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I Was Hurt on an Airplane, What Are My Options?

Getting hurt on an airplane may entitle you to compensation for your injury and any resulting costs, but it entirely depends on the circumstances surrounding the injury. In many cases, airplane injuries occur during moments of turbulence, meaning that they could not be avoided no matter how skillful the pilot was. Other times, examining the factors reveals that an injury could have been entirely avoidable, even during moments of turbulence.

Knowing the difference between an injury someone might be liable for versus an injury that was not directly the fault of someone else can allow you to obtain compensation when you are rightfully owed it. Read on to learn more about how you and a personal injury attorney can decipher when to file an injury claim against an airliner or another party.

“Acts of God” Versus Legal Negligence

According to the legal doctrine of negligence, those who do not act according to their expected duty of care can be held liable for the consequences of their actions. Put another way: when people do not act like they are supposed to, they have to pay for what happens as a result.

When talking about airline injuries, this “duty of care” standard can answer who could be held liable for certain injuries. For instance, if a flight attendant wheels a heavy beverage cart quickly down an aisle and rams it into the leg of a sleeping passenger, they could be said to have violated their duty of care to warn passengers and push their cart at a reasonable speed. However, if the flight attendant did warn passengers, and an awake passenger still kept their foot in the way of the aisle, the resulting injury could be the passenger’s own fault instead of the flight attendant’s.

This same test can reveal the difference between an injury resulting from an “act of God” versus negligence. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, injuries can occur fairly regularly when an aircraft encounters turbulence. Around 58 passengers per year are injured in this way.

When such an injury is only the result of the turbulence, then possibly no one could be held at fault since the turbulence was an “act of God” and outside of the flight crew’s control. However, if the flight crew lapsed in their duty of care and encountered turbulence, then they may be at fault despite the “act of God.”

One great example could be a flight captain failing to activate the “fasten seatbelts” sign before encountering turbulence. Another could be a flight attendant failing to latch the overhead luggage compartments completely, causing bags to spill out during turbulence. In both instances the party failed to hold themselves to a duty of care as stipulated by their job role. Therefore, even though they could not control the weather in the sky, they failed to control factors that would easily lead to injuries.

Filing a Claim with a Personal Injury Lawyer After Getting Hurt on an Airplane

Common sources of injury on an airplane include luggage falling from compartments, injuries from beverage carts, trip-and-falls in the aisles and unruly passengers becoming violent. These instances may be considered negligence on the part of airline staff or companies in certain circumstances.

Other times, a defective product like a seat belt that would not latch properly led to an airplane injury.

You can work with a personal injury lawyer to decide whether you can file a claim for your injury based on negligence, a defective product or another cause-of-action after getting hurt on an airplane. Call the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm today using the numbers above or the simple contact form to the side, and you will receive a free consultation for your case in order to start your claim as soon as possible.