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Woman Sues for Accident that Led to Losing her Legs

April 20 2020

A tourist who lost her legs in a horrific train accident intends to sue, reports the New York Post. The woman, Visaya Hoffie from Australia, fell a month ago on the Path train tracks after tripping in the 14th Street station early in the morning. A seven-car train ran over her, which resulted in the necessary amputation of her legs.

The victim has already sued in court and alleges that the Port Authority, the MTA, and the city were all responsible for the accident due to negligence. According to the victim’s affidavit filed in court, she was left on the train tracks for a length of time after the first accident, which caused her to be hit a second time by another train that arrived at the station 20 minutes later.

According to the legal complaint, the safety measures at the train station did not kick in as expected. For example, trains are equipped with sensors that are supposed to identify something on the tracks, but the plaintiff alleges that they were not working as intended.

In addition to losing her legs, the victim suffered a head injury and a spinal fracture. The victim is also seeking evidence in the form of video or photographs from the government agencies to help build her case.

What Is Negligence? Will Her Case Succeed?

Ms. Hoffie is suing under the legal theory of negligence, which is a common legal theory when someone is injured in a building. Government officials owe the public certain duties, one of which is to use adequate care to prevent foreseeable injuries. If the government fails to, and a member of the public is injured, then the government can be sued.

Negligence is hard to prove, however. It is not enough that the victim has suffered an injury. He or she must also prove that a reasonably careful person would not have made the same mistake that led to the accident.

This is why the victims’ complaint has identified malfunctioning sensors and other errors as contributing to her accident. If the safety measures failed to work as expected, then this is some evidence the government was not careful.

Whether Ms. Hoffie’s case succeeds depends on the facts as they are developed. She has made a strong series of allegations in her legal complaint, but now her attorney needs to gather the necessary facts to prove she has legal grounds for compensation.

Suing the Government is Difficult

Generally, the state of New York and its municipalities enjoy immunity from lawsuits. Fortunately, New York allows victims to sue if they were injured by an employee’s negligence, and this is the theory that Ms. Hoffie is pursuing.

The government has many advantages, including almost limitless resources to defend itself. There are also procedural rules that victims must follow before they can haul a government agency into court. Any misstep can result in a court dismissing a case, so hiring a seasoned attorney is the best bet, whether you were injured in a train accident or by another mode of public transportation.

Call a New York City Premises Liability Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Before filing a lawsuit or making a legal claim, contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman. We will ensure you meet all deadlines and obtain as much useful information as possible. Call us at 212-285-3300 or reach out to us using this contact form.