Certain airline injuries can be tied to negligent behaviors, like careless flight attendants, or to defective products, like a non-functioning seatbelt buckle. Other injuries, such as those incurred during turbulence, could be claimed to result from “acts of God,” which would make airlines not liable for any resulting injuries.
Knowing the difference between the two scenarios can help you recognize when you might be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. You can read on to learn more about what incidents leading to injury could be the result of negligence, a defective product, or something completely out of any party’s control.
Determining Fault After Getting Hurt on an Airplane
Firstly, recognize that serious injuries occurring while onboard an airplane are rare. Compared to the millions of injuries and thousands of deaths that happen every year as a result of car accidents, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that around 58 passengers per year are injured during turbulence and a several more are injured as a result of other incidents.
At the same time, people who are injured in the rare airliner incident should be entitled to compensation for their injury if it was not purely the result of “an act of God” or their own, personal negligence.
One of the most common sources of injuries on an airplane are the overhead luggage compartments. These devices can become unlatched when they have been improperly secured or loaded by airline employees. They can also unlatch as a result of a defective design or under severe turbulence conditions.
These three possibilities illustrate why seeking claims for passengers hurt on an airplane can be so difficult. Say that there was a minor amount of turbulence and some bags came tumbling out of the overhead compartment.
What should the incident be attributed to? Did the flight attendants fail to use the latch properly? If so, were they trained improperly, or did they fail to use the same standard of care a reasonably competent person with their job would? Was the latch defective? Did the flight captain fail to follow standard procedures that would have reduced the effects of the turbulence? Was no one truly at fault?
Seeking Compensation with an Airline Accident Attorney
Answering tough questions like these involves a significant amount of knowledge regarding the legal process and how to build up a case through evidence. Documentable evidence like incomplete safety check forms could indicate negligence on the part of those overseeing flight attendant practices, for instance. Other times, examining the latch in question can reveal that it was improperly maintained or acquired a defect in manufacturing.
An airline accident attorney must investigate all possible causes of and potential liabilities for an injury and pursue them to the best of their ability. Sometimes, they may even engage in multiple injury claims at once on behalf of their client to ensure that all parties can be held to their respective standard of liability.
If you or a loved has been seriously injured during an airline trip, do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your case. You can use the number listed above or our convenient contact form to submit the details of your case and receive a free consultation.