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Metro & Subway Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Congratulations on discovering the best accident attorney and resource, if you were injured on a metro or subway in Los Angeles, CA. 

Subway and Metro accidents

Although the metro and subway are much safer than a car, they do have very huge, costly incidents that result in much more injuries and infrastructure damage. At J&Y Law, our team of experienced and accredited personal injury lawyers have over 50 years combined experience handling legal matters that are complex and are perfect for navigating you through these complexities if you ever find yourself injured from a metro or subway. 

What kind of accidents happen on a metro or subway?

Metro or subway accidents can vary in nature and severity, ranging from minor incidents to major disasters. Here are some examples of accidents that can occur in metro or subway systems:

1. Collisions Between Trains: This is one of the most serious types of accidents, which can happen from signal failures, human error, or technical malfunctions.

2. Derailments: Trains can come off the tracks for various reasons, including track defects, excessive speed, or obstructions on the track.

3. Electrical Fires or Overheating: Electrical systems such as third rails and overhead lines can cause fires or overheating. This leads to accidents and potential evacuations.

4. Platform Incidents: These include accidents where passengers fall onto the tracks. Accidental or due to overcrowding.

5. Door Malfunctions: Malfunctioning train doors can trap or injure passengers as they try to enter or exit the train.

6. Tunnel Incidents: These could include water ingress, fires, or structural failures within the tunnel system.

7. Signal Failures or Malfunctions: Signal systems are crucial for safe train operations. Malfunctions can lead to miscommunication and potential accidents.

8. Mechanical Failures of the Train: This can include brake failures, engine problems, or other mechanical issues that might cause a train to stop suddenly or malfunction in some other way.

9. Terrorist Attacks or Sabotage: Although rare, metros and subways can be targets for terrorist attacks or acts of sabotage.

10. Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, floods, or other natural disasters can significantly impact subway systems, leading to accidents or system failures.

It’s important to note that metro systems worldwide generally have a strong focus on safety, with multiple systems in place to prevent accidents. However, due to the complexity and high usage of these systems, accidents can still occur.

Examples of metro and subway accidents that have happened in Los Angeles, CA

The history of metro and subway accidents in Los Angeles, particularly related to the Blue Line, reveals a range of incidents that have posed significant safety challenges over the years. The Blue Line, being the most heavily ridden of the three light rail lines operated by Metro, has unfortunately experienced several serious accidents. Below we will explain these accidents and in the remaining article explain ways to prevent them from happening in the future. 

From its inception in the early 1990s through June 2009, there have been 842 accidents involving the Blue Line. These incidents include collisions between the train and vehicles, as well as incidents where pedestrians were hit by the train. In terms of fatalities, there have been 99 deaths associated with the Blue Line in this period. These fatalities comprise 26 motorists killed in collisions with the train, 51 pedestrians struck and killed, and 22 individuals who died in incidents ruled as suicides.

One of the most tragic accidents occurred in 1999 when a drunk driver in a gypsy cab tried to outrun a Blue Line train, resulting in a collision that killed six people in the taxi. This incident highlights the dangers posed by reckless behavior near train tracks.

Despite these troubling statistics, it’s important to note that the overall rate of accidents has declined over the years. This decline is attributed to various safety improvements implemented by Metro, including enhanced crossing gates, improved visibility of trains, pedestrian gates at several crossings, and increased public education and enforcement measures.

Metro’s approach to safety, which they term the “3 E’s” – engineering, enforcement, and education – aims to continually improve the safety of the rail system. This includes retrofitting the Blue Line with additional safety features and conducting studies to further enhance pedestrian safety.

Overall, while the Blue Line and other Metro services in Los Angeles have faced significant safety challenges, ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure and public awareness continue to enhance the safety and reliability of the system.

Ways they have improved the Blue Line metro in Los Angeles to make it safer?

Metro has implemented several safety improvements on the Blue Line in Los Angeles to enhance its safety for passengers, motorists, and pedestrians. These improvements include:

1. Four-Quadrant Crossing Gates: These gates have been installed at six intersections to provide better control of vehicle and pedestrian traffic at crossings.

2. Reduced Fence Height Along Tracks: Lowering the height of fencing along the tracks improves the visibility for train operators, allowing them to see cross-traffic more clearly.

3. Installation of a ‘Cyclops’ Light on Trains: This light improves the visibility of the trains, making them more noticeable to pedestrians and motorists.

4. Pedestrian Gates at Crossings: These gates have been added at several crossings to enhance pedestrian safety.

5. L.E.D. ‘TRAIN’ Signs: These signs have been installed to deter motorists from making illegal left turns in front of the train and running red lights.

6. Photo Enforcement Cameras: These cameras have been deployed along the Blue Line route to detect and deter illegal crossings at train tracks.

7. Warning Lights Embedded in Roadways: These lights are tested to warn motorists not to make illegal turns in front of the train.

8. Potential Installation of Pedestrian Swing Gates: Metro is studying the feasibility of adding swing gates at more locations to remind pedestrians to be alert when crossing the tracks.

9. Continuous Retrofitting with Additional Safety Features: The Blue Line continues to be upgraded with additional safety features as part of an ongoing effort to enhance safety.

At J&Y Law Firm, we recommend seeking professional legal advice if you have been in a Metro or Subway accident in Los Angeles, CA. For further guidance or to discuss your specific case, contact J&Y Law Firm at (877) 426-6580, and our team of experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.