Many people like to travel by plane because they can reach their destinations so much faster than by car or train. Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board show it is actually a safer means of transportation than vehicles. However, injuries can still occur in the air. They may be as minor as a sprained shoulder while trying to reach the overhead bin, or as severe as head trauma during turbulence. In some cases, a plane crash can result in a catastrophic injury or death. Anyone who has been injured while an airplane passenger has rights to compensation for medical bills or lost wages if the injury prevents him or her from working. Depending on the circumstances, the airline and/or its employees can be held responsible.
Common Types of In-Flight Injuries
A number of in-flight injuries are the result of luggage falling out of the overhead bins. According to estimates, approximately 4,500 passengers are hurt each year from falling baggage. Many people use carry-on suitcases and they are packed full and can weigh a lot. If a person is struck by luggage, it can cause fractures to the face, head, or arms and also lacerations.
Weather can be unpredictable, and severe turbulence can turn a smooth flight into a bumpy ride. The sudden drop in altitude can thrust unbelted passengers to the ceiling of the plane, leading to concussions or broken bones. If the captain or flight crew did not adequately warn or instruct passengers to remain seated and fasten their seat belts before the turbulence occurred, that can be considered negligence.
Rolling food carts can also cause serious injuries to airplane passengers. A cart can strike seated passengers if a flight attendant loses control of it, damaging knees or other body parts. These cars often contain a lot of food and drinks, so the sheer weight of them can cause damage to passengers who are struck by them.
The Federal Aviation Act requires that airlines meet a high standard of operation. Although an airline is not considered an “insurer” of a passenger’s safety, it is held accountable for any negligence on the part of its employees. Therefore, the air carrier must do everything possible to prevent injuries from happening. However, an injury alone is not enough proof that the airline was negligent.
There has to be evidence that the airline was in some way at fault for the accident and resulting injury. Airlines are responsible for inspecting their equipment and hiring properly trained pilots and crew members to ensure a safe flight each time the plane embarks.
The ground personnel are also responsible for the safe conduct of the aircraft, including proper inspection to establish that the airplane is in safe working condition. It is important to note that the airline cannot be held accountable for any defects in the aircraft that were not uncovered by a standard inspection.
The manufacturer, seller, or repairer of the aircraft or its equipment may be liable for faulty equipment that causes the airplane to malfunction. Also, air traffic controllers have a duty to passengers for the safe operation of an air traffic control system. They could be held liable if they fail to report a dangerous situation or warn the pilot of impending hazards.
Contact a Bloomingdale Personal Injury Lawyer
Air travel can be a speedy way of getting to your destination. Passengers can, however, sustain injuries while on an airplane due to many different factors. Airlines must maintain a minimum level of safety on board. The legal team at the firm of David W. Clark, Attorney at Law, can help you recover damages due to an injury you suffered while flying. Our experienced DuPage County airplane accident injury attorneys will comb through the legal details of your case to determine liability for your injuries. Call 630-665-5678 today to schedule a free consultation.