SEPTA, Philadelphia’s mass transit system, provides transportation to thousands of Pennsylvania residents every year. While the system usually runs fairly smoothly, it is also true that SEPTA can cause accidents. While accidents can happen to any motorized vehicle, it can be much more difficult to prove fault and receive compensation when dealing with a large mass transit system like SEPTA.
As a municipal service, SEPTA can claim sovereign immunity, which means that the agency can thwart attempts by citizens to make claims against them under certain circumstances. For this reason and others, it is always wise to speak with a personal injury lawyer soon after an incident involving any means of public transportation.
One feature of SEPTA that makes it unique among metropolitan transit authorities is the use of trolleys. These vehicles are a boon for Philadelphia’s tourists. They enjoy the ability to easily jump on and off trolleys. It is also convenient for people to be able to sightsee right from their seats. Residents also use the trolley services.
Nevertheless, these good qualities do not override the fact that trolleys are prone to accidents. Trolley lines crisscross roads and bicycle paths. Pedestrians also come in contact with them, having to wait at crosswalks while trolleys pass through intersections. In sum, it is very easy for trolleys to get into accidents in Philadelphia, as shown by a recent story when a two year old was hit and killed by a SEPTA trolley.
Five Most Common SEPTA Trolley Accidents
- Cars bumping into the trolley while attempting to maneuver around it.
- Pedestrians and bicycle riders getting side swiped by a passing trolley.
- Passengers getting thrown about by sudden stops. The force can lead to whiplash, which is the internal damage of neck muscles.
- Trolley tracks worn from use, resulting in bumps that harm passengers.
- People standing near the tracks are hit when the trolley passes.
Who Can be Held Responsible for Accidents?
- Municipal Authorities
- SEPTA Authorities
Awards to Accident Victims
If any of the above have been negligent in their duties, a personal injury lawyer can file a personal injury damage claim. The courts will look hard to assess the amount of harm caused by the accident. It is best to begin the process early, because it is then easier to prove that the accident caused the injury.
If they find negligence, judges and juries will award compensatory awards to the victim. Medical bills and lost income from days off from work are examples of the types of compensation that could be given. In some cases, punitive damages are possible. Judges and juries may assess these penalties upon defendants when the negligence is of an extreme or outrageous conduct.
Get Justice Today
Anyone harmed in a SEPTA trolley accident can contact the office of attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. at 1-800-injury-law for help. As mentioned, it is always best to start an accident claim early, so call us today, or fill out our online contact form.