Philadelphia residents are familiar with the local public transportation system known as SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority). SEPTA operates several different types of transportation systems, including railways, subways, and trolleys. But perhaps the most common form of SEPTA transportation is its bus system, with a fleet of around 1,400 buses traveling over 100 different routes. Anyone traveling around Philadelphia and the surrounding Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, and Chester counties has likely seen the white and red buses that serve a population of over 4 million people.
Public transportation is usually a very safe, convenient, and cost effective way for people to travel or commute. However, because these buses are so common around the Philadelphia, the likelihood of being involved in an accident as a passenger on a SEPTA bus also increases. Each year, there are hundreds of accidents involving SEPTA buses on the roadways of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. As a result, people who rely on these buses for transportation to commute to work or to get around the city are at risk of being injured in a SEPTA bus accident. If this has happened to you or someone you love, reach out to one of our experienced Philadelphia SEPTA bus accident attorneys to help you with your case. You may be entitled to receive compensation as an accident victim of a bus accident.
Bus accidents are often caused by driver error. If the bus driver is fatigued or overworked, they may be paying less attention than they should and could drive carelessly, causing an accident. If the driver was not properly trained, they may make a mistake operating the bus on a busy road. Additionally, if there is an issue with the bus itself and a part malfunctions or was improperly installed or repaired, an accident is likely to occur. Legally, SEPTA is at fault for driver errors or for bus malfunctions, but accident victims may face issues pursuing their claims when they are injured in a bus accident.
One of the biggest issues that passengers on SEPTA buses face in accidents is the extent of their injuries. Bus accidents can cause unexpected and severe injuries depending on the speed and the type of impact that occurs. Buses often get full of passengers, causing some to have to stand up and hold onto a bar or strap. Even passengers who are seated do not have seat belts to protect them in the event of a crash. This means that collisions can cause passengers to fall or be thrown inside the bus, which can cause serious injuries like broken bones, head trauma, cuts and bruises, or spinal injuries. These injuries could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical bills and could have lasting effects on your ability to work and earn an income. In these cases, it is important to get in touch with an attorney to ensure that you receive compensation to cover your injuries and other expenses and damages.
It is also the case that SEPTA buses are sometimes involved in accidents with cars or other vehicles on the road. Because SEPTA buses are so large and heavy, they can cause serious damage to smaller vehicles when they collide with them. This could cause major damage to the other vehicle and could cause injuries to the people in the car as well as passengers on the bus. Accident victims in these cases could also face serious injuries and need the assistance of an experienced attorney to help them receive compensation.
Bus accident victims also face many other potential issues even beyond treating their immediate injuries and medical problems. Some injuries may cause disabilities or paralysis and require long term care, sometimes even lifetime care. Accident victims may also suffer from grief, depression, or emotional distress, pain and suffering, and post-traumatic stress disorder that will require counseling. Victims should be compensated for these issues as well beyond just out of pocket medical bills and expenses.
Unfortunately, dealing with a state operated agency like SEPTA presents its own set of legal issues that often complicate cases for accident victims. First, state agencies are often protected by sovereign immunity, meaning that an individual cannot sue the state agency directly if they were hurt in a bus accident except in certain cases authorized by the legislature. And even if it is authorized by the legislature, there may be limits to how much you can recover for your injuries, meaning that you may not be able to receive adequate compensation without a lawyers assistance.
Second, there may be specific laws that control various aspects of lawsuits against transportation systems like SEPTA. Because of the complications of SEPTA bus accident cases, it is important to have the assistance of a qualified Philadelphia attorney to help you with your case. Transportation systems like SEPTA are called common carriers and are subject to certain standards of care for their passengers. This means that SEPTA is responsible to fulfill that high standard of care when transporting passengers and must ensure that passengers are kept safe. Otherwise, they will be considered under the law to have acted negligently. However, there may still be issues of sovereign immunity because of SEPTAs position as a state agency. Your SEPTA accident lawyer will help you understand how to pursue your claim and work to ensure that you receive the right amount of compensation for your injuries.
The lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky know that it can be intimidating to pursue a claim against a government agency like SEPTA. We do not want bus accident victims to feel that they have to handle their case alone, and we will work zealously on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected and that you are compensated for all of your injuries, property damage, and any other damage or expenses caused by the accident. Contact our office right away for a free consultation with one of our attorneys at the hospital, at your home, or at our offices.