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Summer Traveler Series: Airplane Accidents and When to Sue

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There are many ways you can be injured on an airplane.


Common Airplane Injuries and When to File a Lawsuit

Summer vacation is in full swing, and millions of people are gearing up to travel by air across the United States. The month of July had three of the busiest air travel days of 2023, with well over 6 million passengers flying in the span of 3 days.

With so many people traveling at once, accidents are bound to happen. While doors flying off airplanes is a possibility, you are far more likely to be injured in other ways that are far less dramatic but can still have serious consequences.

Let’s take a look at common injuries experienced by air travelers and what to do if you’re injured on an airplane to protect your claim.

Common Injuries on Airplanes

Even if a plane makes it safely to its destination, passengers can still be injured. In fact, most airplane injuries occur in this very scenario. Some of the most common injuries faced by airplane passengers include:

Turbulence Injuries

Turbulence often happens unexpectedly, and even slight turbulence can cause some serious injuries. Passengers can hit their heads, fall from their seats, or fall in the isle when unexpected turbulence hits. This can cause serious injuries, such as:

  • Fractures,
  • Concussions,
  • Twisted Ankles,
  • Broken Bones,
  • Spinal Cord Injuries,
  • Sprains,
  • and Bruising.

Falling Luggage Injuries

Unsecured luggage can fall during turbulence or if luggage shifts during takeoff. Also, if the cabin crew fails to properly secure the overhead bins or fills them too full, luggage can fall in normal conditions. Falling luggage can be extremely heavy and cause injuries like:

  • Head Trauma,
  • Concussions,
  • Skull Fractures,
  • Spinal Cord Injuries,
  • Broken Bones,
  • Facial Fractures,
  • Broken Nose,
  • Bruising,
  • And Internal Injuries.

Heatstroke Injuries

A combination of millions of travelers and excessive heat can lead to extended periods of waiting on a hot tarmac before your flight can take off. If conditions are right, passengers can suffer heatstroke injuries. Heatstroke can have permanent and life-threatening effects, such as:

  • Organ Failure,
  • Brain Damage,
  • Trauma,
  • and Weakened Immune Systems.

Foodservice Injuries

That rolling cart can bring more than sub-par snacks. Turbulence can cause the cart to roll down the aisle, causing injuries like:

  • Bruising,
  • Fractures,
  • Injuries to Arms and Legs,
  • And Burns.

Additionally, if the food that is served to you on a plane is unsanitary or rotten, you may suffer food poisoning.

What to Do After an Airplane Injury

Follow these steps after any airplane injury to protect your potential claim:

  1. Seek Medical Attention — As soon as possible, get evaluated by a medical professional. Some injuries don’t seem as severe as they really are until later, but they can be life-threatening. Additionally, doctors are expert witnesses about the severity of your injuries and are an essential third party for an injury claim.
  2. Document the Scene — Take photos of the scene, where you were seated, and anything involved in the accident. Videos of conversations with other passengers and flight crew about the accident are also useful.
  3. Call a Personal Injury Attorney — To get expert help on the next steps and advice on whether you should file a claim for your injury.

It’s important to call an attorney ASAP. The airline will most likely offer you a settlement soon after your accident, but you shouldn’t take it until you’ve consulted with an attorney to ensure it is actually a fair amount.

When to Sue for an Airplane Injury

If you were hurt because of an airline’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim.

Airlines can’t guarantee the safety of their passengers — accidents happen, and everyone who flies accepts that risk. However, airlines and their staff are responsible for doing everything in their power to ensure their passengers have a safe flight. As a general rule, you can sue for your airplane injury if:

  1. The Airline Owed You a Duty of Care,
  2. The Airline Breached That Duty,
  3. That Breach of Duty Caused Your Injury,
  4. You Suffered Damages as a Result.

Some common examples of airline negligence include:

  • Unsafe Cabin Conditions,
  • Turbulence (in certain circumstances),
  • Collisions,
  • Food Cart Accidents,
  • And Inadequate Medical Responses.

If you suffered a serious injury on an airplane and think negligence was the cause, talk to an experienced aviation accident attorney about your case.

Injured on an Airplane? Call Carabin Shaw.

If you’re injured while traveling via air this summer, call Carabin Shaw to find out if you’re entitled to compensation for things like:

  • Medical Bills,
  • Pain and Suffering,
  • Trauma/PTSD,
  • Missed Work,
  • Loss of Earning Capacity,
  • Surgeries,
  • Ongoing Care Costs,
  • And More.

We’ll help you find out for free.

Call Carabin Shaw personal injury attorneys at 800-862-1260 to schedule your case evaluation with one of our attorneys today. No fees, no obligations, just expert advice. We look forward to serving you.

Contacting a Carabin Shaw attorney is free and does not obligate you to work with the firm.

¹Busiest Travel Days 2023



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