A Septa Trolley collided with a SUV and a CCT paratransit vehicle injuring 29 with one in critical condition. According to a SEPTA spokesperson, the SUV collided with the CCT vehicle and both struck the packed trolley. The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. near the intersection of 41st Street and Chester Avenue.
The CCT transport usually carries people with disabilities, but was empty except the driver, and the SUV had one occupant as well. All three drivers were taken to a local hospital, and the SUV driver was in critical condition. The rest of the injuries were moderate to minor and were to the riders of the trolley. It’s not clear if any of those were taken to the hospital.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a regional public transportation authority that operates bus, trolley, light rail, rapid transit, for nearly 4 million people living in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. As of 2018, there are almost 3,000 SEPTA transport vehicles and over 300 million trips.
With all these vehicles on the roads and tracks and that many people taking trips, accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Each year there are over 350 lawsuits filed against SEPTA for injuries, and over 3500 claims made for injuries and damages. This translates into almost 50 million paid out each year to those injured by a SEPTA vehicle.
Types of SEPTA Injuries
Passengers on SEPTA vehicles are injured in many ways. Some come from crashes with other vehicles while others happen when a door jams or some equipment malfunctions. These injuries are real and often put the injured person in great financial distress. Some of the common other types of injuries on a SEPTA transport can be:
- Falls while embarking/disembarking
- Falls inside vehicle
- Door closings/faulty equipment
- Physical/sexual assaults while riding
- Stop and go jerking injuries
All of these injuries can and do happen while using SEPTA which causes many riders great financial losses prompting them to seek compensation. However, excessive lawsuits and injury claims can drain the budget of the transportation system leaving many people unable to get to work or to the shopping centers.
Septa and Sovereign Immunity
In 1988, there were over 3,000 lawsuits filed against SEPTA in one year, and this threatened the SEPTA program, so the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act that exempts the government from regular negligent suits. However, the law did carve out exceptions for accidents that happen during the operation of a SEPTA vehicle. This still allows injured in a SEPTA accident the ability to get some compensation for their injuries.
The law also limits the damages SEPTA has to pay to $250,000 per person and $1 million per accident regardless of how many are injured. Also, the immunity doesn’t apply to non-auto accident injuries, so it’s still possible to get compensation from SEPTA when one is injured while using the system.
What if I’m Injured While Using SEPTA?
If you are injured while riding SEPTA, don’t believe anyone who tells you that there is no way to get compensation. There are hurdles that need to be crossed, and to find out if you are entitled to compensation, you need to see a Philadelphia SEPTA Accident Lawyer, where you can get unbiased legal advice and have your specific case evaluated. Call the Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 557-8686 or text at (215) 880 6164. You can also send them a message online by clicking here. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you.