The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provides public transportation services to millions of people in Philadelphia as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County each year. SEPTA services include buses, subways, elevated train (“El”), trackless trolleys, trolleys, regional rail and paratransit vehicles. SEPTA also provides regional rail service to New Jersey and Delaware. Although relatively uncommon, when accidents and collisions involving mass transit vehicles do occur they frequently cause debilitating injuries to passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. SEPTA accidents may result in unexpected medical bills, time off work and other devastating losses.
SEPTA can be an inexpensive and convenient way to commute to work and travel to and from Philadelphia. However, passengers can be put at serious risk when SEPTA drivers, or the operators of other vehicles, are careless or reckless. There is an inherent danger while riding on a large bus, without seat belts, that regularly must make stops and tight turns. If the bus operator isn’t vigilant and careful the lives its passengers and other drivers are put at risk.
SEPTA Personal Injury Claims
Thousands of people are injured each year in SEPTA bus crashes. The operators of SEPTA buses, trolleys and paratransit vehicles are required to follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. Moreover, as a common carrier, the law requires SEPTA bus operators to use the highest degree of care. If a bus driver fails to exercise the highest degree of care and someone is injured, SEPTA may be held liable.
Whether your injury occurred due to a collision with another vehicle, a bus striking a pedestrian or under other circumstances, the personal injury attorney you hire may make all the difference in your claim. Personal injury attorney, Brent Wieand, has years of experience getting compensation for clients injured in SEPTA bus accidents. He offers a free and confidential legal consultation to people injured in SEPTA accidents.
Since SEPTA is a commonwealth agency, there are specific actions that must be taken to comply with time limits set by the law. If you were injured by a SEPTA bus don’t wait to contact an experienced injury attorney to protect your rights and secure fair compensation for your injuries.
What Happens After a SEPTA Bus Accident?
After an accident, the SEPTA bus driver should hand out incident cards for passengers to fill out. The incident card is used to identify the passengers who were on the bus during the accident. In addition, the form will give a space for you to write a description of the accident. Be careful to fill this form out carefully. It will be used by SEPTA if you make a claim. There is a duplicate incident card which you should keep for your records. The duplicate will identify the SEPTA bus you were a passenger on and help your attorney evaluate your claim.
Sometimes the SEPTA bus driver will not hand out incident cards, or may not give a card to every passenger. If you do not receive this form after a SEPTA bus accident attorney Brent Wieand can provide you with one.
In addition to filling out an incident card you should collect the following information
- Record the time the accident happened, the bus number and route number of the SEPTA bus you were on.
- Get the bus driver’s name and write down a detailed description of them.
- If possible, collect the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses at the scene of the SEPTA accident. You should also get the names and phone numbers of other SEPTA bus passengers. Fellow passengers may be key witnesses and help prove your case in the event it goes to court.
Can I Sue SEPTA if I’m Injured by a Sudden Stop or Acceleration of the Bus?
Pennsylvania has developed a rule known as the “jerk and jolt” doctrine which applies when a passenger is injured due to a sudden movement of a SEPTA bus or trolley (as opposed to an accident with another vehicle or person). Under the jerk and jolt doctrine, SEPTA passengers who are injured by a sudden acceleration or deceleration can only recover for injuries if they can prove that the stop was so unusual or extraordinary to be beyond the passenger’s reasonable expectation.
Thus, in many instances, SEPTA is protected against liability from sudden jerks and/or jolts of the bus which result in injury to passengers. However, you should always consult with an experienced SEPTA accident lawyer to see if your accident falls under the exception to this rule. A skilled attorney can often show that other SEPTA passengers were “extraordinarily” disturbed by the unusual movement of the bus or that the bus movement was “beyond reasonable expectation.”
It is the Plaintiff’s burden to prove their claim falls under the exception to the jerk and jolt doctrine. This is often demonstrated through testimony or SEPTA’s surveillance video. Eyewitness testimony of other SEPTA passengers can be vital to proving a “jerk and jolt” claim. Therefore, it is wise to get their contact information if you are injured in a SEPTA bus accident.
What if I’m hit by a SEPTA bus as a Pedestrian?
Collisions between SEPTA buses and pedestrians are especially frightening due to the high risk of catastrophic injury to the pedestrian. Accidents involving pedestrians frequently occur in crosswalks when buses fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. In addition, persons lawfully using the sidewalk are commonly struck by bus mirrors which extend over the curb.
If you are hit by a bus as pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensatory damages such as payment of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of earnings capacity. If you are seriously hurt, don’t wait to consult with experienced personal injury lawyer who can help make a claim for file a lawsuit against SEPTA for your injuries.
Railroads operators are required to use reasonable care to prevent dangerous conditions such as operator error, lack of proper maintenance, defective train tracks, broken crossing gates and defective warning lights. A railroad’s failure to keep their tracks safe may cause catastrophic accidents resulting in injury or death to passengers, pedestrians and operators of other vehicles. Whether you were the driver of a car that collided with a train because of a defective crossing gate or were a passenger hurt in a commuter train accident, the resulting injuries can have lifelong consequences for you and your family. You can depend on our experienced train accident lawyers to help you recover compensation for your losses.
Your Time to File a Claim is Limited
Although many people think SEPTA is run by the City of Philadelphia, it is actually an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There are strict regulations and notice requirements that must be met to bring a claim against SEPTA. If you fail to follow these rules, you may be precluded from filing a personal injury claim. Therefore, time is of the essence after a collision! Don’t wait to contact an experienced SEPTA accident lawyer in Philadelphia to handle your personal injury case.
SEPTA Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
The Wieand Law Firm has represented numerous clients that were injured bus accidents involving SEPTA vehicles, including pedestrians and other drivers. Trust an experienced professional to handle your case. The Wieand Law Firm serves clients located throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are proud to represent SEPTA accident injury victims located in Southeastern Pennsylvania including the counties of Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
To speak with a SEPTA accident injury lawyer about your claim call 1(800) 481-5206 or submit a description of your claim through the online contact form. The Wieand Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. You never pay costs or attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation through a settlement or award.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.