Turbulence is a common occurrence for airline passengers. But what happens when a person is hurt during these events? And what about other in-flight injuries, what legal options do commuters have? Though these accidents are considerably rare given the number of people who fly each year, there are consequences when negligence contributes to these frequent in-flight injury.
Common In-Flight Injury
If you are injured while traveling, the first step is to schedule a free consultation to go over your options with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer at Dickerson Oxton. You may pursue a negligence claim to recover damages related to medical expenses, pain and suffering, and ongoing treatment costs. To do so, you must work with a qualified legal team experienced in processing these cases. Here are some common injuries that lead to negligence claims and personal injury suits we can help you get compensation for:
- Turbulence incidence. According to FAA data, 58 passengers are injured due to turbulence each year. Exceptional changes in altitude or stability can throw passengers from their seats or jettison baggage from overhead compartments. Though turbulence is considered an act of God, an occurrence the airline cannot control and is thus not accountable for, it’s often a contributing factor to the problems outlined below.
- Falling baggage. 4,500 passengers are injured each year by falling baggage. Luggage must be safely stowed in overhead compartments; if it is not, it can easily fall and hit a passenger on the head. This can cause concussions or broken bones, leading to long-term medical bills and life-long therapy. Employees must ensure these areas are correctly packed and securely locked. The manufacturer is also responsible for avoiding any defective products.
- Neglected food carts. A food cart that is not properly secured can cause extensive damage as it rolls down an aisle. It can also knock down or crush passengers who are standing in its way. Though these accidents may be caused by turbulence, employees must exercise reasonable care to ensure these carts are stored and locked safely.
- Slips and falls. As with people back on land, slips and falls are a definite possibility on an aircraft. Employees must keep aisles clear and address any spills or hazards as soon as reasonably possible.
What Case Can You Make for an In-Flight Injury?
Like all other industries, airlines must provide a reasonable duty of care. This includes keeping everyone as safe as possible during a flight and correcting issues diligently. Though turbulence often causes injury, the airline and its workers cannot control, these parties may overlook safety standards that lead to avoidable problems. When this is the case, your Kansas City aircraft injuries lawyer may recommend pursuing the following legal options:
- Negligence claims. Leaving obstacles in aisles, failing to latch an overhead bin, or improperly organizing compartments may be considered negligent if it leads to an injury. Individuals may also seek damages against the FAA, who regulates air traffic control. Collisions on the runway can lead to injury; in the air, they can lead to extensive loss of life.
- Product liability. Sometimes, acts of negligence extend beyond the airline’s employees or the company itself. The equipment used in the plane may be defective, which could include anything from an engine malfunction to other mechanical failures and latches improperly securing on overhead bins. When product design problems contribute to an accident, travelers may seek recompense from manufacturers or retailers.
- Duty of care violations. Transportation services, like airlines and other paid transportation offerings, are held to higher standards governing their services. Any violations of these standards may be grounds for a personal injury claim.
Thousands of travelers are injured during flights each year, and negligence and personal injury claims can be leveraged against the airline, its workers, or a parts manufacturer. The FAA, the agency overseeing airline regulation and traffic control, may also be sued in certain situations.
Contact us today for compassionate representation in Kansas City.