Although inflight injuries occur each year, the number is small. However, in the past six months, the news has covered several stories involving people receiving injuries while flying. For the majority of these cases, the injuries were the result of excessive turbulence. If you have sustained an injury while flying, you may have legal recourse.
When a passenger is injured while flying, the airline will usually work hard to offer some type of compensation in anticipation that the person will not sue. While free or discounted travel is fine, for more severe injuries or in situations in which an airline company is not willing to compensate, you should consult with an experienced attorney.
Airlines are held to an extremely high standard of passenger care. According to the Federal Aviation Act, which governs airlines, carriers must take every precaution possible to keep passengers safe and secure. If someone is injured, the at-fault party is determined. For instance, if you accidentally stumbled over your own feet walking down the aisle, you will likely be the responsible party. However, if you slipped on a can of soda or a cup that fell off the serving tray and was not picked up, the airline is probably responsible.
An injury that occurs due to passenger overload is the responsibility of the airline. While bad weather can pop up unexpectedly, the pilot and co-pilot are required to gather all available information for weather conditions along the flight’s route as part of normal operations. If the pilot flies directly into a storm and you are injured because of turbulence, the airline is responsible.
Sometimes, an airline is not responsible. For example, if you are injured because of an unusual defect not identified during an inspection, the airline is not held accountable. In addition, once you disembark from the plane and for accidents caused by unforeseen events, the airline does not have to provide compensation for injuries.
Because there are so many factors involved, it is imperative that you speak to a reputable attorney who has expertise with inflight injuries. As a prime example, if you are injured inflight, the aircraft manufacturer, seller, or mechanic may be liable. Even the experts in traffic control have some level of responsibility for your safety.
Usually, you hear about cases that involve compensation or monetary relief for an inflight injury on large commercial carriers. However, you may have legal recourse when flying on a smaller aircraft or when taking a trip on a privately owned plane.
Today, air travel is common. Whether you fly often or only on occasion, you should know what to do if you are injured inflight. When filing a legal claim against the airline or going forward with a lawsuit, your attorney will uncover detailed information about the aircraft’s function and safety. Your attorney will also look into current FAA rules and regulations, as well as other rules related to aviation litigation. The goal is to secure compensation for your medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.