Aviation accidents come in many forms. Most of us immediately think of plane crashes, but despite recent near-misses, there hasn’t been a fatal plane crash in the US since 2009.
Yet aviation accidents also happen any time a passenger is injured while on a plane.
For instance, it’s estimated that around 4,500 people are injured by luggage falling out of overhead compartments on planes each year. Other passengers may be injured by food carts, which tend to roll away if not properly secured.
Here are a few other everyday situations where passengers may suffer injuries on a plane:
Turbulence. Some people fear that turbulence will cause a plane crash, but this is relatively rare. You’re more likely to be injured by loose objects or bumping into something solid when your plane hits these violent air currents, especially if you’re not wearing a seatbelt.
Deplaning or trip and fall accidents. Sometimes people trip and fall when exiting (or entering) the plane. This may be due to the stairs or exit ramp being set up incorrectly or some hazard that caused you to trip. Others may fall while on the plane.
Burns from hot drinks. Despite everyone’s best efforts to keep plane rides as smooth as possible, turbulence or bumpy rides can occur without warning, which could result in spilled drinks. For this reason, it’s essential that flight crew don’t serve excessively hot beverages that could cause severe burns if spilled.
Medical emergencies. Flight crew members are trained to respond to medical emergencies, and planes are required to carry first aid kits with specific equipment. If the crew members are not trained appropriately, or a required item is missing or non-functional – such as a defibrillator needed for cardiac arrests – a passenger might suffer severe damage or death.
Altercations with other passengers. Flight crew members do their best to keep people calm on a flight, but sometimes another passenger may get violent or start an altercation. The airline has a responsibility to screen passengers for safety issues and to follow federal regulations, which prohibit anyone who appears to be intoxicated from boarding a plane. If the airline failed to follow regulations or the flight crew didn’t respond promptly to an incident, and you were injured, the airline might have been negligent.
How Can a Georgia Aviation Accident Attorney Help Me?
If you or a loved one have been injured on a plane, in an airport, or in a plane crash, you could be dealing with serious injuries. Your medical bills may be overwhelming, and to make matters worse, you might also be unable to work due to your injuries.
A Georgia aviation accident attorney can review your case and explain your options for pursuing compensation.
Who Is Responsible for Aviation Accident Injuries?
This is a complicated question. If you think the answer is “the airline,” you might be right.
There are many situations where an airline acts negligently, and a passenger is hurt as a result. But the airline isn’t always the liable party or the only liable party.
A Third Party Providing a Service to the Airline
For example, sometimes, plane crashes are caused by mechanical problems. If a mechanic made an error that led to the plane malfunctioning and crashing, the company they work for might be negligent.
An Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers have the complex and challenging job of getting planes into the air and back onto the ground safely, often dealing with multiple aircraft at one time.
If an air traffic controller fails to exercise reasonable care when doing such a crucial job and causes a collision (either in the air or on the ground), they might be negligent.
Because air traffic controllers work for the government, it is possible to sue for your injuries under the Federal Tort Claims Act, but it’s necessary to prove four things:
The actions of a federal government employee injured you. In other words, it will be necessary for your lawyer to demonstrate why the accident was not caused by the pilot or a mechanical error or other issue but by the actions of the air traffic controller.
This employee was operating within the scope of their duties.
The employee’s actions were wrongful or negligent. Merely making a wrong decision in a difficult situation does not necessarily qualify as negligence, so your lawyer will work to show that the controller was actually negligent in their duty.
This negligent or wrongful act was the proximate cause of your injuries or damages. In other words, it was directly responsible for your injuries.
The Airplane Manufacturer
Here is a recent example of a situation where an airplane manufacturer was negligent.
The problem originated with a sensor that could become misaligned, leading the plane’s software to correct it by pushing the plane’s nose down, sometimes sending the aircraft into a dangerously steep dive.
In some cases, pilots could manually adjust for the error, but ultimately, two planes crashed in Indonesia in 2018 and another in Ethiopia in 2019 due to this design flaw. Sadly, 346 people died in the three crashes.
Federal prosecutors later found evidence that Boeing executives “concealed material information” regarding the safety issue, preventing the FAA from doing its job to keep passengers safe.
They ultimately worked out a deal in which Boeing admitted to defrauding the FAA and agreed to pay $2.5 billion in fines and damages to the victim’s family members. The company also agreed to upgrade its safety policies and procedures.
The FAA ungrounded the 737 Max jets after Boeing upgraded the software system to correct the problem and added additional training for pilots flying the planes.
Determining the cause of a plane crash is a complicated process that often involves studying data from the plane’s “black box,” or flight recorder, reviewing photos of recovered wreckage, and interviewing witnesses (if there were survivors).
If you or a loved one were in a plane crash caused by a defect in the design or manufacturing of the plane itself, the manufacturer could be liable. However, it might take a great deal of work to find evidence of the manufacturer’s error.
This is especially true if the manufacturer has tried to hide the problem.
Your lawyer will work to collect evidence and negotiate a settlement from the manufacturer, but this process could take months or possibly a few years.
Sometimes the plane itself was designed and manufactured correctly, but various parts need to be replaced occasionally. If a replaced part proves defective and causes an aviation accident or crash, the manufacturer might be negligent.
In this case, a mechanic from a third-party company who installed the defective part probably wouldn’t be negligent unless the part appeared noticeably wrong in some way. In most cases, the part appears normal, and the mechanic has no way of knowing it’s defective.
If you were assaulted or otherwise injured by another passenger on a flight, you can sue the offending passenger directly. However, if your injuries were severe and your damages expensive, this may not be the best solution.
Individuals often don’t have the financial resources to pay a large judgment against them, so you might end up winning an award that you can’t collect.
But there are sometimes other options, especially when the airline is negligent.
For example, if the airline failed to notice a passenger was intoxicated or the flight crew didn’t adequately respond when they became agitated and started threatening you, the airline might have been negligent.
If your lawyer finds sufficient evidence of the airline’s negligence, you could sue the airline for your damages.
How Your Georgia Aviation Accident Lawyer Will Work to Find the Cause of Your Aviation Accident
Hopefully, you can see from the above examples that determining the cause of an aviation accident, whether a plane crash or a falling suitcase, can be challenging and time-consuming. Fortunately, a Georgia aviation accident lawyer is trained to handle this process for you.
If you or a loved one were involved in a plane crash or even a collision on the tarmac, there should be a report by the National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB. In many cases, they issue a “preliminary” report shortly after a crash, sometimes within a few days.
This report is subject to change as they continue investigating and adding new information. Eventually, the NTSB concludes its investigation and releases a final version of the report.
This final version often lists the cause of the crash, although there are occasionally situations where the cause can’t be determined despite the NTSB’s best efforts. NTSB reports are publicly available on their website.
Your lawyer will study the preliminary and final reports and attempt to collect other evidence. They may seek out video of the crash or depose (interview under oath) witnesses who saw the crash from the ground.
Additionally, they might look at similar plane crashes with the same plane model or from the same airline to determine if there could be a pattern of negligence or a specific problem that repeats itself.
What About In-Flight Injuries?
The NTSB investigates major aviation accidents that involve significant damage to the plane or a death or severe injury. They generally don’t investigate in-flight injuries except in highly unusual circumstances, but the airline will typically fill out an internal report.
Whether or not you can get a copy may depend on the airline and the situation, but your lawyer might go through the legal system to subpoena one in some cases.
If you’re hurt on a flight, it’s a good idea to get the name and contact info of other passengers who witnessed your injury in case we need to talk with them later. Witnesses can be very helpful when there isn’t much other evidence, like videos of the accident.
We also recommend taking pictures of your injuries and the area where your accident happened. Finally, we advise you to seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately, even if they seem relatively minor.
This ensures that no potentially serious issues are overlooked and creates a record of your injuries in case you have more problems later.
Assaults on Planes
Federal authorities like the FBI usually investigate in-flight assaults and other crimes that happen in the air. If you experience an attack of any kind on a plane, do your best to get away from the attacker and alert a flight attendant.
Ideally, they should offer you a different seat and keep an eye on the perpetrator. They should also report the assault so authorities can meet the plane when it lands.
After reporting the assault and seeking medical attention for any injuries, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. We can advise you on options to seek compensation for damages like medical bills or time lost at work due to injuries.
Where Can I Find a Georgia Aviation Accident Attorney for My Case?
Please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation about your aviation accident. Our experienced attorneys will review your case, answer your questions, and outline possible solutions.
We can also help you estimate your damages, a process that is more difficult than many people realize. If there is a way to seek compensation for your injuries, we’ll find it.
Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm with the goal of helping injured people get the compensation they need to move on with their lives.
He built it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country and has recovered millions of dollars for clients with a 99.5 percent success rate.
When he’s not fighting for clients in the boardroom or the courtroom, Mr. Awad gives no-nonsense legal advice to more than a million followers on social media.
Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm today at 888-307-3792.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.