≡ Menu

Step by step guide to SEPTA Accidents in Philadelphia

Call an Experienced SEPTA Accident Lawyer

I have a long history of success involving SEPTA accidents in Philadelphia and have dealt with insurance adjusters and their SEPTA accident lawyers for over thirty years.

Looking back on one particular septa accident case, during a jury trial, SEPTA had offered my client $100,000 to settle.  At the time my client was tired of the trial and wanted to return to her home in Puerto Rico.  Against my advice, she told me she was willing to settle for $120,000 and SEPTA refused.  Afterwards the client allowed me to continue trying the case in court.  Two days later, the jury came back with a verdict of $1,500,000.  This is one of the many SEPTA accident cases that they remember when I bring a new claim against them on behalf of one of my clients.

SEPTA Accident Procedure

Very often, the bus driver will hand out a form which you can fill out after the SEPTA accident occurs.  This will identify you as a passenger on the bus during the accident.  The form comes with a duplicate. Fill out one and give the bus driver a copy. A major setback that can delay the settlement of a case against SEPTA occurs when they have trouble identifying if you were actually on the bus when the SEPTA accident occurs. Unfortunately, very often people will either try and jump on a bus after an accident or claim that they were on the bus when they were not. SEPTA runs into this kind of fraud all of the time.  The easiest way to avoid this problem is to fill out the form that the driver hands you immediately after the SEPTA accident.

*If the bus driver does not voluntarily hand out a form, ask for one.

  • The Bus Driver – Get the bus driver’s name and write down a detailed description of them.  This should include as much information as possible, but at the very least, sex, race, height, weight, and distinguishing features in case you need to identify them at some point.
  • Which bus and route were you on? – Make a note of the time, bus number, route number of the bus you were on.
  • Were there any witnesses? – Try to collect the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses at the scene of the SEPTA accident.
  • Record others contact information. – Try to get the names and phone numbers of some of the other passengers on the bus.

This is particularly important if you are injured as a result of a sudden stop.  There are special rules which apply to sudden stops on SEPTA buses.  Basically, if you are claiming you are injured as a result of what appears to be a sudden stop you can only make a claim for injuries if you can prove that the stop was unusual or extraordinary.  This is known as the “jerk and jolt” rule.  It’s not enough that you were thrown and injured as a result of the stop. Having other passengers on the bus who can also explain the situation in an accurate way that is consistent with your version of the story will help your case a lot when you are presenting it.

You need to show that other passengers were also thrown and injured.  Obviously, the best way to do that is get the names and phone numbers of your fellow passengers.

Be Sure to Report your SEPTA Accident Injury!

septa busReport your injury to a healthcare provider immediately.  If you feel it’s necessary, request transport to an emergency room.  If you don’t think an emergency room is necessary, at least make an appointment to see your primary care physician or some other healthcare provider as soon as possible. In either case, tell the doctor what is bothering you and how and where you were hurt.In every SEPTA accident case, they are going to request and/or subpoena copies of your medical records.  If these records don’t indicate that you were injured on a SEPTA vehicle they will delay or deny the claim, which will require an extended litigation.

SEPTA is a state agency and therefore special rules apply to them that would not apply to you and me.  If you fail to follow these rules, you will inevitably lose your case against them. Make sure you get an experienced Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer to handle your case. Even though SEPTA can be a very cheap and convenient way for thousands of people to travel around the city daily, we are all at risk when it comes to traffic accidents involving mass transit.  There is an inherent danger while riding in a vehicle without seat belts present that is known for making sudden stops continuously.

The Heslin Law Firm has handled cases with not only the passengers of SEPTA vehicles, but also their drivers and pedestrians who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since SEPTA is considered a “common carrier” under the law they are required to be held at a higher standard of care when dealing with the safety of their passengers. So if the company fails to reach the required level of quality, they can be seen as negligent. Since SEPTA is a state agency and has immunity from certain suits, cases can become very difficult to present in court and the success rate of these cases is severely diminished.

Free Consultations for Accident Victims

Getting representation from an experienced Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer is very important when dealing with government agencies. The Heslin Law Firm has extensive experience with public transit cases and has gotten its clients the financial compensation that they deserve for more than thirty years. Let the professionals handle your case for you. If you have any questions, please contact a Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyer at 215-332-0300 for a free consultation. Follow these links for more information regarding auto accidents or personal injuries.

© 2015 Heslin Law Firm, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission, Privacy Policy