The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a staple of travel that helps residents and tourists get around the Philadelphia area. Besides busses and railways, SEPTA also operates dozens of vehicles in one of the world’s longest-running trolleybus line systems. Since many of these trackless trolleys move on the road with regular traffic, there’s more opportunity for collisions which can result in severe injuries.
How SEPTA Trolleybus Accidents Occur
Simply due to the truly staggering number of rides offered through trolleybus routes, it’s inevitable that accidents will occur. Many bicyclists, pedestrians, and car or truck drivers are struck by trolleys every year. There have even been instances when standard passenger busses have collided with trackless trolleys.
A significant number of trolleybus and tram accidents take place at intersections where normal street traffic intersects with SEPTA routes. These collisions frequently could have been completely avoided if not for negligence from SEPTA or the trolleybus operator, like:
- Distracted driving behaviors (texting, talking to passengers, etc.)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
- Failure to maintain control of the vehicle when a mechanical error occurs
- Ignoring street lights and signs or other traffic violations
- Improper hiring and training practices
- Lack of vehicle or line maintenance
- Tired driving
SEPTA Trolleybus Personal Injuries in Pennsylvania
During these accidents caused by negligent behavior, passengers on the trolley may be seriously injured in addition to the driver or pedestrian who is struck by the SEPTA vehicle. Whether those passengers are standing or seated, there is a high possibility of catastrophic injuries in a trolleybus collision.
While some victims will walk away with only minor bumps and scrapes, others have experienced severe and potentially life-altering wounds such as:
- Broken bones
- Disfiguring injuries
- External lacerations or even internal bleeding
- Head impact resulting in serious traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord trauma and potential paralysis
Getting Help After a SEPTA Trolleybus Accident
While trying to deal with physical and emotional recovery following a trolley crash, many victims are unable to go back to their jobs or take part in normal household duties. To improve your chances of recovering the compensation you are owed, here are the steps to take after a SEPTA injury:
- Ask the operator for an incident card to fill out
- Gather information for contacting witnesses who saw the accident unfold
- Obtain the driver’s name and vehicle identifying number
- Photograph the scene of the accident, including the state of the trolleybus and any other vehicles in the collision
- Note the time, weather conditions, and state of the road, track, or line
- Seek medical attention quickly after the trolleybus accident
- Reach out to an experienced SEPTA personal injury attorney
Those final two points are of particular importance in SEPTA injury cases. You need to see a doctor quickly to find internal injuries that you might not have noticed at the scene of the accident. Besides the potential medical issues, this is also an important factor in obtaining an insurance settlement or taking a case to court.
Getting medical attention begins the process of documenting which specific injuries you suffered, proving the injury occurred due to the accident, and showing how that injury has impacted you financially, physically, and emotionally.
Your attorney can help you seek compensation for your financial damages, such as hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and lost income. A lawyer can additionally assist in placing a fair value on the non-economic damages you are legally owed, such as pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
Working with a skilled lawyer who has experience handling SEPTA cases is imperative to dealing with additional hurdles to your fair compensation, such as the reduced statute of limitations and SEPTA’s status as a state government agency. You want a legal advocate to advise you on overcoming these obstacles, as well as dealing with other tactics employed by SEPTA to deny your rightful injury claim.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your SEPTA Trolleybus Injury
No matter what type of injury you sustained in the tram crash, it’s important to start the process of filing a lawsuit and negotiating with insurance as soon as possible. Use our online form or give us a call to provide us the basic details of your case. Our experienced SEPTA injury attorney wants to hear your story and help you find the best method for a full financial recovery.