As a bus accident lawyer, I represent many individuals injured in a SEPTA bus or SEPTA trolley accident. Often I am asked, “who will pay my medical bills”? The answer to this question is complicated. Under Pennsylvania Law, who pays your medical bills depends on an Order of Priority set up by the Pennsylvania Legislature. The first Order of Priority is the insurance company for a vehicle you own. The second is the insurance company of a vehicle you don’t own but is owned by a family member who resides with you. The third order of priority is a motor vehicle you occupy. Fourth, is any vehicle involved in the accident.
So, if you are an occupant of a SEPTA bus, you would first look to your own policy or insurance in your household. If neither exists, you would be eligible for $5,000 of medical benefits through SEPTA. The law is very complicated, however and you should consult with a lawyer familiar with claims against SEPTA to determine who is responsible for your medical bills. A trolley is treated differently than a bus. An occupant of a bus is treated differently than a pedestrian hit by a bus. Etc., Etc. It is important to understand this if you do use your own personal insurance or insurance in your household, your insurance rates will not increase. The insurance company is not allowed to raise your rates on the basis of a medical claim arising from an accident where you were not at fault.