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Who Is Responsible if a Passenger is Injured as a Result of Turbulence?

March 07, 2018 |

Aviation AccidentHave you ever been mid-journey on a plane flight and gotten up to go to the bathroom, only to have the flight attendant ask you to return to your seat and buckle up due to turbulence? It may have been an inconvenience, but it was exactly what they should have done: failure to do so could have been called negligence if you ended up getting injured.

Though injuries caused by turbulence are generally considered an “act of God” for which airlines are not considered liable, if an injured passenger can show that the airline knew (or should have known) that turbulence was coming and did nothing to protect passengers, then they can be held responsible for an aviation accident personal injury claim.

As a common carrier, airlines and their employees have a heightened duty of care to keep their passengers safe: that’s why what might seem like an overabundance of caution to you on your way to the restroom is a job responsibility for the flight attendant. Similarly, the Federal Aviation Agency is responsible for letting the flight crew know about risks that are in their environment, and if they fail in this responsibility, then they may be considered negligent.

There are other personal injuries that might occur on planes, whether due to turbulence or not, for which airlines and others may be held responsible. Some of the most common injuries that occur on a plane come from objects being left in the middle of the aisle where passengers can trip over them, or from runaway beverage and food carts which should have been secured. Passengers are sometimes injured when baggage falls from the overhead compartments: this may be a result of the flight attendant not having closed them securely or as a result of a product defect, in which case the fault may lie with the aircraft’s part manufacturer.

The possibility of being injured during a flight starts from the time you board the plane and doesn’t end until you disembark, and the airline and the manufacturers that provide them with their equipment may be liable for any injuries you incur. If you have been hurt on a plane and would like to learn more about your rights, contact Malamut and Associates today. We will listen carefully and explain all of your options.