Metro WMATA Subway Accidents

By Peter DePaolis

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is a transit service funded by the DC government. The WMATA oversees both the rapid transit service known as the “Metro” under the Metrorail brand and a fixed-route bus service under the Metrobus brand. While these mass transit systems are beneficial to residents and vacationers traveling in the DC metropolitan area, accidents involving buses and the subway can and do happen.

If you have been hurt in an accident involving the WMATA, a subway accident lawyer at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Our personal injury law firm has obtained many favorable verdicts and settlements for clients who were harmed in subway and bus accidents, including one settlement totaling over $2.3 million in damages for the wrongful death of a government worker.

What Can Cause a Metro Accident Train Derailment?

Millions of Washington, D.C. locals use the Metro to commute to school, work and to attend social functions each day. The Metro is also a good way for those visiting the DC area to travel, especially those who do not know the area well.

While the Metro usually runs smoothly and is able to deliver all its passengers to their destinations in a safe and timely manner, from time to time WMATA accidents and derailments occur. Some Metrorail derailments have even resulted in serious injuries and death to both train passengers and workers.

Causes of these public transportation accidents vary from case to case, but often involve the following issues:

  • Improperly switched lines
  • Faulty equipment
  • Fatigue on the operator’s behalf
  • Excessive speeds

Injuries sustained from a Metro accident can be extensive, and the large number of passengers, the inadequate number of seats and lack of safety restraining belts do not help matters.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Metrobus Accidents?

Like the Metrorail, the WMATA Metrobus service also provides city transportation to numerous residents and visitors of Washington, D.C. The WMATA bus transit system is among the busiest in the nation. Due to the amount of traffic in the DC area and more than 1,500 buses on the road, bus accidents are more common than Metro derailments and train collisions.

Many bus accidents in the Metro area have involved buses and their drivers:

  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Drifting between lanes
  • Improperly pulling over to the side of the road
  • Switching lanes without first signaling properly
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not driving cautiously enough in dangerous weather conditions

What If I am Injured at a Rail Station or by a Bus? Other WMATA Subway Accidents Injuries

In addition to passengers being hurt or killed in derailments or bus accidents, individuals can suffer injuries even before boarding a Metrorail train or bus. Other injuries in which the WMATA may be responsible for include those caused by:

Local Subway Accident Attorneys in DC Can Explain WMATA Injury Liability During Free Case Review

If you are injured in an accident on a Metrobus or on the Metro rapid transit, the WMATA may be liable. However, the WMATA is a self-regulating agency. It will conduct its own investigations regarding public transit accidents in the DC Metro area to try to limit its liability, or responsibility, to pay what you deserve for your damages. This is why it is very important that you retain a subway accident attorney near you for assistance if you have been injured in any WMATA subway accidents.

If you are in need of a personal injury attorney experienced with handling cases against the WMATA, the subway accident attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. may be able to help you file a claim. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case. This includes what our firm pays to investigate the crash on your behalf – you do not repay us if we do not secure compensation for you.

For a free consultation about your WMATA injury case, contact our attorneys online or call our office in DC.

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.