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Hurt On An Airplane? What You Can And Can’t Do

Sleeping On An Airplane Stock Photo

Injuries resulting from in-flight accidents are relatively uncommon, but they can happen. If you were hurt on an airplane, continue reading to learn whether you are entitled to compensation and how a personal injury attorney can help.

Injuries That Can Occur on an Airplane

Unfortunately, quite a few scenarios result in passengers being injured while they are on board an airplane. Luggage falling from overhead storage bins cause thousands of injuries each year. Passengers often fall or bump into something while they move around the cabin, which can result in injuries. Rolling food carts also cause injuries by scraping against a seated passenger’s leg or shoulder or by rolling into a passenger while they move around the cabin. Turbulence causes injuries to dozens of passengers each year as well, such as when it throws unbelted passengers from their seats.

Negligence and Injury Lawsuits

Airlines must conform to the common carrier standard. They are responsible for their well-being and need to operate at a higher standard of care. Airlines need to meet this standard when passengers are getting on the aircraft, while they are on board the plane and as they are getting off the carrier.

Airline employees such as the airline’s safety inspectors, flight attendants, pilots, maintenance workers and ground crew need to be extremely careful and attentive to avoid a lawsuit based on negligence. If you can prove that your in-flight injuries are a direct result of the airline’s negligence, you are entitled to filing a lawsuit and receiving appropriate compensation.

Injuries Resulting from “Acts of God”

“Acts of god” are events of nature that cannot be predicted or prevented, such as turbulence. Airlines are not held responsible for injuries resulting from these kinds of unforeseen events as long as the airline and its employees did all in their power to keep the passengers safe. If, however, it turns out that the airline did not fulfill its optimal standard of care or that a crew member was able to predict the turbulence, the airline may be held responsible for your injuries.

Faulty Equipment or Defective Products

It is possible that your in-flight injury was not the fault of the airline’s employees, but rather the aircraft’s equipment. Perhaps an overhead bin had a faulty latch, which resulted in baggage falling out and injuring you. Another example might be a bump on the ramp leading up to the plane that causes you to fall and injure yourself.

In cases like this when your injuries result from a defective product, you are able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturers or designers of the faulty equipment. Additionally, if it turns out that an airline employee was aware of the defect but did nothing to fix it or warn passengers about it, you may also be entitled to file a lawsuit against the airline for negligence.

Aircraft Traffic Accidents

Finally, injuries on airplanes might not be the fault of the airline or the product manufacturers, but the fault of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). The FAA regulates all aircraft traffic, so if you were injured because of an aircraft collision on the runway or in the air, you might be able to file a negligence lawsuit against the FAA. This is a very particular kind of lawsuit since the FAA is a federal agency, so different rules and procedures apply. Whether you’re filing a claim against the FAA or the airline, you’ll need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure it is done properly.

Seek Legal Aid if You Were Hurt on an Airplane

If you or someone you know was hurt on an airplane, contact one of our professional attorneys here at Mitch Grissim & Associates. We’ve been proudly serving the Nashville, TN area for over three decades, and we’re here to represent you.

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