As delays for MTA Long Island Railroad project mount, so do injuries

New York's Mass Transit Authority has faced numerous questions regarding its safety culture.

Work continues on the planned connection of the Long Island Rail Road to the Grand Central Terminal after a near-strike was averted in July. The two sides brokered an agreement with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo just three days before a planned strike would have halted work on the rail. Union workers will receive raises of 17 percent over the next half a dozen years. Initially, the MTA had demanded a three-year wage freeze for all LIRR workers. However, union workers will now contribute to health care and pension costs.

Originally conceived in 2006, the LIRR project was supposed to be completed by 2013 and cost just over $6 billion. The most recent estimate anticipates the cost of the project to exceed $10 billion and may take until 2023 to finish. The project is the largest infrastructure investment being undertaken in the U.S. Eventually, the new rail will service in excess of 150,000 people daily.

Safety of passengers, workers questioned

In the meanwhile, however, the safety mass transit in New York City has come under question. Throughout 2013 and 2014, a series of accidents and scathing reviews of the safety culture of the Mass Transit Authority has led to many to question whether the Transit Authority is doing all it can for the safety of its passengers and workers. The most recent worker fatality occurred on March 11, 2014, when an MTA worker was struck and killed by a train in East Harlem. According to The New York Times, this was the "latest in a string of devastating accidents" that occurred over the previous year.

It is not just workers who are in danger, however. In 2013, MTA implemented new safety measures after a deadly derailment in the Bronx killed several passengers and injured dozens more. The train was headed to Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal when several cars tore off from the tracks.

Help after suffering an injury

While the increase in pay is good news for workers, dangers remain. Construction injuries are all too common during MTA projects. Bus and rail injuries also occur frequently. Fortunately, there is help for people who are injured through rail and bus accidents.

Workers are eligible for workers compensation for their injuries, whether they were partially at fault for the injury or not. A workers compensation claim is a form of insurance that allows injured workers to recover medical expenses and lost wages without having to take an employer to court.

Passengers and riders who are injured through no fault of their own can recover money damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Mass Transit in New York helps millions of commuters daily. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. People who have been injured because of involvement in a mass transit accident or construction project should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss legal options.

Keywords: Mass transit accidents, workers' compensation, personal injury, bus accident.