Airline Liability for Personal Injury on International Flights

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 What Kind of Injuries Can Occur During Air Travel?

Injuries of various types could occur while you travel on an aircraft.

Most commonly, passengers are hurt in flight due to turbulence, when they move throughout the cabin, or because of luggage in the overhead bin.

You may be able to sue an airline depending on the circumstances of your injuries.

Different Types of Aviation Lawsuits

The following are different types of aviation lawsuits.

Wrongful Death
In addition to investigating all causation, responsibility, and liability problems, aviation attorneys collect information on financial estate matters, existing and potential financial losses, and other losses.

Wrongful death damages are classified as follows:

  • Economic loss (lost income)
  • Non-economic loss (pain and suffering)
  • Survival damages (fear, sadness, sorrow)
  • Punitive or exemplary damages

Personal Injury
When a victim is hurt due to the negligence or carelessness of others, they may be entitled to compensation for various damages.

These may include compensatory damages (property damages, medical expenditures, lost earnings, “other” damages, and future damages), general damages, loss of consortium, emotional damages, and punitive or exemplary damages, depending on the victim and the injury.

Product Liability
Product liability law is complex and distinct from regular personal injury law. Claims are typically brought under doctrines of breach of promise, negligence, or strict liability and are based on state laws. It is critical to see an attorney as soon as possible because there is a legal time limit within which you may file a claim (statute of limitations).

Class Actions
Class actions are occasionally permitted under the laws of other countries to compensate for catastrophic mass losses. Aviation lawyers have filed similar class actions in numerous nations and collaborated with foreign co-counsel to help their clients.

Multi-National and Cross-Border Litigation:

Aviation lawyers have worked with foreign co-counsel to seek justice for plaintiffs of many nationalities in a variety of countries.

With an increasing number of US carriers flying foreign-made aircraft, any air crash has the potential to result in multinational and multilingual litigation. Aviation lawyers have pursued defendants, evidence, and assets across multiple continents and through dozens of countries, including hostile and terrorist regimes.

Airline Liability for Personal Injury

The airline is usually held responsible when a passenger is wounded while flying.

The airline, for example, would be liable if a flight attendant pushed a food cart into a passenger’s arm, inflicting injury.

Similarly, if flight attendants failed to ensure that an overhead bin was properly closed and a suitcase fell on a passenger, the airline would almost certainly be held accountable.

However, if an overhead bin blew open due to a faulty latch, the airplane manufacturer may be held accountable under a product liability theory, while the airline may be exempt.

Other forms of incidents may expose other companies to liability.

For example, if air traffic controllers made a mistake that resulted in two planes colliding on the runway, the FAA might be held accountable. If a contractor’s carelessness when servicing an airplane causes an injury, that contractor may be held accountable.

While airlines strive to make customer travel as safe and comfortable as possible, injuries can occur during a trip.

Although airlines bear most of the responsibility for any injuries during the trip, passengers must also take responsibility for their safety by following directions.

What Law Governs Airline Personal Injury?

When United Airlines Flight 1676 landed in Billings, Montana, in early February 2014, three flight attendants and two passengers were injured and were promptly transferred to surrounding hospitals with broken ankles or fractured ribs. Who is to blame for the injuries? Turbulence.

The turbulence was characterized by passengers as the “scariest 25 seconds of their lives.” Although significant injuries from in-flight aviation events are rarely reported in the media, they do occur on a regular basis. A consultation with an experienced airline injury law company will aid in determining any airline liability for personal injury caused during a journey.

Every year, airlines report minor to serious to deadly injuries caused by turbulence, bags falling from overhead bins, and falls in the aisle. Injured passengers may be able to sue the airline, the airplane manufacturer, and, in some cases, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In most cases, any harm claim based on airline liability will be based on carelessness or product liability.

Under a negligence premise, an airline is held to a higher standard of care compared to other businesses. This is referred to as common carrier obligation. If an aircraft malfunction caused your injuries, you might have a product liability claim against the airline and the manufacturer.

The Warsaw Convention governs international flight injury claims. The Warsaw Convention is an international agreement that limits the amount of damages payable for personal injuries suffered by passengers aboard airplanes.

Types of In-Flight Mishaps

When you board an airline and place your luggage in an overhead bin, flight attendants always inspect each bin to ensure that it is securely closed and latched.

Passengers are also advised to use caution while opening overhead bins because the luggage may have migrated during the journey.

Thousands of people are wounded each year as a result of baggage that falls from overhead bins, despite the care exercised by flight attendants and the warnings offered.

Passengers are instructed to remain seated during takeoff, landing, and during turbulence.

However, even on smooth flights, a walk down an airline aisle might be just as perilous.

Passengers may strike their feet on the metal legs at the bottom of the chairs, while others may collide with the seat arms.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a passenger to trip or slide and fall, injuring themselves while in flight.

When an airplane encounters turbulence, many of the more serious injuries occur. Passengers are encouraged to sit down and strap up when turbulence is forecast.

Typically, when directions are followed, everyone gets through light turbulence uninjured. Severe turbulence, on the other hand, can be highly dangerous, and passengers can be tossed from their seats.

Passengers, who neglect to wear seatbelts during turbulence, are most likely to sustain severe injuries during the turbulent flight.

Turbulence on airplanes injures 36 passengers and crew members on average each year. Many injuries occur within the airport borders; an experienced attorney can assist you in answering the question: Can I sue an airline?

Can I Sue an Airline for My Injuries on an International Flight?

If you were hurt on an international flight, you should first figure out where the flight originated. The location of the flight may influence which court has jurisdiction over your case.

You may have jurisdiction if you prefer to sue in the United States and your flight began, stopped, or finished in the country.

However, the Warsaw Convention may limit the amount of money you can collect for your injuries. If your injury occurred on board the airline, the amount of money you can collect after suing an airline for injury is restricted to $75,000 per passenger.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you have been hurt on an international or domestic flight and want to seek compensation, a personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate your claim and file a lawsuit. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration provides resources for consumers who want to file a complaint.

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