On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, several streets in South Philadelphia were temporarily shut down as hazmat teams were called in to address a dangerous situation at a SEPTA bus depot in the area. Four lithium batteries on a SEPTA bus had caught fire and needed to be removed. Fortunately, no one was injured.
It’s very easy to imagine how this situation could have played out differently. Had these fires started while the bus was in motion or while people were in its proximity, someone may have been hurt.
Stories such as this serve as a reminder that SEPTA accidents don’t always involve collisions or other such types of common traffic accidents. Bus passengers and operators (as well as those in the vicinity of SEPTA buses) may also potentially sustain burns or be harmed in other such ways if bus components fail.
As of this writing, it’s not yet clear what caused the fires. This could be a random incident for which no one is at fault. Again, because the fires caused no injuries, it’s unlikely any legal cases will arise as a result of this event.
That doesn’t mean similar incidents won’t give way to claims and lawsuits in the future. Those who provide lithium batteries and other such parts for SEPTA buses have a responsibility to ensure they aren’t defective. Those who maintain SEPTA buses (as well as trains and other such vehicles) also have a responsibility to ensure the vehicles are maintained to proper standards.
Any of these parties can be negligent. Their negligence could allow components to fail in a manner that results in harm to victims.
This will hopefully never happen to you. That said, if you ever are injured in a SEPTA accident that appears to be a “freak occurrence” resulting from part failure, don’t assume no one is to blame. Err on the side of caution and review your case with an attorney who handles SEPTA claims and lawsuits.
An initial consultation with a lawyer should be free, so you’re taking no financial risk by meeting with one. During this meeting, a lawyer will learn about the details of your accident and determine if you may have grounds to take legal action to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other such losses. An attorney can also assist you by:
This isn’t to suggest that all victims have legitimate claims to compensation when parts on SEPTA buses and trains fail. Once more, there are instances when these types of accidents occur and no one is at fault. However, when accidents result from part failure, it’s easy to dismiss them as random events without looking more deeply into them.
Don’t make this mistake. At the law firm of Solomon, Sherman, Gabay, Briskin & Sherman, our Philadelphia SEPTA accident attorneys are prepared to review your case and investigate whether this is an instance in which legal action may be justified. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 215-665-1100.