A recent Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to New York hit severe turbulence, resulting in 29 injuries to passengers on board. Injuries ranged from bumps and bruises to one flight attendant suffering a broken leg. The March 9 flight landed at JFK Airport where injured passengers were treated and taken to hospitals in Queens.
Most of us have experienced flight turbulence at some point or another. Usually, though, this turbulence is minor, and we get through it without incident. However, sometimes your flight may encounter severe turbulence and result in an injury. The FAA reports that in 2017, 17 people were injured by turbulence (down from 44 in 2016). This number may seem low, but it’s important to keep in mind that the FAA only counts injuries as those that result in a two-day hospital stay.
Who is liable for my airplane injury?
When injured on an airline, which typically occurs due to turbulence, the likely liable party will be the airline. This is because airlines are considered common carriers, like a bus or train. By law, common carriers are required to have a duty of care to their customers to keep them safe.
Of course, even though airlines do have a duty of care to protect you in the friendly skies, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a claim against them if you’re injured during turbulence. Simply proving that turbulence caused your injury isn’t enough to win compensation. You must be able to prove that the airline or its employees failed to protect you from harm.
For example, if the flight attendants or pilot warned of upcoming turbulence, such as making an announcement and informing passengers to fasten their seatbelts, no negligence has occurred regarding turbulence. Or, if you as a passenger didn’t follow proper turbulence protocol, such as keeping your legs in the aisle, you may not have a case.
However, if the airline’s staff fails to warn about upcoming turbulence, or the plane is understaffed and doesn’t properly deal with the turbulence episode, you may have a legitimate claim.
Defective products and plane injuries
There are also instances where you may have done everything right – including keeping your seatbelt fastened for the entire flight. But what if your seatbelt fails? Or a beverage cart with a defective wheel rams into you, causing an injury? In cases like these, you may be able to seek a claim in the form of a product liability lawsuit.
Any type of claim against an airline can be challenging. Working with experienced injury attorneys can give you a fighting chance at receiving compensation for your injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP protect accident victims in the New Jersey area. We hold the people and entities responsible for their negligent behavior. We serve clients form our offices in Edison, Red Bank, or Toms River, New Jersey. Call us today for a consultation at 732-777-0100 or fill out our contact form.