After an injury on a SEPTA bus or train, you do have the right to file a lawsuit for your injuries. However, there are limitations, and a lawsuit against SEPTA is not the same as a lawsuit against a private individual. So, it is best to speak with a personal injury attorney who has dealt with SEPTA cases before to: (i) ensure that your accident qualifies, and (ii) ensure that the proper procedures are followed so that you do not forfeit your right to collect compensation.
SEPTA Has Strict Notification Requirements
Unlike a traditional personal injury claim, you are limited as to how long you must notify SEPTA of your pending lawsuit action.
With a traditional personal injury action, you have up to two years from the date of the incident to file your claim. This falls under the Pennsylvania statute of limitations.
The same statute of limitations in Pennsylvania does apply to SEPTA injuries; however, the passenger has other requirements that must be met. The most important is that a passenger injured in a SEPTA accident must notify SEPTA of the intention to file a claim within six months of the accident. This is pursuant to 42 Pa. C. S. Section 5522(a)(1). Within that same statute, the following applies:
So, you have six months to provide this notification to SEPTA. If you do not, they could deny your claim and you may be unable to retrieve compensation. There are ways around this, but it is preferable to not have to find those ways.
Liability for a SEPTA Vehicle
SEPTA buses, trolleys, trains and rails that have operator-caused negligence accidents could fall under the vehicle liability exception rule. However, you must be a passenger on the bus or trolley, and the vehicle must have been moving and in transit at the time of the incident.
If you are injured outside of the bus, you may not have a claim against SEPTA. However, if there was a defect on that bus, such as a broken stair that forced you to slip and fall while stepping onto the bus, you could still have a claim. Of course, if you are a pedestrian struck by a SEPTA vehicle, you will have a claim for that assuming you are not at fault.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
If you plan on taking on SEPTA alone, you may face unfavorable consequences. Filing a SEPTA lawsuit requires knowledge of how the system works, but also knowledge of victims’ rights under SEPTA and sovereign immunity protections. Therefore, you need an advocate who can protect your rights.
Hiring an attorney is your best chance for recovering compensation against a government entity. So, if you were seriously injured in a SEPTA accident, explore your options by speaking with a personal injury attorney.
Contact Pennsylvania Attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq.
If you were injured in a SEPTA accident, contact attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. Schedule a free consultation by contacting him on his cell at 215-771-0430 or at the office at 800-465-8795/215-987-3550. You can also request a consultation online.