In 2011, SEPTA's ridership reached its highest number in 22 years, with more than 334,000 trips made on subway, trolley, bus, and regional rail services.
With that high number of riders, it is inevitable that accidents occur as well. Riders and passengers may be injured on buses, subways, trolleys or regional rail lines.
If SEPTA passengers were injured as a result of the negligence of the bus driver, or the trolley, subway or regional rail operator, then injured passengers may sue SEPTA for the injuries and damages sustained in the accident.
However, there are certain legal requirements and steps injured passengers must take in order to file a lawsuit against SEPTA.
SEPTA is considered a Commonwealth governmental entity; therefore, as a Commonwealth entity, SEPTA is generally immune from suit pursuant to Pennsylvania's Sovereign Immunity Act.
However, there are various exceptions to this rule as provided by Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. §8522 (b), which allows injured victims to bring a lawsuit if it was caused by the following:
(1) vehicle liability;
(2) medical-professional liability;
(3) care, custody or control of personal property;
(4) Commonwealth real estate, highways and sidewalks;
(5) potholes and other dangerous conditions;
(6) care, custody or control of animals;
(7) liquor store sales;
(8) national guard activities; or
(9) toxoids and vaccines.
A SEPTA bus, trolley or regional rail accident due to the negligence of the SEPTA operator would fall under the vehicle liability exception. It is important to note that the passenger's injuries must happen while the bus or trolley is in motion or moving.
Click here to read Part B of the article which discusses the notice requirement injured victims must give to SEPTA.
Feel free to call our Philadelphia car and bus accident lawyers for more information about your legal rights.