There are many benefits to using the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) subway-surface trolley system. For one, it’s an easy way to get around West Philly, Delaware County, and underneath Market Street in Philly’s City Center. Another great benefit to using the SEPTA trolley is that it is convenient and affordable, making it a popular way to get around the city.
However, SEPTA trolleys can pose a severe risk to riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle drivers. Far too often, the news reports another story about a SEPTA trolley accident where someone was seriously killed or injured.
Suppose you or someone you care about is injured in a SEPTA trolley accident. Compensation might be due if the injured party was a trolley passenger or a pedestrian, cyclist, or motor vehicle driver struck by a SEPTA trolley.
If you are involved in a SEPTA trolley accident, there are several essential steps that you should take to ensure that you are protected and receive the compensation that you deserve.
What You Should Do Immediately Following A SEPTA Trolley Accident
There will always be chaos in the moments following an accident. What you do in the moments following a SEPTA trolley crash can mean the difference between receiving the compensation you are entitled to and being left out in the cold.
Here are some critical steps to take immediately following a SEPTA trolley accident to ensure a favorable settlement:
1.) Fill out a SEPTA incident card
A SEPTA incident card is an official document that identifies passengers affected by a trolley accident. You must receive an incident card if you were a passenger on a trolley involved in any incident, no matter how minor it may seem at the time.
SEPTA accident fraud is common. An incident card will help to prove that your claim is legitimate. If you are a passenger and you do not receive an incident card immediately, ask for one because it is your right as a passenger.
A SEPTA incident card is a duplicate form. Be sure to fill it out immediately, keep one copy for yourself, and give the second copy to the driver. Put your copy of the form in a safe place.
2.) Gather as much incident data as possible
If you are involved in a SEPTA trolley accident, you must write down any information that you believe is relevant. This information should include the driver’s name and a detailed description or a photo of the driver if possible. Take note of any pertinent accident information such as the time of the accident, the trolley identification information, and the trolley route.
Also, be sure to photograph any property damage and all vehicles that may have been involved in the trolley crash as well. Collect vehicle information, such as any vehicle driver information and license plate numbers.
You should also collect the contact information of witnesses and passengers because their testimony may be necessary if you have to bring a case against SEPTA.
It is up to you to record any damages or injuries you sustain and report them immediately. That means contacting your insurance company about any property/vehicle damage and immediately seeking medical treatment from a family doctor or going to the emergency room for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem. While some injuries may not appear serious at first, they can result in long-term issues.
Collecting all this information is essential because your claim may be denied if you cannot prove that the damage or your injuries directly resulted from the SEPTA trolley accident. Be sure to photograph any visible injuries, such as bruises or cuts.
3.) Always be truthful about what happened
As we mentioned before, SEPTA fraud is a common occurrence. As a result, SEPTA is quite aggressive in seeking criminal charges against those offering false accident information. Please note that most SEPTA vehicles have onboard cameras capable of video recording (without audio).
Regardless of the type of accident, you should always be truthful when reporting the incident to a personal injury attorney.
4.) Contact a SEPTA trolley personal injury attorney immediately
If you or a loved one were in an incident involving or injured onboard a SEPTA trolley, you may have an actionable negligence claim and be eligible for compensation.
SEPTA is a public agency, and, therefore, the burden of proof in your trolley accident case falls on you. It can often be a difficult challenge to recover damages even when you follow all of the steps outlined in this article. Thankfully, the experienced Philadelphia SEPTA accident attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Our experienced team will guide you through the process of bringing a claim in a SEPTA trolley accident. Call us as soon as possible at 215-525-6824 or fill out our form for a free consultation – let the experienced team at the Thistle Law Firm help you today.