Airport Jetway Accident Lawyers Can Help Persons Injured In Incidents

Jet bridges, also called jetways, which connect airplanes to airport terminals or are used to speed walkers along through terminal halls, have served as the site of numerous injurious accidents to airline passengers. In 2019, statistics showed that Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) was one of America’s busiest and a rival of other airports around the world in terms of passenger movement. Charlotte’s airport launches over 700 daily flights and processes over 50 million passengers every year. It is not surprising, with the crush of hurrying traffic in and around an airport, that injurious accidents occur.

Common Jetway Accidents Lead to Injuries and Claims

Airport jetways are electronic walkways that move similarly to an escalator, but the walkways usually remain flat on the ground or operate at a very slight angle. Some observers have described the jetways as conveyor belts that pull passengers forward until they reach an exit platform. The constant motion of airport jetways presents a hazard to travelers who may stumble or trip while entering or exiting a jetway. Causes of jetway incidents can include:

  • Objects are left on a jetway, and a traveler slips while trying to remove luggage;
  • Objects on the jetway pose tripping hazards;
  • Gaps in the jetway lead to falls;
  • Trip hazards or snares cause catastrophic injuries;
  • Passenger fingers or limbs become caught between the moving parts of a jetway;
  • Unmarked steps at the beginning or end of the jetway lead to injurious falls;
  • A jetway belt malfunctions while in use;
  • A passenger’s shoelaces become trapped in the jetway;
  • Another passenger bumps into and knocks a person down.
An Injured Person Should Seek Assistance After a Fall

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury on an airport jetway in North Carolina, it is important that an injured person report one’s injuries as soon as possible to applicable airport staff. Reporting the problem is necessary so that other travelers do not become injured by the same hazard. It is also important to establish a report of the facts surrounding an incident, including an identification of the cause, a listing of the time and place of an incident, and an account from any witnesses.

Establishing a record of the incident can help an injured person with any insurance claim or, if necessary, with presenting evidence regarding the incident in a trial in court. Photos of the incident scene can assist an injured person with introducing relevant facts about an incident

Various Entities may Face Liability for Jetway Incidents Caused by Negligence

Sometimes airport owners contract with companies to service and maintain airport jetways. When someone becomes injured in a jetway accident, airport owners and vendors who are charged with maintaining jetways may face legal liability. In any event, it is necessary that an injured person prove that an airport owner or jetway operator acted negligently, or it failed to use reasonable care to keep a jetway safe. For that reason, it is essential that an injured person record all of the details surrounding an incident.

In other instances, airlines may own jetways in the wing of an airport that services its airplanes, and their ticketed guests may use the jetways to travel between connecting flights. If an airline was responsible for maintaining a jetway, and a person suffered an injury on a jetway as a result of negligence, an injured person may be able to bring a lawsuit against the airline. When an airline, airport, or vendor fails to maintain a jetway, fails to repair it when it becomes damaged, or fails to inspect a jetway for any safety problems, any responsible entity may face liability any accidents resulting from negligence.

The Importance of Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

It is essential that you or an injured family member speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a jetway accident. State laws employ statutes of limitation that require injured parties to bring their lawsuits within a certain amount of time. When a plaintiff fails to submit a lawsuit within a specified time, one loses the right to bring a lawsuit.

Insurance companies will often contact an injured person as soon as possible to gather information about a claim. Persons are not obligated to make statements, and insurance companies will use the statements to try to deny liability or lessen the amount of compensation they pay. We recommend that an injured person speak to an experienced lawyer to protect one’s rights before speaking to an insurance company. Contact the Charlotte personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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