Commercial Airline Liability for Injuries

Many people travel by air regularly for work and for pleasure. Most plane trips are routine and without incident. Even so, there are times when serious injuries do occur. These injuries may occur due to the mistakes made by major American airports, airlines, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), as well as the equipment and plane manufacturers.

Airlines and airports are accountable for giving safe conditions to their passengers and anyone else on their property. When you are injured due to unsafe conditions, you and your family members have the right to sue for compensation. This compensation should cover lost income, medical expenses (related to your injury), pain and suffering, and if it applies wrongful death.

Injuries Sustained at Airports or In-Flight

You may be hurt while you are:

  • Being dropped off or picked up
  • Receiving assistance through terminals
  • Boarding the airplane
  • Exiting the airplane
  • In-flight
  • Using escalators, elevators and automatic walkways
  • Walking up or down stairs and on sidewalks

In-Flight Injuries

Passengers suffering with in-flight injuries might be able to file suit against the airline or its equipment manufacturers.

While severe in-flight injuries due to an airplane mishap are uncommon, they can occur. Numerous airline passengers every year suffer with slight, severe and occasionally fatal injuries. Slips, trips and falls, severe turbulence and/or baggage falling from the overhead compartments may cause these injuries.

If you have been injured, you may be able to file a legal claim. You may be able to file a claim against the airline itself, its employees, the manufacturers of the aircraft and/or its components, as well as the FAA.


Every year, turbulence causes in-flight accidents. This bumpy ride can cause a passenger, who is not wearing his seatbelt, to be thrown from his seat. The FAA states that 58 unbelted passengers are injured due to turbulence each year. Slips, trips and falls are also a common occurrence during turbulence. These incidents usually occur as a passenger walks to and from the restroom.

Falling Baggage

An enormous number of the in-flight injuries may be caused by baggage falling from the overhead bins. Each year, approximately 4,500 passengers suffer injuries from baggage falling out of the overhead compartments.

Rolling Carts

The rolling carts that are used by flight attendants are also capable of injuring passengers. Seated passengers may be injured if the cart hits them while it is being rolled by.

In-Flight Accident Legal Claims

There are specific legal claims related to injuries sustained by a passenger on an airplane. The claim will depend upon whom and/or what caused the accident.

Product Liability Claim

While many in-flight injuries occur because of an employee mistake, sometimes it is the aircraft or parts of the aircraft that is to blame. For example, if the loading ramps or overhead compartments are defective, a passenger could be injured.

When a passenger is injured due to defective equipment, a product liability claim may result. For instance, if there is a design defect in an overhead compartment that causes the latch to loosen during flight, a passenger who is injured by falling baggage may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the overhead compartment.

Negligence Claims

If an accident occurred because of the inattention or carelessness of an employee, then a legal claim for negligence would be filed. This employee could be a maintenance worker, flight attendant, pilot or ground crew member.

Common Carrier Standard

Airlines are in a legal category that is referred to as ‘common carriers.’ They are required to offer a heightened duty of care to their passengers. Airlines and their employees are required to be vigilant in protecting passengers from harm. However, the airlines are not held accountable for the actions of the federal government’s inspectors.

Negligence and the FAA

The FAA is in charge of controlling all the air traffic. If one of the FAA’s employees is careless and is the reason that a passenger becomes injured, the injured passenger might be able to sue the FAA for negligence. For instance, if an air traffic controller is not paying attention, he may cause one plane to tap another on the runway, the FAA may be held responsible for any injuries that occur from that incident.

If you or someone you love has been injured because of negligence in-flight, on the plane or while on airport property, we can help. Let us help to get you the compensation you deserve.

Posted in Personal Injury

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