PHILADELPHIA BUS & TRAIN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
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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). We use it every day to save on gas, protect our vehicles from wear and tear and avoid parking hassles. SEPTA has the responsibility of providing safe transportation in well-maintained vehicles, trains and trolleys to its riders. After all, you are putting your life and possessions in the hands of a SEPTA driver or operator twice (or more) a day.
SEPTA is governed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is protected from lawsuits under the Sovereign Immunity Act. This act put a cap on damages that can be awarded for a SEPTA accident, meaning an injury victim can collect up to $250,000 for a claim and $1 million per accident, no matter how many victims. When you go up against SEPTA, you need to make sure you have a skilled SEPTA accident attorney. There are different rules for SEPTA claims since it’s a government agency. Here are some things you need to know about filing a claim:
- You only have six months (starting the date of the accident) to file a notice against SEPTA.
- 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 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.
- SEPTA is required by law to follow the personal injury payment laws and will provide medical coverage up to $5,000, unless the person has car insurance that provides the same coverage (Pennsylvania is a no-fault car insurance state).
What Can Cause a SEPTA Accident?
There are a number of causes that result in the injury of a passenger, pedestrian or motorist. Some common causes include:
- Design flaws
- Poorly maintained equipment and stations
- Inexperienced drivers/operators
- Road conditions
- Lack of security
- Reckless driving
- Driving drunk
If you have been injured on a SEPTA bus, trolley, subway, regional rail, elevated train or a paratransit vehicle, seek medical attention right away even if it doesn’t seem necessary at the time. Your medical records will play a vital part in your case, so it is important to have any injuries from the accident documented. Then, contact one of our lawyers. We know the laws that SEPTA will use to deny your claim, such as the Sovereign Immunity Act and the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.
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