Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) liability for passenger injuries is difficult to discern and extremely narrow. You may or may not be able to hold the Commonwealth agency liable for your damages after an attack by a private citizen.
Much depends on the unique circumstances surrounding the incident and whether or not SEPTA or a SEPTA employee acted negligently. That may sound circuitous and vague, but we will investigate it thoroughly for you below. For more specific information on your case, you can contact us directly.
SEPTA & Sovereign Immunity
In 2014, there were nearly 400 crimes reported crimes on the SEPTA system subways, according to Philly Voice. These include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, theft, burglary, and arson. In many instances, government entities are immune from liability for personal injuries, as per 1 Pa.C.S. §2310.
However, if the victim can prove the following three elements, he/she may still be able to sue SEPTA and obtain a settlement.
- The cause of action: Your injuries must be such that they would be compensable if it were a non-government-related case.
- Negligence: Your injuries were caused by SEPTA (or its employee’s) negligence.
- Exceptions: The law provides eight exceptions to sovereign immunity. These are instances in which you can still hold the government liable. You must satisfy at least one of the exceptions. One of the exceptions is vehicle liability. The law provides that you may impose liability on a local agency if the agency or its employees were operating a motor vehicle.
Unfortunately for victims, the courts narrowly interpret these elements, and in many cases, do not hold SEPTA liable in civil lawsuits. However, with substantial evidence and legal shrewdness, it can be done.
Compensable Damages for a Subway Assault
You might be able to recover your damages in a personal injury suit either against SEPTA, the perpetrator, and a third party if you were attacked on the subway.
If you are eligible, you may be able to obtain compensation for the following.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
You owe it to yourself and your family to look into all possible forms of remuneration. Also, by taking legal action, you may affect policy changes that may wind up preventing others from being assaulted in the future. Also for future reference, check out how to stay safe when waiting for the bus or train.
Call our injury attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania for a free case evaluation. We can review your case related to a train accident or attack and help determine which legal action might be best for you to seek financial recovery and justice. Contact us today at 215-642-2335.