Flying in an airplane is a true marvel of modern living, allowing us to travel across the country in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. However, due to issues you can’t control like turbulence, pilot error or faulty equipment, it’s possible to suffer a serious injury over the course of a flight. Depending on the circumstances and extent of your injury, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury lawsuits involving airlines are often more complicated than other injury cases, which means it’s important that you prepare yourself for the complexities of your case. Learn your legal options after you’ve been hurt on an airplane and find out when you need experienced legal representation to defend your rights.
Common In-Flight Injuries
Before examining whether you have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to look at the different ways you can suffer a flight related injury. Almost all airline injuries start with turbulence, but it’s actually more complicated than that. When turbulence occurs, the possibilities for injury are almost endless. For example, you could be hurt by falling luggage, a rolling drink food cart or you could suffer a fall in the cabin while moving around.
When considering a personal injury suit, you should closely examine the cause of your injury and try to determine if it could have been reasonable prevented.
The Responsibilities of an Airline
Many people don’t realize that airlines are legally categorized as ‘common carriers’. What this means is that from the moment you step onto a plane to the moment that you disembark, the airline is responsible for providing you with a heightened level of care, meaning they must protect your safety in whatever way possibly.
It’s also important to understand that the responsibility for your safety includes both the airline and its employees. The pilots, ground crew, maintenance team, safety inspectors and flight attendants are all responsible for your care and may be liable in the event of an injury.
Acts of Negligence and Acts of God
In winning your personal injury suit and receiving your compensation, you will need to show that a member of the airline’s staff, or the airline itself, was negligent and caused your injury. For example, if a flight attendant failed to properly secure luggage and you were struck, then they may be deemed negligent and liable for your injury.
Some to realize in filing your suit is that certain airline injuries fall under the category of an ‘act of god’. What this means is that the turbulence or other conditions that caused your injury could not have been foreseen, absolving that airline of responsibility. However, the airline still needs to have attempted to protect your safety for this defense to apply. If for example, there was turbulence and you did not receive adequate safety instruction, you can still file a suit.
Filing a Claim Against the FAA
Although less common, it is also possible for airline passengers to file a suit against the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). If an FAA agent contributed to your injury, such as failing to clear a runway and causing a wreck, then you have grounds to file suit. Cases involving a government agency like the FAA can be very difficult, however, so you should be sure to consult with an injury attorney before you take on such a case.
Product Liability Issues
It’s also possible for you to be injured on a flight through no fault of the airline. Instead, you can be hurt as a result of a faulty product. Malfunctioning seat belts, overhead bins, loading ramps or other airplane parts can also cause serious injury. However, this type of injury would fall under product liability claim laws instead of standard personal injury laws.
Get Help After You’ve Been Hurt on an Airplane
After you’ve been hurt on an airplane, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney from Harris & Graves, P.A. to get help with your case. Working with our experienced attorneys means increasing the likelihood of winning your suit and getting the compensation that you are entitled to. Learn more about our services today and find out how we can help you.