routine safety inspections of rail tracks
Under Maryland Code, Transportation 7-702, there are specific rules that must be followed. This is because suing the government or a government entity falls under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. Tort claims have shorter statutes of limitations and require specific notifications prior to filing a lawsuit.
Before suing the MTA or an MTA employee, you must deliver a letter to the MTA stating why you believe the MTA or an employee was negligent and responsible for your injury. This claim letter must include:
- A description of your injury
- A statement about when, where, and how it occurred
- The address and name of people involved in the accident
- A demand for specific damages
- Your attorney’s contact information
- Your contact information and signature
You have a 1-year deadline to send this claim letter to the MTA. If you file a lawsuit without sending this claim letter, the MTA may have a valid defense to your claim.
After filing your claim letter, the MTA should investigate your accident as if they were an insurance company. You can still file a lawsuit once this claim letter has been sent to the MTA. It’s generally advised to file a lawsuit if you are close to the 3-year statute of limitations or the MTA is taking too long in its investigation.
Compensation for Injuries in a Baltimore Metro Crash
While the Maryland Tort Claims Act limits the damages the government can be required to pay for personal injury claims, there is no cap on the amount the MTA may be required to claim. If your case is successful, there are two broad types of compensation you can recover: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those with a clear financial value, even if they are difficult to quantify in the case of future lost earnings and medical bills. Common economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, including anticipated future medical bills associated with your injury. This includes all reasonable medical expenses like surgery, hospitalization, physician visits, follow-up care, medication, physical therapy, and medical devices.
- Lost income for time you had to take off work after your accident
- Reduced or lost future earning capacity if you are unable to return to work after the accident with a temporary or permanent disability
- Lost employment benefits like paid vacation
Non-economic damages are harder to define. These damages can include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
While there is no cap on economic damages, Maryland law limits non-economic damages to $875,000.
If you lost a loved one in a Baltimore Metro accident, you may also bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the MTA or another at-fault party. A wrongful death claim can help you recover damages including funeral expenses, the financial support your loved one would have provided, and loss of consortium.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim After a Baltimore Metro Accident
There is a strict 3-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in Maryland. This also applies to Metro SubwayLink injury claims. However, claims against the MTA have an additional deadline to keep in mind: you must send a claim letter to the MTA within 1 year of your accident or your lawsuit may be dismissed.
While this deadline may seem like a long time, it’s crucial to begin building your case as soon as possible. If you delay in pursuing your claim, valuable evidence may be lost. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a time-consuming and complex accident reconstruction and investigation may also be needed.
Do not delay; contact William G. Kolodner, P.A. as soon as possible to begin building your accident claim to seek the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Baltimore Metro Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Have you suffered serious injuries in an auto accident in Baltimore that involved an MTA vehicle? Whether you were a pedestrian, driver, or Metro passenger, you may have a claim to recover compensation for your injuries. When your bus accident or truck accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not be responsible for the financial burden of your injuries.
William G. Kolodner, P.A. has spent more than 40 years defending injury victims in Greater Baltimore. Contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule a free case review with an experienced Metro accident lawyer in Baltimore, MD who can help you explore your rights. You pay nothing unless we recover for you.