SEPTA is an agency of the Commonwealth that handles the bus, subway and elevated rail in Pennsylvania. Standing for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, SEPTA can be held liable for injuries if its negligence—or the negligence of its drivers—causes an accident. The following considers factors applicable to damage claims after a train accident on a SEPTA subway.
Causes of SEPTA Subway Accidents
Subway accidents are rare, but they do happen. Some common causes of underground railway accidents are listed below.
• An animal or object on the tracks
• Lack of proper subway maintenance
• Driving too quickly, leading to derailment
• Collisions with other trains or walls
• Driver negligence (speeding, drunk operating, distracted operating)
When an accident does occur, passenger injuries are frequently sustained. The type of accident will be critical in determining liability.
Types of SEPTA Subway Injuries
Injuries that are caused by a subway crash can be traumatic. Fires or explosions can cause burns or fatalities.
Crashes and derailments yield the following common injuries.
- Head wounds: traumatic brain injury, lacerations
- Neck injuries: whiplash, paralysis
- Back injuries: broken back, contusions
Filing a Claim with SEPTA
As mentioned above, SEPTA is an agency of the Commonwealth. As such, filing a claim against it can be extremely complicated. You will need to prove each element of liability. Two tenets would be a breach of duty (i.e., negligence on the part of SEPTA or a SEPTA subway operator took place), and that the breach of duty was the cause of your injuries.
What’s more, you should also consider any other at-fault parties that may be partially liable for your wounds. SEPTA has a history of skirting liability under the laws of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity limits Commonwealth responsibility and sets the recoverable damages limit on accident claim payout per train crash (not per passenger) at $1,000,000.
The per passenger limit is $250,000. When many passengers have sustained injuries, one million dollars is not nearly enough to pay for every passengers’ damages amount.
Why You Need a Subway Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC know transit and SEPTA law, understand sovereign immunity, and also are familiar with building cases that get victims a full and fair compensation. For assistance in filing your claim—and in understanding the full breadth of parties who may be liable—call our legal team now.