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SEPTA Accidents in Philadelphia: Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options After a Public Transportation Incident

Town Law Publishing April 23, 2023

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is responsible for providing public transportation services to millions of residents and visitors in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. While SEPTA plays a crucial role in the daily lives of many individuals, accidents involving SEPTA buses, trains, and trolleys can lead to severe injuries and, in some cases, fatalities. This blog will explore the common causes of SEPTA accidents, the rights of accident victims, and the legal options available to those seeking compensation for their injuries.

Common Causes of SEPTA Accidents

Accidents involving SEPTA vehicles can occur for various reasons, including:

  • Driver negligence: This can include speeding, distracted driving, or failure to follow traffic rules and regulations.

  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Failure to properly maintain SEPTA vehicles can lead to mechanical issues and accidents.

  • Insufficient training: SEPTA drivers must receive adequate training to safely operate their vehicles and respond to emergency situations.

  • Hazardous road conditions: Poorly maintained roads, construction zones, and other hazards can contribute to accidents involving SEPTA vehicles.

  1. Rights of SEPTA Accident Victims

Individuals injured in SEPTA accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It is essential to understand that SEPTA, as a government entity, has specific protections and procedures in place for filing claims, which differ from typical personal injury lawsuits.

Filing a Claim Against SEPTA

In Pennsylvania, victims of SEPTA accidents must follow specific steps when pursuing a claim against the transportation authority:

  • Notice of claim: Victims must provide written notice of their intent to file a claim within six months of the accident. This notice must include the victim's name and address, the date and location of the accident, and a brief description of the injuries sustained.

  • Statute of limitations: The deadline for filing a lawsuit against SEPTA is two years from the date of the accident.

  • Proof of negligence: To successfully pursue a claim against SEPTA, victims must prove that the transportation authority's negligence directly contributed to their injuries.

  1. Seeking Legal Assistance

Given the unique challenges associated with filing a claim against a government entity like SEPTA, it is crucial to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can:

  • Navigate the complex legal process, including filing the required notice of claim and meeting the statute of limitations

  • Investigate the accident to gather evidence supporting the claim of negligence

  • Represent the victim in settlement negotiations or court proceedings, if necessary

SEPTA accidents can result in serious injuries and a complex legal process for victims seeking compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a SEPTA-related accident, it is crucial to consult with our experienced personal injury attorneys who understands the specific procedures and requirements associated with pursuing a claim against a government entity like SEPTA.