Plane travel is generally regarded as safe, but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. Recently, a small Piper Tomahawk crashed after takeoff in Pembroke Pines due to engine problems, for instance.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it does bring up an important question: What if someone was injured? Millions of people travel by plane each year and some accidents that result in injury occur. If you are injured while flying on an airplane, here’s what you need to know.
Common Injuries In-Flight
A plane doesn’t have to crash land in order for you to sustain an in-flight injury. Some of the most common injuries that occur on flights include:
Falling bags that shift during flight account for many injuries every year to people aboard planes. Luggage in overhead compartments can fall and hit people, often in the head, and cause injury. It can result in injuries such as concussions and broken bones that require medical treatment.
Slips and Falls
Just like on land, slip-and-fall accidents in the air do happen. The aisles are supposed to be kept clear and any hazards or spills dealt with to keep everyone safe.
Changes in stability and altitude can throw passengers around or even dislodge bags from overhead compartments, injuries people in the process. It’s not something the airline can control, but it can contribute to other injuries mentioned, such as bags falling from overhead compartments.
Beverage and food service carts that are not properly secured can cause a lot of damage if it rolls down an aisle. It can crush or knock into passengers, causing injury.
In-Flight Injury Cases
If you are injured on an airplane, what recourse do you have? Just as with any other industry, an airline has the responsibility to provide something called a reasonable duty of care. That can include keeping people safe by properly clearing the aisles and securing carts and luggage.
Your legal options if injured on a plane include:
Violations of Duty of Care
Airlines and other forms of transportation are held to high standards when it comes to keeping people safe. If there is a violation in these standards of care that lead to injury, then that’s grounds for a personal injury claim.
An airline can be seen as negligent if they fail to do something to keep passengers safe. That can include things such as failing to properly latch overhead compartments or leaving an obstacle in the aisle. Negligence claims can also be filed against the Federal Aviation Administration who regular air traffic control. If there is a collision on the runway, for example, that leads to your injury, then they can be held responsible.
Product Liability Claims
Sometimes, negligence can go beyond an employee or airline to the plane manufacturer. If there was defective equipment used in the plan or product designed problems that lead to an accident that injured you, then this type of lawsuit can be pursued.
Air travel is common and really relatively safe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get injured. If you were injured on a plane through no fault of your own, then make sure to reach out for help so you can get the compensation for your injuries you deserve. You may drive some significant changes in air travel and airline policy that make every travel that much safer.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.