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Philadelphia SEPTA Bus & Pedestrian Accidents - Injured Pedestrians' Legal Rights

Last Friday night, a 29 year old mother and her 8 year old son were hit by a SEPTA bus while crossing the street in South Philadelphia at the intersection of 15th Street and Washington Avenue.  Sadly, the mother was dragged under the bus and killed after being struck by the SEPTA bus. The boy was sitting next to his mother when officers arrived at the scene, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.  *Source: www.philadelphia.cbslocal.com (Mother Killed, Son Injured After Getting Hit By SEPTA Bus In South Philadelphia)

According to the police, the video from a camera in the bus showed that the bus was making a left turn from 15th Street onto Washington Avenue when the mother and child crossed in front of the bus.  The accident is under investigation. 

SEPTA Bus Accidents - Who is at Fault?

In an accident involving a SEPTA bus and a pedestrian, the injured victim or deceased pedestrian's family may have legal rights against SEPTA.  If the SEPTA driver was negligent and caused the accident, the injured victim or deceased victim's family may recover financial compensation.  Though no amount of money can replace someone's life, financial compensation is the only way the family of the deceased victim can recover.

Related Case Result-Injured pedestrian hit by car settles case for $300,000

Injured Pedestrians

An injured pedestrian may file a lawsuit against SEPTA for the injuries and damages they sustained as a result of the pedestrian-car accident.  However, there are certain things the injured pedestrian must do prior to filing a lawsuit. Otherwise, the pedestrian may be barred from filing a lawsuit later on.

An injured pedestrian must give SEPTA their notice of intention to make a claim against SEPTA within 6 months of the bus-pedestrian accident pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. § 5522(a)(1).  In addition, the notice must include specific information:

  • name and address of the injured pedestrian,
  • the date and time of the accident,
  • the location of where the accident occurred, and
  • the name and address of treating physicians.

If notice is not given, in injured pedestrian may not be able to sue SEPTA.

Deceased Pedestrians

The family of a deceased pedestrian may file a lawsuit against SEPTA for the injuries/damages sustained by the deceased pedestrian in a survival action lawsuit.  Survival actions include claims the decedent may have arising from the accident leading to their death.  In addition, surviving family members may file a wrongful death action for the damages they incurred as a result of the family member's death.  However, only certain family members can bring this action, i.e., spouses, children, or parents. 

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