Most passengers getting on a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) vehicle can expect to reach their destination without incident. That isn’t always the case, however, and serious injuries are known to happen due to driver negligence. If you are involved in a SEPTA accident, you may find yourself dealing with mounting medical bills and an inability to work.
Common Major Injury Types Experienced After a SEPTA Crash
Whether directly struck by a SEPTA vehicle, injured while riding a bus or trolley, or even slipping and falling on an improperly maintained property, you could experience any of these serious injuries:
- Back/spinal cord injuries. Victims can deal with a wide range of symptoms from these wounds, from pain in the lower back all the way up to paralysis. One of the most devastating forms of SEPTA injury, spinal cord issues often involve lengthy hospital stays, extended recovery periods, and expensive therapy or at-home care.
- Broken bones. Due to the weight and size of SEPTA busses and trolleys, fractured bones are common in collisions involving both pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Disfigurement. In severe collisions, patients may require multiple surgeries over an extended period to deal with physical disfigurement, which often involves emotional pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
- Internal bleeding. While lacerations directly on the skin are common in bus accidents, internal bleeding may also occur, which can be deadly and must be addressed by medical professionals quickly.
- Neck injuries. Neck issues like whiplash can present unique challenges when recovering damages, as Pennsylvania law requires a SEPTA vehicle to be in operation at the time of an accident to pursue compensation. If you experienced a neck injury due to a sudden stop, extra evidence must be presented to show the stop was legally deemed “extraordinary” and not part of the regular stop and go traffic.
- Nerve damage. Internal damage to nerves may result in a constant tingling sensation, loss of feeling, loss of muscle control, frequent pain, and even paralysis.
- Organ damage. Suffering from punctured, lacerated, or otherwise damaged internal organs in a crash is extremely dangerous and can be fatal if not treated immediately. These injuries may not be immediately visible and are an important reason why you need to always see a doctor after a crash even if you don’t feel hurt.
- Soft tissue injuries. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can easily become damaged in a SEPTA accident leading to frequent pain and irritation. These injures may be as simple as bruising and sprains, or in more severe cases can require surgical treatment.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These serious injuries can occur due to an external physical blow, such as if your head strikes the side of the bus in a crash, or take place internally if the brain bounces off the side of the skull during a sudden stop. TBIs often include serious secondary effects, like PTSD and a range of cognitive issues that may make it difficult to maintain employment or even care for yourself at home.
Holding SEPTA Responsible for Major Injuries
If you sustain absolutely any of these types of serious injuries, you have a legal right to recover damages from the at-fault party, which may be a SEPTA employee, a faulty part manufacturer, or another driver.
Even if you have a completely valid claim, SEPTA likely won’t want to pay out the full amount you are owed, and may even try to avoid paying anything at all. That’s why it is critical to take these steps after an accident:
- If possible, fill out the accident form provided by the bus driver before leaving the scene.
- Gather contact information for any witnesses.
- Document the scene, and gain the assistance of an attorney to request video footage from surveillance installed on SEPTA vehicles.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to start a paper trail on your injuries.
- Have an attorney handle communication with insurance carriers and SEPTA representatives.
Let Us Help If You Were Injured by a SEPTA Vehicle
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience in SEPTA cases can help place a monetary value on previous and future medical costs for your injury, as well as calculate the loss of wages if you can’t return to work. Schedule a consultation with Heslin Law Firm and let us know how we can help you on your road to recovery.