If you do a lot of traveling by plane, you may receive an in-flight injury, whether from turbulence, luggage falling out of overstuffed overhead bins, or a slip and fall in the aisle. If you’ve experienced one of these incidents, you may wonder who, if anyone, is liable for your injuries. You may have a legal claim against the airline, its employees, the manufacturer of the aircraft or its component parts, and possibly even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Many common types of injuries are:
- Luggage falling from overhead bins, which account for approximately 4,500 injuries every year
- Injuries from turbulence
- Injuries from rolling food carts — they can ram shoulders or run over toes
Passengers who are injured have a variety of claims they can bring depending on who or what caused the accident:
- Negligence claims — If the injury was caused by the inattentiveness or carelessness of an airline employee, such as a flight attendant or maintenance worker, a claim for negligence can be filed. This means that the employee had a duty to be reasonably careful, the employee breached that duty, and an injury occurred as a result. Examples are failing to properly latch an overhead bin or leaving an object in the middle of the aisle. Airlines are common carriers and the law may impose upon them a heightened duty of care and responsibility.
- Product liability claims — Sometimes the airplane itself or a component part is defective and this can cause an injury. For example, if a design defect causes an overhead bin to open mid-flight, the injured person can sue the manufacturer of the defective part under a product liability theory.
- Turbulence and acts of god — Airlines are not liable for unforeseen events that can’t be prevented. However, they can be liable if the flight crew wrongfully failed to foresee the turbulence and failed to warn the passengers to buckle up.
If you’ve been injured in-flight, consult with experienced Tucson personal injury lawyers to get the compensation you deserve.