Whether catching a bus for work or just heading downtown for some shopping, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) offers a convenient way to get around. Unfortunately, that convenience comes at a cost. With hundreds of thousands of passengers traveling on SEPTA property every day, injuries happen more often than you may think. So often in fact, that cameras are now installed on all busses and trolleys.
Passenger accidents on public transportation generally occur due to negligence on the part of the driver, a mechanical problem with the vehicle, or an external issue on the road. Whatever the cause, you may end up dealing with hefty medical bills as well as ongoing pain that prevents you from going to work following a SEPTA passenger accident.
Negligent SEPTA Accident Causes
Finding the root cause of the collision, derailment, or sudden stop is key to bringing a case against SEPTA and recovering damages for your injury. You may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering or loss of wages if the accident was caused by:
- Distracted or drowsy driving
- Running red lights or failing to follow other traffic laws
- Driving under the influence
- SEPTA negligence in hiring and training practices
- Overdue bus repairs
- Poorly maintained trolley tracks
- Lack of maintenance on walkways and buildings owned by SEPTA
In most cases, the bus or trolley must actually be moving at the time of your injury to file a successful claim against the Transportation Authority. However, it is possible to also recover compensation if faulty equipment that wasn’t repaired in a timely manner was the root cause, rather than active driver negligence.
There are times where SEPTA isn’t responsible for the wreck at all, such as when another driver on the road collides with the bus while you are a passenger. In other cases, multiple parties may be at fault due to several mitigating factors. A full and thorough investigation from an experienced Philadelphia attorney can help you receive the most compensation possible from any and all liable parties.
Proving Your Claim Against SEPTA
Bringing a claim against SEPTA to recover the costs of your personal injury requires more than simply filling out a form after the accident. That’s why you need an attorney to gather the evidence necessary to prove your claim, as well as to negotiate with both the at-fault party and the insurance carriers.
A SEPTA accident lawyer will seek to prove the vehicle was in operation at the time, or that a sudden stop causing your injury rises to the level of an “extraordinary” stop required under the law. Failing to adequately show either of those two critical elements can result in your case being dismissed. Those factors can be proved by having an attorney acquire and analyze:
- SEPTA vehicle video
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
Those records play an important role in determining if SEPTA is liable for your accident with any of the primary accident causes listed above. In any of those accident types, you may experience head, neck, and back wounds—including whiplash or possible traumatic brain injuries. Seeing a doctor immediately after the crash is crucial to document the injury and establish that it was caused by the accident rather than by a past event.
It's also important to understand that there are reduced timelines to file a lawsuit against SEPTA. A Pennsylvania attorney with knowledge of the tactics used by SEPTA to attempt to reduce, delay, or deny your claim can help you overcome that restriction and seek compensation in a timely manner.
Get the Legal Assistance You Need After a SEPTA Passenger Accident
The Heslin Law Firm brings a history of positive outcomes for clients seeking compensation from SEPTA, which makes the organization more likely to negotiate a settlement. No matter what caused the accident, get help through our online form to initiate a free consultation for injured SEPTA passengers.