After an individual is hurt in a bus or train accident, they are often unsure of their rights and options. If you have been injured in a public transportation accident, you may be facing major medical and financial concerns, which is why immediately exploring legal options is critical.
An investigation of a public transit accident is essential to determine whether an accident occurred due to another party’s negligence. Set up a free consultation with a Rand Spear public transportation attorney in Philadelphia by phone or online submission.
This meeting will allow us to evaluate your case and guide you through your legal options. Rest assured, this meeting carries no obligation, pressure, or hidden fees, just knowledge and insights.
Consider all Legal Options Following a Public Transport Accident
The administration of any transit medium is required to ensure that their modes of transportation are safe for passenger use. This is accomplished through regular inspections to ensure there are no hazards either with the vehicles, staff, or waiting areas. If dangers go undetected, they can cause accidents.
A public transportation attorney is crucial in proving negligence because of their experience in collecting evidence. In instances of public transit accidents, there are numerous channels to contact for gathering corroborating evidence, which the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority (SEPTA) accident lawyers at Rand Spear can coordinate for you.
We can protect your rights if you have suffered an injury on a bus or train. See the initial steps in the legal process below for more information.
Protocols Following a Transit Accident
When an accident occurs on a bus or train, many people are shaken and unsure what to do. Even if you did not visit an emergency room or seek medical help immediately following the accident, you may still require long-term medical care.
Scheduling an appointment with a doctor shortly after the accident is important both for health and legal reasons. Following the appointment, request documentation from the doctor regarding any injuries sustained.
After a SEPTA bus or train accident, it is important to remain at the accident scene. A representative from the transit company will typically come to the scene of the accident to provide claim forms for all parties involved in the crash. These forms require you to provide the following information:
- Date of incident
- Time of incident
- Location of incident
- Route or property where the incident occurred
- The destination of your trip
Finally, follow the post-accident checklist steps as you would for any type of auto accident, including taking pictures and speaking with witnesses. For the entire post-accident checklist, please click on the link below.
Philadelphia Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me (215) 273-9636
The Process of Determining Liability in a Pennsylvania Public Transit Accident
When seeking legal action after a mass transit accident, understand that the municipality provides these transportation methods. If you pursue legal action against a municipality, you, as the injured party, must send a written Notice of Claim to the municipality, which needs to be filed within six months of the accident.
The notice must include the injured party’s name and address, the date and time of the accident, and the accident location. It is vital to know that the public transportation accident victim is required to satisfy the burden of proof. This is to prove the victim’s injuries directly resulted from negligence.
In most cases, negligence is represented by the transit administration’s failure to provide a duty of care to the passengers. This can be done with evidence such as a security camera recording of the incident as it happened, pictures of the hazard, medical documents detailing the injuries, the transit party’s claim form, a police report of the accident, witness statements, and more.
Available Damages You May Receive After a Transit Accident
When an injured party is successful in satisfying the burden of proof, they may be able to recover public transportation compensation for any damages stemming from the public transit accident. These damages may be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages have a specific monetary value associated, while non-economic damages have no specific value attached. Some examples of damages related to a public transportation accident are listed below:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional traumas
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
Types of Compensation
The type of accident may affect who is liable and what compensation you receive. You can work with your bus accident lawyers to identify the specific accident classification and compensation options available to you.
Here are some details about a few of the types of damages you may be able to recover after an accident:
- Medical expenses: Any costs related to your injuries, such as a visit to the doctor, test, or treatment, could all be part of your compensation.
- Lost wages: Another possible compensation would cover hours of work you missed recovering from injuries. If your injuries affected your wages or caused you to lose your job, you could be entitled to additional coverage.
- Pain and suffering: In some cases, the physical and emotional trauma of accident and injury could be recoverable damages through compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Transportation Accidents
If you’re exploring your options for compensation and Philadelphia public transportation accident lawyers, you likely have critical questions. We’ve provided a list of commonly asked questions to help provide additional guidance for you as you navigate this complex process.
How Can You Protect Yourself After an Accident?
Immediately after the accident, you’ll want to stay on-site as a witness. Be careful not to make any statements that could be perceived as an admission of guilt, as you’ll need to prove you were not at all responsible for the accident.
Identify witnesses and document evidence of any injuries as soon as you can. Keep records of any symptoms you experience related to your injuries, doctor’s visits, and treatments, as well as any other medical information that may be relevant to the case. You’ll also want to track your related out-of-pocket expenses and any work you miss due to injuries.
How Should You Respond if a SEPTA Representative Calls You After You’ve Chosen an Attorney?
If you receive a call from a public transportation company representative, the vehicle driver, or another related party, do not consent to make any recorded statements.
You’ll also need to avoid signing any forms from the company or insurance carrier. If you’re offered a settlement from the insurance provider, consult a lawyer before taking action.
Who Can You Sue for Losses?
Depending on the situation, several different parties could be held liable for the accident. Those who could be held responsible include:
- An individual driver
- The vehicle operating company
- The municipality operating the transportation system
- Business owners at various stops along the route
What Should You Consider When Contemplating Suing?
If you are preparing to file a claim against a SEPTA entity, you typically will need to make the claim within six months of the accident. This timeline is applicable whether you were a pedestrian hit by a public transportation vehicle, a passenger using public transit, or a driver of another vehicle that collided with the bus.
You will also need to follow this stipulation if you bring the case against a public entity, such as a municipality. A wrongful death claim must also be filed within six months by the victim’s survivors.
In certain cases of delayed discovery, specific cases without a public entity may be extended. However, the statutes regarding these types of cases are strict, so you’ll want to consult an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Do You Need an Attorney to Sue?
Having an attorney is critical to helping you receive fair compensation for the physical and emotional damages you or a loved one have undergone. The SEPTA system has a range of resources and claims investigators to represent the person or entity at fault, so you’ll need the right experience to represent your interests.
Reasons to Consider Our SEPTA Accident Lawyers
Public transit accidents often result in significant injuries. The Rand Spear team has been assisting people involved in these accidents for decades.
We’re well-versed in the process of gathering crucial evidence to support your case, including footage from security cameras, statements from SEPTA employees, company documentation, and eyewitness accounts from passengers and bystanders. Other reasons to choose our firm include:
- Diligence: Investigating a public transit accident is a meticulous process requiring extensive digging to uncover the facts. Our attorneys go further than other personal injury law firms to determine the events that caused the incident. We will also fight for the highest possible compensation by securing a favorable settlement with the insurance company or taking your case to trial.
- Excellent reputation: With more than 30 years in practice, we have earned a stellar reputation throughout the Pennsylvania communities we serve. We also have an extensive network of medical contacts to ensure you receive quality care to hasten the recovery process.
- Extensive trial experience: Our public transportation attorneys are intimately familiar with the inside of a courtroom. We are not afraid to take your case to trial to ensure you receive the maximum SEPTA accident compensation.
- Personalized representation: At Rand Spear Personal Injury Attorneys, we view every client as a human being, not just another case file or court docket number. We will always treat you with the care and compassion you deserve. Our goal is to help you recover the financial compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Most Cases Settle Out of Court
You should know that most public transportation accident cases settle outside the courtroom. It is generally in all parties’ best interest to reach an out-of-court settlement. Finalizing your case in this manner can make the process much quicker while avoiding the unpredictable nature of the courtroom.
However, just because your case will likely end in an out-of-court settlement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to go to court. There is always the possibility that the other party will be unwilling to negotiate to reach a fair settlement deal, necessitating a trial to complete your case.
Our Public Transportation Lawyers Get Paid for Results
When you hire one of our Philadelphia public transportation attorneys, you will never have to worry about receiving a bill for the services we provide. We don’t charge a retainer fee or an hourly rate. Instead, the only money our lawyers are paid in these cases comes in the form of a one-time fee paid from the compensation you recover from the liable party.
We will not get paid if we fail to secure compensation on your behalf. If our lawyers succeed in recovering money for the damages you suffered, the fee they receive will be assessed as a fixed percentage of the settlement or court-ordered payout from the at-fault party.
This payment system allows all accident victims to retain the services of an experienced attorney, regardless of their means.
Common Injuries After a Public Transportation Accident
Philadelphia public transportation accident attorneys handle cases involving a range of different injuries. Because some public vehicles, such as buses, do not have seatbelts, passengers may be thrown out of their seats upon impact. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars may also be injured in this type of accident.
Compensation for various types of injuries that occur due to bus accidents can be pursued, including:
- Bruises, abrasions, and cuts
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lost limbs
When you work with Rand Spear, we can help evaluate your injuries and determine if you have a case. We’ll also work with you to ensure you meet all filing deadlines and have the opportunity to receive appropriate compensation.
Depending on your situation and location, you may have varying timelines for reporting and filing a case after being injured, so you’ll want to take action and consult your SEPTA accident attorneys as soon as possible.
Causes of Public Transportation Accidents
While there are cases of major injuries being caused by a serious bus or train accident, even a minor accident can cause you to suffer a substantial personal injury. In many public transit accidents, a collision might not even occur.
From buses and trains stopping short to automatic doors closing too soon, there are a number of instances that can cause severe injuries. Some of the various causes of bus and train accidents include the following:
- Driver negligence
- Sudden stops
- Train derailment
- Equipment or structural malfunction
- Lack of necessary safety precautions
- Collision with another vehicle
- Slip and falls
- Poor lighting
- Distracted driving
- Improper maintenance
- Poor weather conditions
Take the Next Step: Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Have you been hurt in a public transit accident? It is critical to know your legal rights. You should also understand that the insurance company is not on your side. Its goal is to minimize your claim payout and keep more money in its coffers. Additionally, any statement you make to a law enforcement officer could harm your case.
Before you speak to an insurance adjuster or police officer, contact the experienced Philadelphia public transportation accident attorneys at Rand Spear. We are available 24/7 to discuss your situation and develop a winning legal strategy to attain a successful outcome.
Get started right now by contacting us to schedule an initial consultation. We do not charge a fee for this meeting, and you are under no obligation to move forward. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you owe nothing unless we help you recover financial compensation. You have nothing to lose — contact our SEPTA accident attorneys today!
Call or text (215) 273-9636 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form