SEPTA has been very tough in the past few years. On accident cases where a Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer used to be able to get them to easily pay their passengers damages for personal injuries that occur due to accidents, they are either not paying at all (forcing a personal injury lawsuit), or making low offers in the hopes that the plaintiffs will take the money and run.
I have heard from several people that they took small offers on their Philadelphia SEPTA personal injury cases that were clearly worth much more.
Another development in SEPTA lawsuits is that a recent appeals court ruled that SEPTA is not required to pay their passengers a dime if the bus is completely stopped when an accident occurs. This includes not only making payments for bodily injuries (pain and suffering), but likewise, for paying PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits. The law used to be that if you are a passenger on a SEPTA bus, SEPTA had to pay your medical bills up to $5,000, regardless of whether or not SEPTA was at fault for the accident. This is no longer the case. Such payments will no longer be made if the SEPTA bus is stopped when an accident occurs, such as when another vehicle strikes the bus.
I recently had a case resulting in a SEPTA settlement, where the bus had just started moving when it was struck by a vehicle that wasn’t paying attention. SEPTA fought hard to avoind paying my client any damages, but at the end of the day, they paid my client not only pain and suffering money, but also paid his medical expenses up to $5,000.
The other vehicle, the one that caused that bus accident, was forced to pay my client much more; but my point is that SEPTA paid because the bus, while hardly moving, WAS in fact moving. That is all you need in most SEPTA cases, movement of the bus.
Taking this thought a bit further, I have also been very successful getting my Philadelphia personal injury clients money both for pain and suffering AND for medical bills even when the vehicle is at a complete stop, but the doors of the vehicle close onto my clients. This happens much more than you would imagine. Often the operator closes the door before the passenger has a chance to fully exit the vehicle, thereby crushing them in between the doors.
Often these types of Philadelphia bus accident cases need to be litigated, because after the passenger extracts herself from between the doors, the vehicle is gone and therefore not reported to the driver. In these types of cases, it helps to have witnesses. At a minimum, it is advised that you immediately call SEPTA OR track down a SEPTA employee in the vicninty and report it to them. Then contact Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer Jeffrey Harlan Penneys at 1-800-465-8795, that’s 1-800-injury-law. There is no fee unless I win your case.