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Philadelphians and tourists take more than 308 million (PDF) rides each year on SEPTA. From the MFL to regional rail, the service sees more than a million trips on the average weekday as residents travel in the city. These trips add up, with passengers racking up more than 1.4 billion service miles each year.
While the vast majority of these passengers arrive safely, accidents do happen. An average of 13 people dies each year after a SEPTA train hits them. Regional Rail experienced the highest number of fatalities, with 49 deaths since 2011. Buses and trolleys see their share of accidents, too, and these events cause injuries and even death for unsuspecting travelers.
If SEPTA caused you or a loved one serious injury, you’ve come to the right place.
If you were injured in a SEPTA-related accident, call us. We are experienced and dedicated Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers and we’re here to make sure get the justice you deserve.
SEPTA deaths and injuries are more common than you think. Victims sue for injuries they received almost daily. For example, in 2014, there were more than 408 SEPTA-related lawsuits filed in the court system. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, passengers sued SEPTA about 1,400 times, and the company received more than 3,400 claims.
The claims are as unique as the people making them, but every claim means someone’s life is seriously impacted by their injury. Something as simple as a sliced finger can cause permanent scarring and nerve damage, limiting mobility in that digit for the rest of that person’s life.
These legal disputes add up. SEPTA allocates about $43 million (or three percent of its total budget) to paying out legal claims every year. This is a lot of money, but it only represents the passengers who actually file a claim. Many who qualify for compensation don’t try to get it. Why? Because they don’t realize that they have the right to move forward with a claim, or that they can do so without any risk or financial burden. When you work with Console & Associates P.C., we’ll get you everything you deserve.
SEPTA Boasts About Reducing Victim Settlements
With so many claims filed against it, SEPTA does everything they can to pay as little as possible. How much do they payout? It’s all in their operating budget. (PDF)
In 2015, the company boasted that their payouts for 2015 decreased by nearly 10% and that they settled more claims for far less than what the victim wanted. Saving money, it seems, is a higher priority than fully compensating the victims injured in SEPTA accidents.
In 2011, a new law called the Fair Share Act placed additional burdens on plaintiffs who wanted to sue SEPTA for a negligent injury. This law tightened the rules about determining who was at fault in the accident. To seek compensation from a defendant like SEPTA, you have to prove that the company bears most of the liability, where before, you just had to prove that it bore some. In addition, the law put strict limits on the maximum amount a claim could be worth.
These limits make filing a claim harder, particularly if you try to do it on your own. But when you work with Console & Associates P.C., you have experienced Philly lawyers on your side. We’ve spent years studying this law, and we know how to make sure your claim has a positive resolution.
A SEPTA claim is similar to a traditional car or truck accident. We file a claim on your behalf against the transportation company, seeking compensation from their insurance policy. To do this, your attorney will need to know about your injury and how it impacted your life.
SEPTA’s negligence costs you more than mounting medical bills. It also means missed work, pain and suffering, and changes to your daily life. When we file a claim, we look at every way the accident affected you, so we get you the maximum settlement you deserve. The damages we look at include:
$250,000 for a Commuter Injury
Despite the transit company’s best efforts to downplay the claims against it and limit settlements, SEPTA still pays out millions due to their drivers’ and conductors’ negligence each year. In 2011, one man boarded a SEPTA bus with a boot and crutches. Video footage shows him slowly walking down the aisle and then suddenly lurching forward in a fall as a result of the bus speeding away before he is able to sit down. The bus driver never stopped and only checked to see if the passenger was okay when she reached the end of the line. Several passengers stepped over the victim to leave the bus.
The victim suffered from a fractured left elbow and required surgery on his tricep muscle above the elbow, which broke away in the fall. He sued SEPTA for negligence, both in driving and in failing to care for his injury until several minutes after the fall. In 2015, a jury found SEPTA at fault for the injury and awarded the man $250K in damages.
We understand that filing a claim is a big decision. You want to make sure you have the facts first, which is why we work to answer your questions and guide you through the decision-making process. Here are a few common questions that people ask when considering filing a SEPTA claim.
Most people think about passenger injuries when they discuss SEPTA claims. However, your claim could extend beyond a train, bus, or trolley accident. Seta’s subway stations and bus stops present their own dangers. Philly’s transportation company is also responsible for a large amount of real-estate.
Like any business, SEPTA has an obligation to keep its properties safe for customers’ use. If the company failed to keep its subway, train station, or bus stop safe, it could be liable for the injuries these dangerous conditions cause. Cases of this nature are known as premises liability claims and can include:
You have a right to expect SEPTA to offer safe and reliable public transit services. If the company failed to do so, then you should contact us to learn more about filing a claim.
Yes, and it is shorter than the deadlines that apply to many other personal injury claims. To file a claim against SEPTA, you need to file a notice of intent to file a civil action no more than six months after the accident. This is not the claim itself. Instead, you’re letting the company know that you plan to seek compensation.
As legal deadlines go, six months is not a long time at all. The sooner you exercise your legal right to allow us to bring a claim against the transportation company on your behalf, the better.
When you work with us, we do as much as possible to assemble the evidence for your claim. We understand Philly laws and how to get the information we need as efficiently as we can. However, to ensure that we can file your claim to get you compensation as soon as possible, there are a few things you can do:
We’ll take care of everything else. Console & Associates P.C. knows that you have enough on your plate when you’re recovering from a serious injury, so we handle every aspect of your claim for you. We won’t let your lawsuit take up the time and energy you need to devote to getting better.
If you let us file your claim, the cost of hiring a lawyer is nothing. From our first consultation through the settlement, we don’t charge you a dime, and we’ll even advance all court costs. If we can’t win your claim, you don’t owe us anything. Seriously. This is our no-fee promise. The only time you will have to pay for our legal representation is after we have succeeded in getting compensation for you.
We believe in focusing on our clients and doing whatever it takes to win their case. Money should never prevent you from getting the justice you deserve, and when you work with Console & Associates P.C., it won’t. We don’t get paid until you win.
We know there are likely other questions that you have for our legal team, so we invite you to call us today. We will give you our undivided attention as we walk you through your case and what the process looks like.
You shouldn’t have to carry the burden of your medical bills and financial situation alone. Call Console & Associates P.C. today to discuss your SEPTA accident and learn how we can help. If SEPTA was negligent and caused your injury, then it, not you, should pay for your care. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
Remember, to have a qualifying claim, you need to file your notice of intent within six months of the accident. Don’t let your chance at getting the justice you deserve slip by. Call Today!
SEPTA Announces Plan to Revamp Trolleys by 2024
In a step toward increased safety and consideration for riders, SEPTA plans to introduce new trolleys and upgrade their rail line by 2024. This project will cost an estimated $1 billion, but it will make the trolleys more wheelchair-accessible with platforms raised above street level. The project will introduce 120 new cars that are 80 feet long and hold twice as many passengers, compared to the current 53-foot long trolleys used today.
Almost 80,000 Philadelphia residents use the trolleys each workday, so their comfort and safety are essential.
Trauma Surgeons Train for SEPTA Crashes
The doctors at Penn Presbyterian regularly train to respond to mass trauma events, including the August 22 train crash that trapped 41 passengers and left 32 injured. The hospital often sends out surgeons with in-field care bags to provide triage care on the scene. Learn how doctors train for trauma and put all of their resources into a significant SEPTA accident.
SEPTA App Makes It Easy to Report Problems
In 2017, SEPTA launched its Transit Watch app that helps riders report safety issues within 20 seconds. There’s also a two-way communication feature that allows SEPTA dispatchers to give the commuter instructions or take action to help the situation. Downloading this app could help protect you when using the SEPTA transit system.