Lawyers can Assist Persons Who Have Suffered Injuries in Air Turbulence Incidents
Any person who has flown on an aircraft has likely experienced the phenomenon known as “air turbulence.” The phenomenon occurs when high wind speeds, gusts, gales, microbursts, and other air-based phenomena can cause an aircraft to begin shaking, and in some instances, a plane can fall several hundred or several thousand feet through pockets of air, causing severe jolts and other jarring.
Air turbulence can also affect an airliner as it moves from areas featuring dramatic air temperature fluctuations due to jet streams, atmospheric pressure, storms, and other natural phenomena. Even though air turbulence often lasts only a few minutes, the phenomenon can cause devastating injuries to passengers and airline crewmembers alike.Injuries Commonly Suffered on Commercial Airline Flights Lead to Claims
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the turbulence that occurs on commercial flights is the leading cause of nonfatal injuries suffered by airline travelers. Every year, passengers and flight attendants sustain injuries caused by airline turbulence. Common injuries from airline turbulence include the following.Airline Turbulence Head Injuries
When an airplane suddenly jerks as it flies through turbulence, a passenger can suffer severe whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head snaps forward quickly and then snaps back. Whiplash can cause injury and damage to the soft tissue in a person’s neck, and it can damage the nerves in the neck and upper back.
In many cases, whiplash victims do not realize how severe their injuries are until days or even weeks after an incident. During and immediately after an incident, a person’s adrenaline can mask the injurious symptoms that may set in when the adrenaline wears off.
Another injurious event can occur when flight attendants fail to fully close all of the doors on the overhead compartments. Luggage can fall out of the overhead bins and onto the heads of passengers. Many of these overhead bags are extremely heavy. When they slam into passengers’ heads, they can cause concussions and brain injuries.Trips and Falls Injure Persons on Airlines
Passengers who are walking in the aisle, using the restroom, or standing in line for the restroom when a plane experiences turbulence can be thrown into a drink cart, pushed into another passenger, or can be tossed around an airline cabin and onto the floor. Air turbulence can cause injury to persons using the restroom, causing them to bump into the skink, into the door, the walls, or may cause a person to lose one’s footing. Trips and falls can cause head injuries, lacerations, bruising, fractures, and neck and back injuries.Passengers Sustain Soft Tissue Injuries During Air Turbulence
When the altitude of a plane changes quickly and a plane encounters turbulence, passengers can suffer soft tissue injuries. Passengers who are standing can twist their ankles or legs while trying to stabilize themselves. Passengers can crash into each other, causing soft tissue injuries. Those who fall down during the turbulence can suffer soft tissue injuries to their legs, arms, and necks.Air Turbulence Causes Broken Bones
Many people underestimate how dangerous airline turbulence can be. In some cases, turbulence causes a slight bumping. In other cases, the force can send people flying through the airplane and crashing into other people, other objects, or onto the floor. Passengers who are not strapped into their seats can be tossed around the cabin.Flight Attendants Suffer Air Turbulence Injuries
Airline employees move around the cabin much more frequently than passengers, and thus they are at a higher risk of becoming injured during turbulence. When flight attendants do not strap themselves in properly, they can sustain extensive injuries during air turbulence incidents.Entities can Face Liability for Air Turbulence Injuries
Pilots cannot always avoid air turbulence on flights. Passengers who suffer injuries on commercial airlines as a result of turbulence may have a right to file a lawsuit against the airline. Injured passengers must prove that the airline acted negligently. The following circumstances can indicate negligence:
- Seatbelts: Flight crew members and passengers who do not wear seatbelts during air turbulence are more likely to suffer injuries. Airlines must make sure that passengers are seated and that the seat belt indicator is turned on during turbulence.
- Improperly Stowed Luggage: flight attendants have a duty to make sure that the overhead luggage compartments are properly shut so luggage will not fall down during turbulence. Flight attendants must also make sure that luggage is stored correctly under passengers’ seats.
Personal injury lawsuits that involve air turbulence are often quite complicated. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an air turbulence incident, it is essential that you speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.