DC Metro Accidents: Three Things You Should Do if You’re Injured

By Peter DePaolis

The WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) oversees the Metrobus and the light rail transit service (the Metrorail). The agency was created by the governments of Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Approximately 600,000 people use the Metrorail system each day in DC. The WMATA is the second busiest transit system in the country.

Unfortunately, there are many issues and problems with the transit system that puts riders at risk for injuries. Victims and their families may face a complex and challenging legal process to recover compensation for damages. Our DC Metro accident attorney represents victims who have been injured in a DC metro accident.

What Causes DC Metro Accidents?

The age of the system and allegations of failure to maintain the system are two of the reasons why some Metro passengers are injured or wrongfully killed in DC Metro accidents.

Other causes of metro accidents include:

  • Operator error, inattention, and fatigue
  • Faulty equipment
  • Excessive speed
  • Operators under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Faulty elevators
  • Derailments
  • Trains collide and collisions between trains and other objects
  • Poorly maintained waiting areas and stations
  • Inadequate lighting in stations, trains, and buses
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Lack of warning signs or directional signs
  • Improperly switched lines

Many other factors could contribute to a DC Metro accident. Identifying each factor and the responsible parties is essential if you want to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the cause of your injury to determine who is liable for your damages.

Three Things You Should Know About DC Metro Accidents

Accidents involving the WMATA or the Metrorail or buses can result in substantial damages. Individuals may incur high medical bills and lose a great deal of income while recovering from their injuries. The pain and suffering caused by a DC Metro accident can be debilitating. 

If you want to recover fair compensation for your damages, you need to know these three things about DC Metro Accidents:

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Injuries

Delays in medical care could hurt your case. The WMATA may use a delay in medical treatment to allege that the DC Metro accident was not the cause of your injury. It may allege that had you been injured, you would have sought prompt medical treatment.

Proving that you sustained injuries is an essential factor in a DC Metro accident claim. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

2. Filing Deadlines and Procedures Are Different From Other Accident Cases

You are filing a claim against a government agency. Therefore, the filing deadlines and procedures are different from other personal injury cases. The WMATA operates in Virginia, DC, and Maryland. The procedures for filing claims in each jurisdiction may differ.

In most cases, you must report the injury and file a notice of claim with the appropriate state agency within a few months after the accident. It is best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing a deadline and losing the right to pursue a legal claim for damages. 

3. Accident Investigations Can Be Time-Consuming and Costly

Accidents involving the Metrorail or WMATA buses involve lengthy government investigations. You do not want to rely on a government investigation to prove that the WMATA is responsible for your injuries and damages. However, independent investigations can be costly and time-consuming.

Hiring a lawyer may be in your best interest. A lawyer has the resources, time, and knowledge necessary to conduct a thorough accident investigation. Your lawyer has access to experts and resources that you might not be able to access yourself. 

Contact Our DC Metro Accident Attorney for More Information 

We understand the complexities of personal injury cases involving the Metrorail and buses. Please schedule a consultation with our DC Metro accident attorney for a free case review. Learn more about your legal rights and the process of seeking compensation for damages after a DC Metro accident. Contact our office today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.