Who’s at Fault if You Are Injured on an Airplane?
If you are injured on an airplane, it is important to understand who is responsible for your injuries. Only in this way can you receive fair compensation.
Although many consider flying to be a scary thing, the reality is that you are much safer on a plane than you are on the highway. Besides, as a business owner, there are times when you simply must rely on air travel. It’s the only way to have to get where you need to be when you need to be there.
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However, just because air travel is one of the safest forms of travel that does not mean that in-flight accidents never happen. Sometimes accidents are the passenger’s fault, sometimes they are not. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
If turbulence caused the accident, would you know who was to blame? There are times when an accident isn’t as much of an accident as you think. Some accidents occur because the airline or its employees were negligent. There are very complex rules when it comes to who is liable when you are on an airplane, making them different from other sorts of personal injuries.
How to Determine Who Is at Fault
Air carriers and airlines have a different level of standard of care than other transportation types when they are transporting passengers. Governed by the Federal Aviation Act, they are held to a higher standard to ensure passengers’ safety. The airlines are responsible for the negligence of any employee. Therefore they can be liable for a passenger’s injury.
The airlines and crew are ultimately responsible for ensuring that conditions are safe for the passengers. That does not mean that airline carriers are responsible for every injury that happens on their airline. However, it does mean that there are only minimal requirements for proving negligence for airline accidents.
The Duty that “Common Carriers” and Their Employees Have
A “common carrier” or airline is responsible for ensuring that all components of their operation are safe for passengers. This includes the inspection of their property, loading people’s belongings, operating the airline, and maintenance of their airplanes. That means a pilot must investigate weather conditions ahead of time and warn passengers that they may be experiencing turbulence. The pilot needs to put on the seat belt warning and notify the cabin. If he or she doesn’t, and a person is hurt while they are out of their seat, the airline might be liable.
The ground crew that maintains the airplane is responsible for ensuring that all parts of the airplane are working properly. That means that they have to regularly inspect not just the exterior of the plane but also the interior. In this way, they ensure that there aren’t any safety hazards or dangers that might make a passenger vulnerable to injury. The only time that an airline would not be responsible for injuries is if the accident was a result of “an act of God.” If the airlines could do nothing to prevent the accident, then they can’t be held liable.
Who Can Also Be Responsible for Your Airline Injury?
There are other entities who may be responsible for your injuries. Product liability is also a component of personal injury for airline accidents. There are times when a manufacturer, repairer, or seller of airline equipment is at fault for accidents. During those times, the manufacturer or maker would be liable instead of the airliner. However, if the airline carrier knew about the defect, they might both be at fault.
There are also times when the air traffic controller is at fault. They have a duty of care to ensure that the aircraft is in a safe position for landing and to coordinate planes for takeoff and landing. If the controller makes a mistake, then the controller would be responsible for the pilot’s error.
When you are on any type of transportation vehicle, those who operate and own the vehicle are responsible for the actions of their employees. They are also responsible for the maintenance of their equipment and the property that you entrust to them.
When you are injured on an airplane, don’t assume that it is your fault. There are many instances where the airline company is liable for your injuries and responsible for compensating you fairly. To ensure that you get a fair settlement, make sure to contact personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles who specialize in airline accidents. They can help to build you a winning case.