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I Was Injured on an Airplane…What Can I Do?

Getting injured on an airplane is surprisingly similar to getting injured by any other commercial vehicle. There are multiple parties that could be sued, and it’s up to insurers and regulators to decide who carries the burden.

An airplane injury lawyer can help you if you find yourself in this situation. It doesn’t have to be in a crash, either. At any time between embarking and disembarking, the airline is responsible for your well-being.

Understanding Airplane Injuries

Crashes in airplanes are quite rare compared to auto accidents. The more common routes for injuries on an airplane trip are slip and fall accidents and other forms of negligence. Falling bags out of overhead storage bins and turbulence are also examples.

The key thing we will need to prove is if someone was negligent. Fortunately, in a plane situation, your burden of proof is lower than in a car accident. This is because airlines are considered a “common carrier.”

Common carrier status means the company gets paid for transporting people (or goods) and thus has a higher level of responsibility for your care. Because the duty of care is higher, it’s easier to prove negligence.

Liability: From Flight Attendant to the FAA

Depending on the kind of accident, different parties could be exposed to liability. Take the example of two planes crashing on the tarmac. That could be the fault of the pilot, the flight control tower, or a mechanical failure on one of the planes. 

Finding the fault is part of the role of the Federal Aviation Administration. Even the FAA itself could be sued depending on what happened, though suing the government requires specialized legal knowledge.

On an international flight, the task of who to sue is simpler. There are international treaties that make the airlines responsible for anything that happens on an international flight, even if you’re on the domestic leg. The main treaty is the Montreal Convention.

Steps You Can Take Following an Airplane Injury

If you’ve been injured on an airplane, the first thing to do is to tell the airline. Airlines are required by law to keep a record of all customer complaints and respond to them within 60 days. You can also contact the FAA directly at 866-835-5322.

If the remedy offered by the airline is not enough, or if the injury turns out worse than you thought, consider speaking with an airplane accident attorney with experience in these types of cases.