What To Do After Facing A SEPTA Accident In Philadelphia?
After suffering an accident on a bus or commuter train belonging to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), you must deal with many issues not faced in an ordinary accident. Like any accident victims, you face the problem of dealing with insurance adjusters, attempting to calculate the settlement value of your claim, and deciding whether to take the matter to court and a jury trial. You might face a situation where you seek what you believe to be a reasonable settlement amount, only to have SEPTA refuse your offer.
SEPTA is one of the largest public transport operators in the United States. Many different modes of transport are operated by SEPTA including buses, trains, and trolleys.
All these complex issues require legal guidance. A Philadelphia SEPTA Accident Attorney may be able to assist you in finding a better outcome for your accident claim. Experienced attorneys have thorough knowledge of the laws prevailing in Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania. They can provide you with the expertise needed to guide you in making good decisions.
Contact an Injury Lawyer who can provide you assistance if you have been injured by a SEPTA vehicle. They can help you recover damages and your expenses for medical treatment. They will handle your case responsibly as they know the legal complexities of dealing in a SEPTA accident.
What Is The Procedure Followed In Septa Accident?
When you suffer a SEPTA accident, your bus driver must provide you with a form. You need to fill out this form at the time the accident happens. The form is used to establish that you were travelling on the bus when the accident occurred.
The accident form is kept in two copies. One is for your records and the other is kept by the bus driver and turned in to SEPTA. One of the fundamental problems that arise in any claim involving a SEPTA accident in Philadelphia is if you cannot be identified as a passenger of the bus.
The form provides two protections. If a passenger jumps off the bus when an accident occurs, it will create a problem in identifying the passenger later. Similarly, if bystanders attempt to board a bus after an accident, they may try to claim they were injured passengers. This is considered the most common fraud involving a SEPTA accident. Therefore, if you have been involved in a SEPTA accident, you must always fill out the form as evidence for your status.
You must keep a record for yourself of the bus number, location of the accident, time of the accident, name of the SEPTA driver, and any other vital information about the SEPTA operators after an accident.
The form comprises the name of the bus driver, the route number of the bus, and the witnesses if any. You must include all details requested in the form including sex, height, and other features of the bus driver.
You must always take note of the bus number in which you were travelling. Further, you must also make it a point to gather the contact details of any witnesses present at the accident scene, and retain them for your own records.
You can even take email addresses and details of the other passengers that were on the bus with you when the accident occurred. You can take the advice of a Philadelphia SEPTA Accident Attorney who can guide you on special rules regarding SEPTA.
Noting passenger contact information is especially important if you need to prove injury from a sudden stop by the bus. You will need to prove that you were injured because of the sudden jerk and jolt of the vehicle. Other passengers’ details will act as proof in your case, as some or all of them claim their own injuries. This evidence will add accuracy and consistency to your own case.
How Long Do You Have To Report An Accident Claim Against SEPTA?
There are some statutes of limitations in Pennsylvania that you need to follow to preserve any SEPTA accident cases. You must file a notice of intent to sue the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). This is to inform the government, and is necessary to preserve your rights.
You first need to notify the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding the injury you suffered in a SEPTA accident. Your notice must also specify your intent to file a lawsuit against SEPTA.
Your statement must include your name, address, date of the accident, and time of the accident. You must also include the location where the accident happened and the contact details of the healthcare professional who is treating you.
You have six months to file this notice from the date when the accident occurred according to Pennsylvania Statute 42 Section 5522(a)(1). After filing the notice, you still have the usual 2 years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, to retain your rights against the government, it is necessary to give notice within 6 months.
If you fail to give notice within this time limit then you will be unable to file your lawsuit. This is a complicated point, and you can seek the assistance of a SEPTA Accident Lawyer to ensure the statutory deadline is met.
To summarise, there are special rules that apply to SEPTA as it is a state agency. If someone fails to abide by these rules they will lose their case against SEPTA. A SEPTA Injury Lawyer will help you handle the special complexities of your case if you have sustained catastrophic injuries.
How Can A SEPTA Accident Attorney Help You To Recover Damages?
If you have been injured in a SEPTA bus collision then you may be entitled to monetary reimbursement. You may receive compensation for pain and suffering as well as for economic losses, including lost income and medical bills.
You must report the SEPTA accident, as discussed above, and must fill out an application requesting compensation. People who have no fault auto insurance will recover from their insurance policy after a personal injury accident.
However, if the accident occurred due to the fault of the bus driver, then you will recover damages by filing a SEPTA claim. However, if the accident involved a collision with another motor vehicle, and the other person driving the motor vehicle was at fault, then that negligent driver will be liable to pay for damages.
As SEPTA is a government agency, the Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act governs SEPTA. According to this act there is a limit on liability for government agencies and employees with some exceptions.
According to the act, the SEPTA liability is limited to accidents caused by negligence of the driver or agency, or the accident occured when the vehicle involved was operating.
Under this law, there are some limitations put on damages as well. An injured person will be limited to get $250,000 and a maximum of $1 million for every SEPTA accident.
If you have suffered an accident, you must be careful in your dealings with SEPTA as you seek to recover your costs for medical expenses as well as your and other damages. If another driver is involved, you must also obtain information about the insurance of the driver so that a settlement may be sought with that driver if necessary.
According to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, passengers who are travelling in SEPTA buses are considered to be full-tort. Full tort liability means that you can sue the negligent party for both economic and non-economic damages. Full-tort stands in contrast with limited tort liability. The rules for limited tort liability do not allow individuals who are travelling in non-commercial vehicles to sue the party at fault for non-economic damages; recovery for pain and suffering is limited.