Most Philadelphians know the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority as SEPTA. SEPTA buses make thousands of journeys every day, and unfortunately, sometimes strike bicyclists. In many cases, collisions with cyclists occur because the bus driver was intoxicated, fatigued, or downright careless in their operation of the vehicle.
If you or one of your family members was hit by a SEPTA bus while they were riding their bicycle in Philadelphia, it may be possible for the injury victim to get compensated by making a claim or, if necessary, filing a lawsuit in court. To talk with a Philadelphia bike accident lawyer in a free and confidential legal consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (800) 481-5206 as soon as possible.
Were You Injured in a Bicycle Crash with a SEPTA Bus at an Intersection?
City buses are extremely large and powerful vehicles, even when traveling at low speeds. As a result, collisions between bicycles and buses often result in catastrophic injuries or, tragically, the wrongful death of the cyclist. The risk of an accident is especially great in intersections, which, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, account for nearly 40% of all vehicular accidents in the United States.
Even a “minor,” low-speed accident in which a cyclist is doored, rear-ended, or struck head on can produce debilitating injuries that will change the victim’s life forever. While helmets can help reduce the risk and severity of injuries, even the highest quality helmets sadly cannot always withstand the tremendous forces that are generated from impact with the road or other vehicles.
There are many types of serious injuries which can result from a collision between a SEPTA bus and a bicycle. Some common examples of injuries sustained by cyclists who get into motor vehicle accidents include:
- Abrasion Injuries (“Road Rash”)
- Ankle Fractures
- Arm Fractures
- Back Injuries
- Cervical Injuries (Broken Neck)
- Facial Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Leg Fractures
- Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Sprains and Strains (Soft Tissue Injuries)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Vertebral Fractures
- Wrist Fractures
In some cases, the victim’s foot, ankle, or other body part is snared in the spokes of the bicycle as it overturns, which can cause serious crush injuries as the wheel rotates. The greatest danger of a bicycle crash is a catastrophic head or spinal cord injury, which can be fatal or result in severe permanent impairments like paralysis or cognitive problems, such as impaired memory and communication skills.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover in a Settlement if I Was Injured by a SEPTA Vehicle?
When a Philadelphia bicyclist is injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a SEPTA driver, he or she may be able to get compensated by making a personal injury claim. But what is negligence, and how much compensation is available for its victims?
To answer the first question, negligence is a legal term that describes a failure to take the cautionary measures that were needed to avoid a foreseeable accident. With regard to auto accidents, negligence often involves an operational error or an error in judgment on the part of the driver at fault. Some examples of negligence which often play a role in bus accidents include speeding, running a red light, tailgating, improper left turns, intoxicated driving, and distracted driving. For instance, a bus driver may be found to have been negligent if they were playing with their phone instead of watching the road, leading to a preventable accident resulting in death or injury.
If you are able to prove that your accident and the resulting injuries were caused by the negligence of a SEPTA bus driver, you may be able to get compensated, which brings us back to the question: how much can a crash victim recover through a settlement or lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
In short, it depends on various factors which differ in each case, such as injury severity, effects upon the victim’s income, and whether or not the victim was partially at fault for the accident. SEPTA has a single claim compensatory damages cap of $250,000. This means you can recover up to $250,000 for damages such as:
- Financial losses, such as medical bills, losses in earnings and benefits, and diminished earning capacity. This type of compensation is called “economic damages.”
- The victim’s pain and suffering, and other types of emotional or physical harm, such as the distress caused by permanent facial scarring. This type of compensation is called “non-economic damages.”
Get Legal Help from an Experienced SEPTA Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
SEPTA accident injury attorney Brent Wieand has extensive experience handling personal injury claims on behalf of cyclists and their families. Count on Brent to be an aggressive legal advocate while providing a compassionate shoulder for support as you and your loved ones go through this difficult period. Brent is committed to holding SEPTA accountable when the careless actions of its employees cause innocent cyclists to be seriously injured or killed.
Brent handles bike accident claims throughout SEPTA’s zone of operation in Pennsylvania. To set up a free legal consultation with Philadelphia personal injury attorney Brent, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (800) 481-5206 right away. Brent will keep your information private.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*