The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, SEPTA, provides public transportation to nearly four million people a year. Responsible for transportation by bus, subway, elevated rail, light rail, commuter rail, and electric trolley bus, SEPTA is owned and operated by the State of Pennsylvania. With millions of riders getting on and off at SEPTA’s more than 12,500 stops, accidents are bound to happen. Because many people have heard that SEPTA has sovereign immunity from lawsuits, the idea of filing a complaint or lawsuit may be intimidating. There are, however, exceptions to the SEPTA immunity rule, and certain complaints may be filed against the agency.
Common Causes of Injuries on SEPTA
While many factors play a role in public transportation accidents and injuries, there are some common categories into which most fall, including collisions with other vehicles, buses striking the curb, and train derailments. Many riders are injured each year in accidents deemed too small to make the front page of the news:
- Premature Departure – occurs when the vehicle leaves a stop before making sure all passengers are safely aboard and seated.
- Jolting and Jerking – occurs when the vehicle stops suddenly and unexpectedly due to the driver’s lack of attention or carelessness.
- Defective Doors – occurs when a door malfunctions, hitting a passenger.
- Uneven Flooring and Broken Steps at the train or subway station, or at a bus stop.
- Sharp Metal Objects sticking out from a railing at a bus or train stop.
While some accidents are caused by mechanical failures, many are the result of negligence on the part of the SEPTA drivers.
Reporting Your SEPTA Accident Injury
Following an accident that occurs on SEPTA, the driver will give the passenger(s) a form to fill out. It is vital that you fill out this form immediately after the accident, and give the duplicate copy to the driver. Important information to disclose includes:
- Driver’s Name. If you cannot obtain the driver’s name, write down a detailed description.
- Route Information. Note the bus or train number, and which route you were on.
- Passenger Information. If possible, obtain the names of other passengers at the time of the accident.
- Witnesses. Collect names and phone numbers of as many witnesses to the SEPTA accident as you can.
A detailed description of what happened, and what caused it to happen is vital, as claims for injuries can only be made if the occurrence was extraordinary or unusual, or the result of SEPTA’s negligence.
Seek Medical Care
Go to the emergency room or see your healthcare provider immediately following the accident. Be sure to describe your injuries to the doctor, and explain how and where you were injured. If there are no medical records documenting your injuries, your claim will undoubtedly be delayed or denied.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have been injured in a Philadelphia SEPTA accident, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys has gained a reputation for caring about his clients and fighting hard to obtain a recovery in personal injury cases since 1995. Schedule a free consultation with our law firm by calling 1-800InjuryLaw (1-800-465-8795