If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a SEPTA vehicle either as a pedestrian, or in your own personal vehicle, or were injured in an accident while riding in a SEPTA bus, train, trolley or light rail train, call us today for a free consultation.

Request a consultation with us today and we’ll help determine if you have a case.


Over half a million people rely on SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) trains and buses daily to facilitate their commutes and travel in the greater Philadelphia area. While SEPTA plays a crucial role in the region's transportation system, it's not without its share of accidents, crashes, and injuries. With a vast fleet of SEPTA vehicles traversing the Philadelphia area, accidents can and do occur, resulting in new victims every year.

If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a SEPTA bus, train, or trolley, or if you've been involved in a collision with a SEPTA vehicle, you don't have to navigate the complexities of dealing with SEPTA on your own. The experienced Philadelphia SEPTA accident lawyers at Thistle Law are here to leverage their decades of experience to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

What to Do After an Accident With SEPTA

The immediate aftermath of a SEPTA accident can be overwhelming.That is why knowing the right steps to take to protect your health, well-being, and legal rights is crucial.

Here is what you should do immediately following a SEPTA accident:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Care: Regardless of the apparent severity of your injuries, seek medical care immediately. Timely medical attention prioritizes your well-being and creates a crucial record of your treatment and injuries shortly after the accident. This documentation is essential, even if your injuries initially seem minor, as certain symptoms may manifest weeks or months later.
    Document Your Injuries: Make sure you have a record of your treatment that ties any injuries you may suffer to the time of the crash. Some injuries may be challenging to detect initially without advanced medical equipment.
  • Collect Evidence: If you are physically able, gather as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as possible. Statements from other passengers or witnesses and their contact information can also be invaluable evidence should you decide to pursue a case against SEPTA.
  • Consult with an Attorney: Contact a reputable Philadelphia personal injury attorney after receiving medical treatment and collecting evidence. An experienced attorney can assess your unique situation and help you determine the legal avenues available, ensuring you can secure the settlement needed to rebuild your life after a serious SEPTA accident.



If you find yourself in the process of possibly pursuing a lawsuit, SEPTA is unlike filing a lawsuit against a motor vehicle driver following an accident.

Three rules govern SEPTA lawsuits:

  1. The Common Carrier Rule: SEPTA transportation units, such as trains, trolleys, or buses, are common carriers. That means that SEPTA is held to exceptionally high standards and must follow strict regulations regarding safety. Common carriers can be held liable for negligent or reckless acts. However, there are limitations to that liability.

The carrier is shielded from liability regarding injuries sustained in typical or expected stops or movements of a common carrier vehicle. Suppose a SEPTA vehicle jolts or comes to a sudden halt. In that case, it does not mean that the carrier is automatically liable for a passenger injury. In these cases, the injured passenger must prove that their injury resulted from some unusual or abnormal movement or stop, such as a speeding operator who slammed on the brakes.

  1. Sovereign Immunity: The doctrine of sovereign immunity may apply to a SEPTA accident case, which can shield the carrier from liability. As a government agency, SEPTA falls under the Sovereign Immunity Act. Suing a government agency can be tricky. One must follow strict rules, or there is a risk of jeopardizing the victim's claim. One such rule involves providing notice of claim to SEPTA within six months following the incident. This notice must include specific information about the accident for your claim to meet the requirements of the Sovereign Immunity Act.
  2. Limitations on Damage: When a victim sues SEPTA, there are limits on the damages they may collect from the agency. The most money that a victim is entitled to receive is $250,000. There is also a total accident liability cap of $1,000,000. Regardless of the number of victims in a SEPTA accident, SEPTA is only liable for up to $1,000,000.

With such specific rules governing SEPTA lawsuits, SEPTA accident victims must hire a personal injury attorney with experience in SEPTA cases. Read on below for more specific instances of what you might want to do after your accident with SEPTA.



Over 80 Years Of Personal Injury Case Experience.

When you're involved in a serious accident with a SEPTA vehicle or as a passenger on a SEPTA line, you may require extensive medical attention, resulting in substantial medical bills. To make matters worse, your injuries may prevent you from working during your recovery, placing additional strain on your financial situation. Without taking the necessary steps, you might struggle to secure the settlement needed to restore your peace of mind.

At Thistle Law, we have a strong track record of helping our clients obtain significant monetary awards in SEPTA accident cases. We bring the same level of dedication and tenacity to each public transit case we handle. While every case is unique, our approach always centers on our client's needs and desired outcomes, ensuring you receive compensation to cover medical expenses and compensation for the pain and suffering caused by your SEPTA accident.

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Is SEPTA Always at Fault?

SEPTA accidents can result from various causes, and while not all accidents are solely the fault of SEPTA, many of them are preventable. Serious accidents often occur due to errors by SEPTA operators or failures in vehicle maintenance.

Negligence on the part of SEPTA can also lead to injuries along roadways and at SEPTA station stops and terminals. Passengers have reported dangerous conditions, such as crumbling infrastructure and unrepaired hazards, which can result in serious injuries. In such cases, SEPTA may be liable due to negligence.


Injuries from a SEPTA Accident

Any accident involving a large bus, train, or trolley can be devastating due to the size of the vehicle involved in the crash.

Common injuries from SEPTA accidents include, but are not limited to:

SEPTA accidents are often dangerous due to the size and speed of their vehicle fleet, causing serious injury, suffering, and death. If you or a loved one suffered from an accident with a SEPTA vehicle or at a SEPTA property, you will need an experienced SEPTA attorney on your side to fight to get the justice you deserve. Don't let SEPTA intimidate you into signing away your rights.


Should I Take a Settlement from SEPTA?

SEPTA personnel or third parties may attempt to obtain statements from you and have you sign contracts that limit the settlement you are entitled to after a serious accident involving a SEPTA vehicle or station. That is why it is so important to seek the advice of an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer before accepting any settlement from SEPTA.

It's crucial to remember that SEPTA is classified as a state agency, subject to different rules when it comes to legal claims. Waiting too long to take action could result in losing the opportunity to file a lawsuit against them.

Common Types of SEPTA Accidents

SEPTA accidents can take various forms, posing risks to passengers, motorists, pedestrians, and even SEPTA employees.

Some common types of SEPTA accidents include:

  • Vehicle Collisions: Accidents involving SEPTA buses, trains, or trolleys colliding with other vehicles can lead to serious injuries and fatalities.
  • Station and Terminal Incidents: Inadequate maintenance at SEPTA stations and terminals can result in accidents, including slips, trips, and falls, as well as injuries caused by structural deficiencies like crumbling ceilings, loose wires, and leaking drains.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: SEPTA accidents often involve pedestrians or bicyclists and can lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
  • Operator Errors: Errors made by SEPTA operators, such as distracted driving or failure to adhere to safety protocols, can result in accidents.


Recent SEPTA Accidents

In February of 2022, Philadelphia experienced a string of tragic accidents involving SEPTA vehicles. Within a span of just 12 hours, three separate deadly accidents occurred in different municipalities. A SEPTA bus in South Philadelphia, a Trenton Regional Rail train in Croydon, and a trolley in Collingdale all struck and tragically killed pedestrians.

While these incidents occurred in 2022, recent data is still emerging. However, between 2016 and 2019, there were more than 14,000 reported SEPTA accidents, raising concerns about the safety of SEPTA vehicles and their operators. These statistics underscore the importance of seeking legal representation whenever you are involved in a SEPTA accident.


SEPTA Accident Statistics

The Federal Transportation Administration has reported that SEPTA has a bus accident for roughly every 100,000 miles driven. To put this into context, other transit agencies, such as the Metro Public Transit in Houston, have an accident for every 1.2 million miles driven, and the Chicago Transit has an accident for every 2.4 million miles.

These statistics show that a SEPTA rider is 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash or accident than someone riding public transit in Chicago. Some specific routes in the Philadelphia area, such as Route 23, 21, and 47, have reported accident rates as high as over a dozen accidents per month. While SEPTA may describe these accidents as minor, each incident increases the potential for serious or fatal injuries.


Collecting Evidence After a SEPTA Accident

If you are physically able to do so, collecting as much evidence as possible after a SEPTA accident can help you get the compensation you deserve. This evidence may include photographs and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Statements from other passengers or witnesses and their contact information can be essential for building a strong case if you decide to pursue legal action against SEPTA.

Here's a handy checklist of items you should collect as evidence:

  • Contact information from witnesses.
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries.
  • The SEPTA vehicle's identification information.
  • Copies of medical reports and bills related to your injuries.
  • Any SEPTA incident or accident reports.



In a SEPTA accident claim, you may seek various types of compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses: Coverage for past and future medical treatment related to your injuries.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for lost income due to the accident and injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: Damages for physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Property damage: Coverage for damage to your vehicle or personal belongings.
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs: Compensation for expenses related to your recovery.
  • Wrongful death: If you lost a loved one in a fatal SEPTA accident, you may pursue a wrongful death claim for funeral expenses and other losses.

Only an experienced SEPTA accident lawyer will have your best interests in mind. We’ve handled hundreds of personal injury cases and can handle all the roadblocks on the way to getting you the compensation you deserve. An attorney will handle all the communication with SEPTA and fight for you and your interests.


The timeline for resolving a SEPTA accident claim can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of your injuries, and other factors. Some cases may settle relatively quickly, while others may take several months or even years, especially if litigation is required.




Only an experienced SEPTA accident lawyer will have your best interests in mind. At Thistle Law, we've handled hundreds of personal injury cases and understand the unique challenges posed by government agency rules that limit compensation. SEPTA lawyers are often motivated to secure the lowest possible settlement, which may not adequately cover your needs.

We care deeply for all our clients and approach each case with compassion and tenacity. Our initial consultation with you is always free, allowing us to understand your situation and explore the best path forward for securing the compensation you deserve.

An experienced SEPTA accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance by:

  • Investigating the accident to determine liability.
  • Calculating the full extent of your damages.
  • Negotiating with SEPTA's insurance company on your behalf.
  • Representing you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
  • Ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.



If you're seeking relief after an accident involving SEPTA, the experts at Thistle Law possess decades of experience navigating the complex regulations governing government agency compensation. SEPTA lawyers work for the largest transportation agency in the region, and their ultimate goal may be to convince you to accept the lowest possible settlement.

At Thistle Law, we fight relentlessly for justice on behalf of our clients. We understand the intricacies of SEPTA cases and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life after a serious SEPTA accident.

Don't wait to take action. Contact us today at (215) 525-6824, or use our contact page to start your free consultation. Let us be your advocates and help you on the path to recovery after a SEPTA accident. Your rights and well-being deserve the best representation.

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