Spring break is just around the corner, and that means people of all ages will be heading out for a brief vacation before buckling down for the weeks remaining before summer. Whether you’re traveling to the sunny Florida coast or flying from Florida to visit somewhere else, you will be putting your trust in an airline to get you to and from your destination smoothly.
However, despite the immense size of the air travel industry, injuries and accidents do happen. If you have been injured in an air travel experience, the good news is you have rights and you may be able to hold your airline or others who are responsible for your injuries liable for the damages you sustain. Here is some important information you’ll need to know as well as some valuable tips you should follow if you are injured while traveling by air.
Most people think that air travel injuries are usually the result of a crash or rough landing, with the impact having a similar effect to a car crash. However, many of the injuries that occur in air travel each year happen while a flight is still in the air, with no impact whatsoever. Falling objects are one of the largest threats to your safety while in the air, often from unsecure overhead storage bins. Carry-on bags can be heavy, and a falling bag that weighs 35 pounds or more can cause head, heck, back, injuries, broken bones, and much more.
This becomes particularly prevalent during periods of high in-flight turbulence, such as when planes go through high-wind, low-pressure, or stormy areas in the sky. However, throwing bags around isn’t the only way turbulence can hurt you. Turbulent skies can result in intense jerking or shaking motions, which can also cause neck or back injuries. Major turbulence has even caused passengers or crew members to become unbuckled and be thrown from their seats, injuring them.
Airlines have a duty to avoid areas where turbulence may become a problem, including delaying flights to avoid potentially dangerous weather patterns or even re-routing flights to allow for a safer journey. Sometimes turbulence is unavoidable, but airlines who intentionally subject their passengers to dangerous conditions like this could be held liable for the injuries caused should something happen. However, airlines are not always liable for injuries caused by turbulence; sometimes it’s impossible to predict turbulence, and airlines are not on the hook for so-called “acts of god.” However, if the turbulence was predictable and pilots and crew members failed to properly warn passengers and crew to strap everything down and buckle up, then the airline could still be responsible.
A Heightened Duty of Care
Airlines fall into a legal category known as “common carriers,” which is reserved for those who transport people for a fee. However, this category also carries increased responsibility for the safety of passengers. This standard also extends to airline employees, including pilots, maintenance crews, flight attendants, ground crews, and more. From the time you get on the plane to the time disembark at your destination, the airline is responsible for your safety.
This responsibility includes everything from not only operating the plane in a matter that is smooth and minimal-risk for passengers, but also includes performing a thorough inspection of the plane after each flight to make sure that all critical components are in good working condition. A mechanical failure that causes an accident and injures to passengers and crew members will likely result in tremendous amounts of liability for the airline, so they have an active interest in making sure that all maintenance and care is performed promptly and correctly after each flight.
If You Have Been Hurt
If you have been hurt while traveling by air, you have rights as a passenger and as a crew member. Crew members are covered under workers’ compensation, which means you should report your condition to your supervisor immediately and seek medical attention.
If you are a passenger who has been injured while flying, you could potentially hold the airline liable for your condition. However, filing a lawsuit to help you recover damages is a complex procedure, and making sure you receive the proper compensation isn’t always as simple or straightforward as it should be. Therefore, it’s highly advised you speak with a Martin County personal injury attorney as well.
If you have suffered an injury while traveling with an airline, call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at (866) 675-4427 to request afree initial consultation!