Although they are uncommon, major turbulence-related injuries and in-flight accidents sometimes occur. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that approximately 60 passengers annually incur injuries due to turbulence occurrences. At the same time, additional passengers also sustain injuries due to luggage falling out of overhead compartments or slipping and falling when using the lavatory.
Passengers who sustain injuries may file lawsuits against the airline, its personnel, the manufacturers of the aircraft and its parts, or even the FAA. This article shares some examples of frequent in-flight mishaps and the legal recourse you may have if you are hurt while traveling by plane.
Types of In-Flight Injuries
Have you ever been on a plane when it hits a patch of turbulence, and suddenly you’re jolted out of your seat? Although it can be a scary experience, turbulence is common and rarely a cause for alarm. Most turbulence-related injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or scrapes, are minor.
More serious injuries are possible, however, and can occur when passengers are not properly secured in their seats during periods of heavy turbulence. These injuries include broken bones, concussions, and spinal cord injuries.
If you’re ever injured during a flight due to turbulence or any other reason, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after landing. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can worsen over time if left untreated.
Causes of Airplane Turbulence and In-Flight Injuries
Almost everyone has experienced a little bit of turbulence while flying. It is often described as feeling like being in a car that is going over a bumpy road. While turbulence is generally not a cause for concern, there are times when it can be more severe. Severe turbulence can cause injuries to passengers and crew members and, in some cases, damage the airplane.
There are several different types of turbulence, each with its causes:
- Clear air turbulence is caused by large-scale atmospheric disturbances such as jet streams. Temperature gradients can also cause turbulence in the atmosphere by air moving around mountains or other obstacles.
- Convective turbulence is caused by thunderstorms and other forms of bad weather. The wake of another aircraft causes wake turbulence.
Legal Claims in In-Flight Accident Litigation
Aircraft accidents are governed by a complex body of law, including the Montreal Convention, the Warsaw Convention, and Federal laws. This can make it difficult for victims and their families to navigate the legal system and obtain compensation for their injuries. An experienced aircraft accident attorney in Alaska can help you navigate the complexities of in-flight accident litigation and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Claims Based on Negligence
Did you know that if you’re injured on an airplane, you may be able to file a negligence claim against the airline? That’s right—if the airline was negligent and that negligence led to your injury, you may have a case.
Of course, proving negligence can be tricky, and it’s important to understand that there is a difference between turbulence and negligence. Turbulence is an act of nature and is not something that airlines can control. However, there are certain things that airlines can control, such as aircraft maintenance and ensuring that passengers are properly secured in their seats. If an airline fails to do these things and someone is injured. As a result, the airline may be held liable.
If you’ve been injured on an airplane, you must talk to a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a case. The lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and determine if there is a basis for a negligence claim.
Product Liability Claims
If you’ve been injured in an airplane turbulence-related incident, you may wonder if you have any legal recourse. The answer depends on many factors, including the cause of the turbulence and who was at fault. In some cases, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the airline or the manufacturer of the aircraft.
Product liability claims are notoriously complex, so it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney before taking any legal action. But if you think you may have a case, here’s what you need to know about filing a product liability claim for an injury sustained in a turbulence-related incident on an airplane.
The first step is determining whether the turbulence was caused by an aircraft defect or something beyond the airline’s control, like severe weather. If it’s determined that a defect in the aircraft caused the turbulence, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the airline or the aircraft manufacturer.
To win a product liability claim, you’ll need to prove that the defect was responsible for your injuries and that the airline or manufacturer knew about the defect but failed to fix it or warn passengers about it.
While turbulence is a common and harmless occurrence during air travel, it can occasionally lead to injuries. If you are injured during a flight, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after landing. Also, speak with a aircraft accident attorney to fight for your rights and compensation.