Are SEPTA-Car Accidents Becoming More Common?
It’s happened again…another motor vehicle accident involving a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) coach has caused dozens of injuries to passengers and other motorists. SEPTA officials say that the number of crashes involving SEPTA vehicles has not escalated significantly in the last two years, but that the safety of SEPTA patrons remains a priority. Just last fall, a SEPTA train hit an SUV driven by a 90-year-old man, pinning him in his car for hours.
The regularity with which SEPTA vehicles seem to be involved in accidents begs the question—what is SEPTA’s standard of care with respect to its passengers and others?
SEPTA as Common Carrier
Under the laws governing negligence, anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a duty to act as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. With respect to other motorists, then, SEPTA drivers must exercise ordinary care—that level of care that an average person of ordinary prudence would exercise.
However, because SEPTA is what is known under the law as a “common carrier,” SEPTA has a higher duty to its passengers. A common carrier is a person or entity that transports goods or people, generally for a fee, and which accepts responsibility for the potential loss of goods or persons during transport. As a common carrier, SEPTA has a duty to protect passenger from any “foreseeable” harm. The law, however, does not define foreseeability—ultimately, that’s an issue of fact for a jury to determine.
Contact Our Office
If you or someone you love has been injured in New Jersey because of someone else’s negligence, we can help you seek full and fair compensation for your losses. For a private meeting with experienced personal injury attorneys, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.