California Airplane Injury Attorney
Seek Legal Help After You Suffer an In-Flight Injury
Air travel is considered significantly safer than many other forms of travel, including automobile and train. However, in-flight injuries do occasionally occur, and when they do it is important to have the legal assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.
As part of our personal injury practice in Los Angeles, our California law firm works with clients who have suffered injuries during their flights and hold the liable parties accountable for their negligence. We fight to recover the compensation you deserve to cover your medical bills, rehabilitation and pain and suffering, and keep you at ease throughout the entire legal process.
To schedule your free consultation, call us at (877) 465-2911 or contact us online, and our attorney will answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.
Common types of injuries that occur on flights
While the frequency of commercial airline crashes is thankfully quite low, there are still thousands of reported injuries to passengers on commercial airlines each year. Some of the most common causes of these injuries include:
- Turbulence: Turbulence can be a result of weather, wakes caused by other aircraft or other elements of the air currents. Turbulence-related injuries can range from fractions and sprains to spinal cord injuries, concussions, cuts and scrapes, whiplash and more.
- Service cart impacts: Flight attendants regularly push heavy service carts loaded with food and drinks up and down the aisles on flights. Occasionally, a passenger in an aisle seat will fall asleep with limbs sticking out into the aisle. It is the responsibility of the flight attendants to notice this, otherwise the passenger could suffer severe injuries to feet, hands, arms, knees or other body parts.
- Overhead bin accidents: Passengers are instructed during the preflight routine to be careful when opening overhead bins, as items inside may have shifted. But if the flight attendants fail to properly secure the bin and items fall out, those passengers could be injured through no fault of their own.
- Trips and falls: Passengers will sometimes trip and fall while boarding or disembarking their flight, whether it’s due to hazards in their way, defective jetways, problems with boarding ramps or any other issue.
- Sexual assaults: Inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact does occur on airlines, and when it happens the airline could be responsible, depending on the circumstances.
- Humiliation or embarrassment: Recent national news stories have shed a light on the damage humiliation or embarrassment can do to a person on flight, thanks to some viral videos of passenger treatment. These incidents can become the subject of liability claims.
Other types of in-flight injuries
Here are other common injuries that take place during onboarding, inflight and disembarking in Los Angeles Airports and other airports around the country.
- twisted ankle
- traumatic head injury
- knee fracture
- elbow fracture
- slips, trips, and falls
- falling luggage
- sliding beverage carts
- limbs injury
- burns from hot liquids
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- emotional injury
- broken bones
- cuts from exposed metal
- turbulence accidents
- overhead bin malfunctions
- negligence to act in medical emergencies
- failure to warn passengers of turbulence
- assaults or acts by fellow passengers
If you have any questions about your airplane injuries, schedule a free consultation with our attorney at (877) 465-2911 or contact us online.
Determining liability for in-flight injuries
All airlines and their staff are expected to provide a certain quality of care to their passengers. These standards of care are regulated by the Federal Aviation Act and the Federal Aviation Administration. As such, airlines are held responsible under federal law for even slight degrees of negligence on the part of their employees, including pilots, flight attendants and all other airline staff. These employees must do everything reasonably possible to ensure all passengers are safe and no injuries occur in the course of a flight.
A passenger suffering an injury does not necessarily mean the airline was negligent—it is the responsibility of any plaintiff in an airline injury case, as in any personal injury case, to produce evidence demonstrating the airline was at fault in the accident.
Here are some examples of responsibilities held by airline staff with regard to the safety of passengers:
- Pilots: Pilots are responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, and must be familiar with all information that could affect the flight, including weather conditions expected along the route.
- Airline: The airline itself is responsible for providing safe passages to and from restrooms and exits, and is responsible for any injuries caused by overloading the aircraft.
- Ground personnel: Ground personnel are responsible for ensuring the safe conduct of the aircraft, and conduct all pre-flight inspections to ensure the aircraft is in safe working order before takeoff.
- Manufacturer or seller of aircraft or equipment: If any injuries on the flight occur as a result of malfunctioning or defective equipment, the manufacturer or seller of that equipment could be held liable.
- Air traffic controllers: Air traffic controllers are responsible for safely operating the air traffic control system and could be considered responsible if they fail to warn a pilot about dangerous situations in the sky.
The airline’s duty of care to the passenger does not, however, extend past the passenger disembarking from the aircraft. There are also certain incidents that cannot be considered the responsibility of airlines, such as acts of God or consequences resulting from inevitable or unforeseen events. If the accident did not have an element of human error involved, recovering compensation from the airline will likely be impossible.
So, for example, pilots have a responsibility to check the weather conditions that can be expected out of the flight before takeoff so they can prepare for potential turbulence and provide passengers with advance warning of those conditions. While there is some turbulence that is not possible to anticipate, a failure to even check the conditions in advance of the flight would make the pilot (and, by extension, the airline) liable for any turbulence-related injuries that occur on the flight.
Contact an experienced California airplane injury attorney for legal assistance after your in-flight accident
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury while on board a flight, do not hesitate to take legal action. Contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher Montes de Oca. We offer free consultations to all clients to provide them with information about their legal options and the best strategies moving forward.
To schedule your free consultation, call us at (877) 465-2911 or contact us online, and our attorney will be happy to speak with you about your case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Law Offices of Christopher Montes de Oca
Office: (562) 901-4664
Fax: (562) 901-4665
Los Angeles Office
355 S. Grand Ave., Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071
14414 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90605
Long Beach Office
111 W Ocean Blvd., Suite 1950
Long Beach, CA 90802