Let's face it, flying is not what it used to be. Airlines are making record profits, but flying conditions seem to be getting worse. The recent events on a United Flight highlight the fact that most Airlines put their Corporate priorities above the passengers comfort and safety. That incident was an anomaly, but every year countless passengers are injured aboard commercial airplanes. Many injuries are minor, but some can be major. Below is a list of the most common types of injuries:.
Baggage Incidents: Many passenger injuries are caused by baggage. Passengers often whack each other with bags as they are attempting to lift them and load them into the overhead bins. Baggage also may fall out if the bin is not latched properly, malfunctions, or when people open the overhead bins after the flight. These heavy bags can land on a person's head and cause severe neck and head injuries. They may also cause bruising and swelling or torn muscles and ligaments on other areas of the body.
Turbulence or Rough Landings: People can be injured by getting jostled around on planes as they are flying through unstable air or during a rough landing. This unstable air is called turbulence. Neck and back injuries can result depending on the intensity and duration of the turbulence or rough landing. The USA Today recently wrote an article articulating the various ways turbulence may injure passengers. For example turbulence may cause the plane to shake so violently that overhead bins may open causing baggage to fall out, drinks may spill, and equipment may fall on passengers.
Hot Liquid Spills: Hot Coffee and Hot Tea pose a danger to passengers. A spill of hot coffee or tea on a person can cause serious burns, scarring, pain, and discomfort. Many of these spills happen while the cup of hot liquid is being transferred from the flight attendant to the passenger.
Assaults: Assaults are becoming more common on commercial flights. "Air Rage" is becoming more common as more and more passengers are crammed into smaller and smaller spaces. In 2015 there were almost 11,000 incidents of air rage. These assaults can range from pushing people to a passenger brutally attacking another passenger.
Sexual Assaults: Sexual Assaults on Commercial flights are not something we usually think about. However, they do occur. A recent article noted it is hard to determine the number of assaults because typically 75% of sexual assaults go unreported. Usually they involve a drunk individual that gropes and touches another without their permission. Sometimes these sexual assaults involve incidents of adult passengers groping a minor.
Is The Airline Responsible for Your Injuries? If you were injured on a commercial flight the airline may be responsible for your injuries. This obviously depends on the facts. However, people on international commercial flights enjoy certain protections provided by treaties and Federal Law. This may entitle a person injured on a plane to compensation even if the airline did little or anything to cause the injury. These types of incidents usually require a lawyer to get involved, because Airlines often do not take these claims seriously.
What to Do if You Are Injured on a Commercial Air Flight?
- Obviously if you are injured you need to seek medical treatment first and foremost.
- Ensure you keep all documents from the flights. Try and keep your boarding pass, even though most of them are available on-line even after the flight has concluded.
- Do your best to get the passengers full names, addresses, and phone numbers that are in the seats surrounding yours. Finding witnesses can be difficult if you don't have the witnesses contact information.
- Take Photos: If possible take photos of the area where the injury occurred. A video is even better.
- Alert a Flight Attendant and Ask to Make an Incident report: Alert a flight attendant to the injury and tell them to talk to a witness to find out what happened. Get the flight attendant's name.
- If a crime has been committed contact law enforcement once you are able to do so. Ensure the Flight Attendant contacts law enforcement.
- Call a lawyer at 503.224.1658 if you have further questions.
If you or someone you know has been injured on an airplane call Ross Law LLC. Jeremiah Ross is happy to provide you a free case evaluation. Call 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation. Please remember the law is always changing. Do not rely on this post and rely on the law and advice from a lawyer. This blog can be considered attorney advertising and is for advertising purposes only.