Philadelphia, PA SEPTA Accident Lawyers Fight to Get You Compensation for Your Injuries
High gas prices mean that more and more people are using public transportation these days. Unfortunately, the lack of seatbelts, on buses and the frequency of sudden stops make mass transit a particularly a dangerous form of travel, especially in busy Center City Philadelphia. Driver negligence is a frequent cause of public transportation accidents because far too many SEPTA bus drivers have been inadequately trained.
The most common types of public transportation accidents in PA are:
- SEPTA accidents
- Public bus accidents, including Greyhound, Apex Bus, Bolt Bus, and Megabus
- Commuter train accidents
- Subway accidents
- Railway accidents
- Taxicab accidents
- Shuttle van accidents (including commuter vans and airport shuttles)
If you’ve been injured in a public transportation accident, or any vehicle accident, you need an attorney who isn’t afraid to fight private insurance companies or powerful government agencies. Call the skilled personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman today.
SEPTA Accidents in Philadelphia, PA Result in Severe Injuries that Deserve Compensation
SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) is one of the largest public transit systems in the US, providing public transportation to more than five million people in Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding metro area. SEPTA vehicles include buses, commuter trains, rapid transit trains, electric or trackless trolleys, and light rail trolleys.
SEPTA vehicle operators must exercise a particularly high degree of care to ensure the safety of passengers.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a SEPTA accident, you may be able to sue parties responsible for your injuries.
What Are the Main Types of SEPTA Accidents?
The most common cause of a SEPTA accident is driver negligence. The other major types of SEPTA accidents are:
- Jerk and jolt – The bus or train makes a sudden stop.
- Train derailment
- Collision with another vehicle – If you are a passenger in another vehicle that is hit by a SEPTA bus, you may have a viable claim
- Bus strikes a curb
- Driver fails to wait until all passengers are safely onboard and seated before starting the vehicle.
- Defective doors – There have been cases of doors closing on passengers and causing passengers to be dragged down the road by the bus.
Certain Rules Apply to SEPTA “Jerk and Jolt” Cases
There are some legal hurdles that injured parties must clear in order to bring a jerk and jolt claim. Since bus drivers are frequently required to make sudden stops, special rules apply to injuries that are caused by a bus driver hitting the brakes and suddenly stopping the bus. You must be able to prove that the stop was outside the norm, an extraordinary occurrence. It will help your claim if there are other passengers who were injured as a result of the sudden stop or who can testify that the stop was unusual.
SEPTA staff members also have a duty to ensure that you are safe while on SEPTA property, such as SEPTA stations, terminals, and concourses. Although you cannot sue for standard slip-and-fall injuries, you can sue for injuries caused by defective conditions on SEPTA property. The kinds of defective conditions that can give rise to a SEPTA property accident claim include:
- Broken steps in a staircase
- Uneven flooring
- Loose railing on a platform
- Hole in the concrete at a bus stop
- Unsecured electrical lines
- Leaky pipes that lead to slippery floors
- Crumbling walls
- Malfunctioning escalator or elevator
You may also have a viable claim if a lack of adequate security exposed you to a violent assault on SEPTA property.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a SEPTA Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a SEPTA accident, there are certain things that you should do to protect your legal rights and preserve a possible claim:
- Get a claim card or incident form from the operator of your vehicle – Do not leave the accident scene without getting a claim card because you will be required to fill-out the form and give a copy to the driver.
- Write down contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Get the names and contact information of other passengers
- Get the driver’s name and information – Try to take notes on the driver’s appearance just in case you have to identify the driver later.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any vehicles involved in the accident
- Note the time and route of the bus or train that you are on
- Take photos of the accident scene – Be sure to take photographs of the location of the accident and the cars involved in the accident.
- Seek medical treatment for any injuries suffered as a result of the accident
- Take photos of any visible injuries
DO NOT talk with SEPTA attorneys or representatives until you’ve had an opportunity to talk to an experienced public transportation accident lawyer about your case. No matter how sympathetic they sound, SEPTA lawyers represent SEPTA and their job is to disqualify your claim. You need a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney on your side, protecting your interests and fighting for your rights.
You Deserve Compensation for Injuries Caused by Taxi Accidents in Philadelphia, PA
A high percentage of passengers in taxi accidents are seriously injured because they rarely wear seatbelts. Additionally, taxicabs are notorious for having fewer airbags than other vehicles. This is problematic because taxi travel is especially common in Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding metro area. Unfortunately, taxi drivers are often in a hurry to get to their destinations so that they can pick up another passenger. Taxi drivers also have to deal with a constant barrage of distractions, including dispatcher calls and passenger travel requests. Beyond that, taxi drivers are more likely to be fatigued, particularly if they are at the tail-end of a long shift.
Passengers in taxis that are involved in collisions often suffer from painful physical injuries including whiplash, concussion and more. If you have been injured in a taxi accident, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, all other drivers who share the road with taxis are also vulnerable. We’ve all seen the way taxi drivers move in and out of traffic and we’ve all wondered how they avoid accidents. The truth is they don’t always avoid collisions with other vehicles. This is not to say taxi drivers are reckless, it means that passengers in other vehicles that are involved in a collision with a taxi driver may have viable claims as well. Although you may have claims against both the taxi driver and the taxi company, a suit against a taxi company can be complicated because the companies often classify their drivers as independent contractors. An experienced taxi accident attorney can help you identify all liable parties and ensure that they are held accountable for causing your injuries.
Do Not Delay in Contacting a Lawyer about Your SEPTA Accident Injury
SEPTA is a state agency and special rules apply to any SEPTA accident-related claims. An experienced public transportation accident lawyer can help you navigate the difficult claims process. You need an attorney to fight for your legal rights and find ways around sovereign immunity protections for SEPTA, which is operated by the State of Pennsylvania.
It is imperative that you do not delay in contacting a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.The statute of limitations on vehicle accident cases in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of your injury. Once this time has passed, you will be barred forever from bringing a claim. Additionally, you need to act quickly because there is a cap on how much money in damages will be paid out. This means that, in SEPTA accident cases, the people first in line with a claim have the best chance of getting compensated. When the money is gone, you will not be able to collect (regardless of the severity of your injuries.)
Craig A. Altman Fights Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania to Get You Compensated for Public Transportation Accident Injuries
Call the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman today. We’ve helped numerous public transportation accident victims win their cases in Philadelphia, PA and surrounding counties. We are prepared to help you as well. You can speak with one of our skilled attorneys by calling, or you can simply use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case.