Public transportation accidents are much more common than you might realize. While Philadelphia has one of the biggest public transportation systems in the country (alongside cities like New York and Los Angeles), there are hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries that occur each year due to SEPTA’s negligence. SEPTA, standing for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, has liability insurance that allows those that are injured to recover damages.
However, receiving compensation from a governmental agency is not as easy as it may seem and requires much more than simply filing a claim with the agency itself. If you have been injured in a SEPTA accident, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. An attorney can explore your options with SEPTA and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
SEPTA Incident Cards
When an accident is severe enough to cause injuries to more than one passenger, it is likely there will be people who are not truly injured trying to file claims against SEPTA. This is why SEPTA typically hands out SEPTA incident cards to actual victims at the scene of the accident. In order to file a claim, you will need to complete an incident card and it will confirm your presence on the SEPTA vehicle and establish that you were a true victim. This card should be completed immediately (on scene) and given to a SEPTA authority that is handing them out. But even just having the card is usually sufficient.
Understanding the Compensation Limits
SEPTA trains, buses, trolleys and rail systems have limits as to how much compensation you could receive after an accident. SEPTA is a Commonwealth agency that is protected by the Sovereign Immunity ACT; therefore, their damages are limited to just $250,000 for one claim and up to $1 million per accident – regardless of how many people were injured. Once the payouts have been divided, you may notice that your share of the compensation is extremely limited.
Because of these limitations and the laws surrounding claims against entities that are protected, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. Even though the damage caps cannot be removed, you can ensure you receive maximum compensation within those compensation limits.
In addition, the statute of limitations applies, too. There are strict limitations to how long you have to file a claim against SEPTA, which is typically two years from the date of the accident.
Hire an Attorney That Knows SEPTA
While you may think you can file for compensation on your own after an accident, having an incident card does not guarantee you will receive maximum compensation. You need to act quickly and contact an attorney that has experience with SEPTA claims. If you do not, your claim may be denied. In order to help you navigate the complexities of this process, contact attorney Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esquire. He can assist you with your claim, explore your legal options and make sure that you receive ample compensation for your injuries. Schedule your free consultation now by calling him at 800-465-8795 or instantly reach him on his cell phone at 215-771-0430. You can also ask a question online via the online contact form.