Visitor Question

I Slipped and Fell on Spilled Coffee While Walking on a Train…

Submitted By: Mike (Egg Harbor City, NJ)

I was walking through the cars on a public train toward the bathroom and slipped on a spilled cup of coffee and I really hurt my back.

Is there any way I be compensated for my injury?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Mike,

No doubt the public train is operated by a public authority in the city in which the accident occurred.

Most of the time when you are attempting to sue the city for personal injuries there is an administrative process that must be completed within 6 months of the injury (i.e. claim form to be completed and submitted).

You should contact the governing authority for the train you were riding and ask if there is an Administrative Claim Form to complete for an injury that occurred on their train; also ask whether you may file an incident report.

Be advised that suing city entities is difficult and many states have enacted immunity statutes to protect entities and their agencies from frivolous law suits.

For this reason, most cities require individuals to submit administrative claims to determine the propriety of cases very early on.

Whether they accept or deny your administrative claim does not preclude you from filing a lawsuit, however failure to follow administrative steps could.

Also understand that liability requires a legal theory; In this case, perhaps negligence would stick but in order to prevail, you would have to prove that the city owed you a duty, that they breached the duty by failing to clean a spill and that the injuries you suffered were proximately related to that breach.

Learn more here: Claims Against the Government

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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