The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a necessary and helpful method of getting around for hundreds of thousands of passengers a day. The sheer number of drivers and locations means that eventually passengers are going to be injured in a SEPTA accident, however.
A skilled Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can help you hold SEPTA responsible for your medical costs, loss of wages, and property damage. Before taking a case to court, there are six key things you need to know about SEPTA claims.
1. Fill Out an Incident Form
The driver of any SEPTA vehicle should provide you with an incident form immediately after you sustain an injury. It is critical to fill out this form before exiting the vehicle—unless your injury is severe enough that you physically can’t complete the form at the time.
2. SEPTA Cameras Aren't Foolproof
To cut down on fraudulent claims, SEPTA installed video cameras on all vehicles. Those cameras don’t always tell the full story, however, especially if the angle doesn’t clearly show your injury in the accident. If possible, acquire the contact information of witnesses who can verify what occurred. You should also make sure to gather information on the driver, the route, and the time of the accident.
3. Always Visit a Doctor
Even if your injury appears to be minor at first, make sure to see a medical professional to establish a paper trail on your injuries. Medical documentation is crucial to protecting your right to compensation when working with a Philadelphia attorney for a SEPTA claim.
4. Time Is Limited
SEPTA cases must be handled quickly, as you are legally required to file a notice of intent for a lawsuit within six months of sustaining an injury. That reduced time table makes it crucial to work with a knowledgeable attorney with experience in SEPTA lawsuits.
5. SEPTA Has Specific Restrictions on Cases
As a public-run entity and a mass transport company, SEPTA is governed by specific restrictions on how personal injury cases are handled. For instance, the vehicle must actually be in operation at the time of the accident for a successful claim, and a sudden stop must be deemed “extraordinary” in nature for a claim due to the “jerk and jolt” rule. SEPTA personal injury claims also have specific compensation caps after the passage of the Fair Share Act. A lawyer can help you understand these legal roadblocks and how they will impact your case.
6. SEPTA Cases Don’t Always Involve Vehicles
While injuries with busses and trolleys are common, you may have a case even if you were hurt on other SEPTA property. The Transportation Authority can be held responsible if you suffer a slip and fall while traveling through a terminal, bridge, or roadway, or are injured by a poorly maintained wall or ceiling.
Were you hurt on SEPTA property due to driver negligence or poorly maintained facilities? We’re ready to start a consultation and discuss your case to determine if you are owed compensation.