SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), receives thousands of claims annually for injuries. While you might have a legitimate complaint, getting compensation from SEPTA is not easy. After all, you are now filing a claim against a government entity, which requires separate steps that are unique and not necessary if you are injured in an accident with an individual or retail store.
SEPTA offers numerous forms of transportation, including trolleys, trains, buses, and subways. Therefore, if you ride SEPTA daily, you may find yourself amidst an accident claim.
What No One Tells You About SEPTA Injury Claims, but Should
Filing a personal injury claim is a serious step. Not only are you seeking compensation, but you are blaming that party for your injury. Therefore, it is important you understand the facts about these types of cases, and always work with an attorney that has experience with SEPTA claims.
Your Claim Might Face Caps
Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law and the Motor Vehicle Code limit your damages against SEPTA to $250,000 per claim and up to $1,000,000 per accident. Therefore, if you have catastrophic injuries, the cap might affect how much compensation you receive toward that injury.
Not All Accidents Fall Under SEPTA Responsibility
An automobile accident or collision incident is the most common type of accident claim SEPTA sees. Also, they may be liable for other injuries that involve:
- Slip and falls
- Improperly cleaned facilities leading to slipping, tripping, or falling
- Crumbling ceilings or walls that strike a person
- SEPTA-maintained bridges and roadways that cause motor vehicle accidents
SEPTA Claims are Not Like Regular Accident Claims
The most important fact is that accidents with a SEPTA-run vehicle are not the same as a regular accident claim. There are complex rules and regulations in place that make the process different, and it is easy to become confused. Also, depending on the SEPTA vehicle involved, you may have different protocols. For example, a trolley accident is not the same as a bus crash.
The Intent to File Requirement
Before filing a lawsuit, you and your attorney must first file a notice of intent to file a civil action against the government (per 42 Pa. Cons. Statute Section 5522).
Complete and Retain the Incident Card
After an accident, SEPTA usually hands out incident cards. These cards are your proof that you were present during the accident – and you are not adding your name into the pool falsely. On the card, you fill out personal information, but also your account of the accident. You receive a duplicate incident card for your records, while SEPTA keeps the other card.
Sometimes these cards are not given out during an accident. If you do not receive one, it’s OK. There are usually cameras on the SEPTA vehicle to verify that you were a passenger thereon.
Hire a SEPTA Accident Attorney
After a serious injury involving SEPTA vehicles, you need an attorney by your side that understands how these claims work.
Attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. can help you with your injury claim. Contact him for a free case evaluation by cell at 215-771-0430 or the office at 800-465-8795. You can also request a free consultation online.