Your SEPTA Accident Lawyers in Pennsylvania
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SEPTA Accidents & Compensation
SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) is the 6th largest public transit authority per ridership in the country. It serves 5 million riders with over 100 stations in the five counties surrounding Philadelphia (Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, and Philadelphia). WIth SEPTA’s expansive system of subway, bus, trolley, and train routes, taking public transportation is convenient for most commuters in the Philadelphia area.
Many Pennsylvanians use SEPTA every day to save on gas, protect their vehicles from wear and tear, and avoid parking hassles. As a “common carrier,” SEPTA has the responsibility of providing safe transportation in well-maintained vehicles to its riders. After all, we all are putting our lives and possessions in the hands of a SEPTA driver or operator twice (or more) a day.
Our SEPTA accident attorneys have experience cutting through all the red tape, leaping the hurdles the government puts in front of those injured in SEPTA accidents, navigating the complex and nuanced web of applicable state and local laws, and getting victims of SEPTA accidents paid. You want our experience on your side – call us to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
I Was in a SEPTA Bus Accident, What Do I Do?
If you are not too seriously injured, you should document the accident by gathering the following information:
- The bus number
- The name of the driver or operator
- The license plate and driver information of any other vehicles involved, if any
- Witness and other victim contact details
- Weather conditions at the time
- Photograph the scene of the accident (can be done with your cel phone)
- Photograph any visible bruises or cuts you sustained in the accident
Complete the SEPTA Accident Incident Card
If not given one voluntarily, ask the SEPTA driver or operator for a form called an “incident card.” You will fill this out and give the SEPTA driver a copy. SEPTA will use this copy if you decide to file a claim for compensation for your injuries. Keep your copy with the rest of the information you’ve gathered and the photographs you’ve taken.
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Seek Medical Attention after a SEPTA Accident
If you have been injured on SEPTA property or by a SEPTA bus, trolley, subway, regional rail, elevated train or a paratransit vehicle, you must go to the emergency room or visit your doctor right away even if it doesn’t seem necessary to treat your injuries at the time. Injuries that seem minor or inconsequential at first are often masked by the adrenaline of the moment, and are much more serious than they seem.
Your medical records will play a vital part in your case, so it is important to have any injuries from the SEPTA accident documented. Keep that documentation with the other information you’ve gathered.
How Can I Sue SEPTA?
The law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania governs SEPTA. Under that law, SEPTA is a public entity that has some protection from accident lawsuits under the Sovereign Immunity Act. This Act puts a cap (i.e., upper limit) on damages that can be awarded for a SEPTA driver or vehicle accident or an accident on SEPTA property.
Currently an injured victim of a SEPTA accident can collect only up to $250,000 for a claim. Worse, there is a $1 million cap per accident, no matter how many victims there are. For this reason you must file your claim as soon as you can, because once that $1 million is gone (meaning, four other injured people filed a claim with SEPTA before you did), there is no money left for you.
How Do I File a Claim with SEPTA for Compensation for Injuries?
Here are three essential things you need to know about filing a claim with SEPTA, besides the fact that you must do it as soon as you can following the accident:
- You only have six months after the date of the accident to file Notice against SEPTA that you are filing a claim for damages from an accident. This Notice should include:
- Your name and home address,
- Your intent to file a claim for compensation,
- Information regarding the date, time, and location of the SEPTA bus accident, and
- Your doctor’s contact information.
- SEPTA is a common carrier and is protected under the “Jerk and Jolt Doctrine.” This means that SEPTA is afforded a level of protection for the normal amount of jerks and jolts, or rather, the routine but unexpected acceleration, deceleration, or turns experienced on a SEPTA bus or trolley ride. The burden of proof is on the victim to show that there were “extraordinary” circumstances that caused the accident and their injury.
- SEPTA is required by law to follow certain personal injury payment laws and will provide medical coverage up to $5,000, unless the SEPTA accident victim has car insurance that provides the same coverage for their injury (Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state).
What Can Cause a SEPTA Accident?
Any SEPTA accident lawyer can tell you there are a number of causes that can result in the injury of a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, or other motorist or that motorist’s passenger. Some common causes include:
- Design flaws or defective equipment
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Damaged or poorly maintained infrastructure
- Spills on the floors of SEPTA stations and vehicles
- Lack of security at stations or on SEPTA vehicles
- Inexperienced drivers or operators
- Road conditions
- Driver distractions
- SEPTA driver negligence
- Another driver’s negligence
- Reckless driving
- Driving drunk
- Sudden acceleration or deceleration
- Hard braking
- Hard turning
Injuries that SEPTA is liable for can occur on SEPTA vehicles, in SEPTA stations, or at some other point in your commute. If you are unsure whether you were injured on SEPTA property, talk to a SEPTA accident lawyer to find out.
Call Your SEPTA Accident Law Firm Right Away
After you’ve seen a doctor, contact one of our Septa Accident lawyers immediately, because the time you have to file your claim expires very soon, and if others are filing claims, there might not be any money left for you if you wait.
When you go up against SEPTA, you need to make sure you have a skilled SEPTA accident attorney by your side because it is very difficult to prevail. We know the laws that SEPTA will use to defend inside and out, and we can help you get compensated for SEPTA injuries. We only get paid when you do! Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries caused by SEPTA.
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