Every year, hundreds of airline passengers are injured by falling bags, aisleway falls, equipment collisions and turbulence-related incidents. Some of these injuries may entitle the passenger to compensation from the airline, while others may not.
Knowing the difference between the two can help you assess when and how to pursue compensation for the medical and peripheral costs of your injury after getting hurt on an airplane. You can use the following information in addition to personalized guidance from a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer to help you know when you have the right to an injury claim.
“Acts of God”
“Acts of God” is a phrase used by insurers to indicate that their policyholder was not in control of the circumstances that lead to an injury. Many times, airlines, contracting companies, and their insurers will allege that an in-flight incident was the result of an “act of God,” meaning that claimants cannot recover money for their medical costs.
Negligence and Liability
The truth is that not every injury that results from turbulence is an “act of God.” Many times, negligent practices conducted by an employee or the company as a whole are ultimately responsible for the injury, even if turbulence was a factor.
Take, for instance, an incident where turbulence leads to bags spilling out of an overhead bin, hitting a passenger in the head and causing a significant, costly and debilitating injury. If the airline and its employees did everything possible given what could be reasonably expected of them, they are not as likely to face concrete liability for the incident.
However, they also could have made a mistake that shouldn’t have happened. Maybe they failed to check and see if the overhead bin was fully latched. Maybe they instructed passengers to load their own bags, and then they didn’t check to see if any bags were obstructing the latch or putting unreasonable pressure on the bin enclosure.
If evidence like an unstressed latch or eyewitness accounts reveals that an employee could have engaged in negligent behavior, then a personal injury claim can be possible despite the role of turbulence in the injury.
Other Common Causes for Getting Hurt on an Airplane
In addition to turbulence and falling overhead luggage, airline passengers have many other risks for getting hurt aboard a flight. They may trip and fall in the aisle or be hurt by a beverage cart. They may contract a serious illness from eating an ill-prepared in-flight meal. They may even be assaulted by a fellow passenger, which the airline failed to prevent or to control in time to prevent unnecessary injury.
Incidents like these are all too common, and they may pose a risk for airline passengers beyond any “acts of God.”
If you have been injured during a flight or while in the care of an airline company, remember that you have the right to fight for your due compensation. Contact a Colorado Springs injury lawyer now to review your case circumstances and potentially start filing a claim today.