SEPTA (which stands for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) is a state agency in the state of Pennsylvania dealing with all claims against forms of mass transit such as bus, train, trolley (including trackless trolley), subway and others. Anyone who has been injured, or the family members of those who have been killed, in accidents involving these vehicles may be able to recover damages such a medical bills, lost wages and even pain and suffering. However, they will need to place the claim against SEPTA.
Because SEPTA is a state agency, claims must follow rules that apply to claims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There are additional regulations in place regarding Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law and the Motor Vehicle Code that will regulate any claims against SEPTA. As a general rule, there is a $250,000 cap per claim, up to $1,000,000 per accident.
What Type of Cases are Covered by SEPTA?
A collision on a SEPTA-run vehicle is the most obvious type of case. But there are others, including:
- Slip and fall cases at terminals
- Improperly cleaned facilities leading to accidents
- Crumbling walls or ceilings that strike pedestrians
- Accidents or injuries along SEPTA-maintained bridges and roadways
It’s important to remember that SEPTA cases do not have to involve a vehicle collision to be covered.
Difference Between SEPTA Claims and Car Accident Claims
While in many cases SEPTA claims would seem to be very similar to a car accident case, the complex rules and regulations in place do make the cases a bit different. In fact, the laws will vary depending on the type of vehicle you were riding when the accident occurred. For instance, the rules for trolleys are different than the rules for buses—and the owners of the vehicles have differing levels of responsibility. Therefore, if you or someone you love, is injured in a mass transit accident, it is vital that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney will understand the differing SEPTA laws and can help you navigate the legal system. Additionally, you will be able to get the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will also be able to see whether the other party, the other party’s insurance, your insurance or SEPTA will be on the hook for your damages and take care of compensation. Finally, a lawyer can help make sure you do not make any mistakes during the early stages of the legal proceedings.
What to do after an accident on SEPTA property
After a transit accident, make sure you receive a claim form from the driver or a representative. Make sure the transit driver or a proper authority has your phone number and other contact information. If you have sustained injuries, report that you will be seeking care and have this information noted. At the hospital, have any care you receive noted as well. When you are at the hospital, and care has been started, contact an attorney right away to begin working on your SEPTA claim as soon as possible. It is always a good idea to being the case quickly—before the vital information is lost.
If you are currently dealing with a SEPTA case, and you would like to talk to a Philadelphia-area expert, reach out to us at Solnick & Associates. We would love to help you navigate the complicated waters of SEPTA law and make sure you get the most you possibly can for your case. After all, you deserve to have someone on your side–every step of the way.
Photo via Flickr by Darius Pinkston