Injuries due to airplane turbulence are extremely rare, although they do happen from time to time. Every year, a number of passengers get injured on airplanes. Some injuries can be minor, such as a cut or scrape, and others can even be fatal. The most common cause of in-flight injuries is baggage that moves inside the overhead compartment during the flight and falls on someone in cases of severe turbulence. Another common injury, slip and falls may occur when a passenger heads to the bathroom.
Passengers who suffer injuries during an airplane flight may get compensated for damages if a claim against an airline staff member, the Federal Aviation Administration, or the airline itself is submitted and any of the parties mentioned are found to be responsible for the injury.
What Causes Airplane Injuries
During flights, the baggage that is stored in the overhead compartments moves out of place and may fall on someone’s head when the compartment is opened. In other cases of turbulent weather, the compartments might open by themselves, and the luggage might fall on the passengers, causing injuries. Approximately 4,500 passengers get injured every year due to baggage falling on them.
Injuries on airplanes can also be due to food carts that are rolling in the airplane’s hallway that might ram a shoulder or hit a passenger in another way. There’s also the possibility of objects left around the cabin causing a passenger to trip and to get hurt.
The Federal Aviation Administration published statistics that state that every year 58 passengers are injured inside airplanes due to severe turbulent weather. This mostly happens if the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt.
Filing a Legal Claim Due to an In-Flight Accident
The legal implications of an in-flight accident personal injury claim will depend on who or what is found to be the cause of the accident. For instance, if the accident was found to have been caused by a careless or negligent act on the part of a staff member (pilot, ground crew member, flight attendant, etc.), then the airline or the staff member might be liable for damages.
Airlines are part of the category of common carriers, which means they are organizations that transport people for a fee. For these types of carriers, the law enforces a heightened duty of care. This entails a high degree of care and very thorough watchfulness of the aircraft and all the processes that are part of a flight. This duty of care is in effect while passengers are boarding, traveling, and getting off the airplane. Once a passenger is off the airplane, the duty of care ends. Individuals looking for compensation due to the negligence of an airline or airline staff member should seek immediate legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney in order to estimate whether the case is worth pursuing and what type of compensation can be expected. These cases can be extremely complex, thus legal help is absolutely necessary.