SEPTA can compensate your medical expenses and other damages if a SEPTA driver fails to exercise their basic duty of care and you are injured. Unfortunately, coming to terms with government agencies can complicate this privilege.
If you’re hurt while riding a public transit bus in Pennsylvania, you might assume that SEPTA is immune from personal injury lawsuits. Fortunately, this has not always been the case because there are instances where victims can sue SEPTA.
What Is SEPTA?
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is one of the major public transportation systems of the United States and links five counties in the Greater Philadelphia area with other public transport systems. SEPTA facilities include a high-speed railway line that connects the city center with the western suburbs and regional rail services.
SEPTA aims to provide you with the best available commute experience every time you board one of their trains. Moreover, they are committed to ensuring that you, your family, and your employees have a comfortable and secure ride. Environmental, health, security, and several other authorized employees work day and night to ensure that the SEPTA system is safe and efficient throughout the day closely.
SEPTA Injury Cases and Sovereign Immunity
SEPTA’s trains, trolleys, and buses are considered common carriers subject to strict regulations. So SEPTA is maintained to a greater standard concerning safety. If a common carrier is guilty of negligence or recklessness, they can be held legally responsible. However, there are limits to this liability.
A SEPTA injury case may be shielded from legal responsibility by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The Sovereign Immunity safeguards SEPTA because it is a government entity. A case involving a government body can be a challenge.
Therefore, one must adhere to strict guidelines to safeguard the victim’s rights. The Sovereign Immunity Act stipulates that you must provide details of the accident within the timeframe to submit a legitimate claim as specified in a notice to the claimant. To be specific, a claimant must inform SEPTA of such a claim within six months.
To take advantage of this exception from immunity, the claimant must submit proof that the vehicle was in use. If you were injured while boarding or exiting a bus sitting idle even with its engine running, you might not be able to sue the driver. The exception for in-use automobiles can be challenged when a bus driver unexpectedly hits the brakes. You must gather conclusive proof that the sudden stop was “extraordinary” to hold SEPTA liable.
Contact Your Lawyer Before Your Right to File Lapses
Regardless of how and where you were involved in an accident by a SEPTA vehicle, bring your case to a legal practitioner with a proven track of winning personal injury lawsuits as soon as you can. Call us today at 215-914-8132 or fill out the form here on our site.
Seek legal advice from any of our lawyers at Baratta Law, LLC, who are well-versed in the use of vehicle photographic evidence, eyewitness testimony, health records, and other proof to reach a settlement or prosecute the case. We will ensure you are properly compensated for your health care expenses and other losses you sustained from the accident while you recover.