Jerk and Jolt Accidents – SEPTA Accident Cases
Serious injuries can occur to passengers on vehicles such as buses and trolleys when the vehicle comes to an abrupt or sudden stop. These types of accidents are frequently referred to as “jerk and jolt” cases and often do not involve a collision with another vehicle. In order to be compensated under Pennsylvania law a person may need to go beyond proving that he or she fell because a moving bus or trolley car suddenly stopped. Additional evidence may be needed to show that the movement of the bus was so unusual and extraordinary that it was beyond the passenger’s reasonable anticipation.
Defendants, such as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (“SEPTA”) and other common carriers, vigorously defend jerk and jolt cases and often attempt to have these cases dismissed on summary judgment or a non-suit. Evidence that is helpful to overcoming summary judgment and in winning jerk and jolt cases includes evidence that the sudden stop or jolt was completely unexpected and violent and that other passengers were also affected in an extraordinary way.
You should speak to an attorney immediately if you have been injured in a jerk and jolt incident. Certain steps may need to be taken to document and preserve helpful evidence, including the date, time, and location of the accident, the identity of the vehicle driver or operator, the number of the bus, trolley or vehicle on which you were a passenger, and the identity of other passengers and witnesses on the bus, trolley or vehicle.
If you have been injured due to a jerk and jolt incident aboard a bus, trolley, or vehicle owned by SEPTA you also have a limited amount of time (six months from the date of the accident) in which to place SEPTA on notice of your claim. Contact Philadelphia jerk and jolt accident lawyer John Mattiacci immediately after an accident in order to preserve your claim and your right to bring an action to be compensated for your injuries and damages.[/expand]