When a trolley driver doesn’t exercise their basic duty of care and you get hurt, you have the legal right to recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses. That right can get complicated when dealing with state-run agencies, however.
Sovereign immunity gives government employees broad exemptions from lawsuits during the course of their normal duties so they can operate unhindered. You may think that means the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is immune from personal injury claims if you are injured on a public bus. That isn’t always the case, though, and there are times when SEPTA can be successfully sued.
How Sovereign Immunity Affects SETPA Injury Cases
While the Sovereign Immunity Act applies to Commonwealth government agencies, it does have several key exceptions. Critically, if a SEPTA driver was behaving in a negligent manner while the vehicle was in operation, you can bring a case to recover damages for your injury and loss of wages.
Proving the vehicle was actually in operation is necessary to utilize this exemption from immunity. If the bus was stopped, even if the engine was on and idling, you may not have a case if you were hurt while getting on or off the vehicle.
That exception for in-operation vehicles can get complicated in situations where a bus driver hits the brakes suddenly. In order to hold SEPTA responsible for your injury, you need to gather evidence to prove the sudden stop rises to the legal level of “extraordinary.”
Let an Experienced Attorney Hold SEPTA Responsible for Your Injury
No matter how or where you were injured by a SEPTA vehicle, your best bet at receiving compensation for your medical costs and inability to work while recovering is to contact a lawyer and explain your situation. An experienced personal injury attorney can utilize video footage from the vehicle, eyewitness testimony, medical records, and other evidence to negotiate a settlement or take the case to court.
While thousands of passengers reach their destination safely every day, accidents due to negligence on public Pennsylvania buses and trolleys are more common than you may realize. If you or a loved one were injured, send us a message through our online form so we can help you recover what you are owed.