A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Newark, New Jersey received a head injury when another passenger who was attempting to load a suitcase in the overhead bin dropped a suitcase on the man’s head. As Charles E. Giebel II was sitting in his seat, waiting for takeoff, another passenger whom Giebel II described as “infirm,” struggled to load a suitcase in the upper bins. When the heavy suitcase fell on Giebel, he received bleeding abrasions as well as shoulder and head injuries which led to chronic pain.
In fact, Giebel claims his head injury from a falling object resulted in medical expenses and permanent injuries. Giebel’s airline lawsuit asserts that flight attendants on the Southwest airplane should have seen the struggling passenger and helped him get his suitcase into the upper bins before it fell and injured another passenger—as it did. Giebel is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from Southwest Airlines according to his Colorado Springs attorney, Timothy Fields.
What Type of Airline Lawsuits are Most Common?
Airline lawsuit are a more frequent occurrence as more injured travelers step forward to hold airlines accountable. While injuries occurring during a flight are not particularly common given the number of people who fly each year, there are consequences for the airlines when negligence leads to an injury. The most common types of airline injury accidents include:
- Turbulence injures close to 60 passengers per year, according to the FAA. Although turbulence is considered an “act of God,” therefore out of the control of the airline, turbulence can be a contributing factor to other potential accidents.
- Slip and fall accidents are always a possibility for those on an airplane, particularly if there is an object in the aisle, a spill or other hazard. Just like slip and falls on land, any potential hazard which could lead to a slip and fall must be addressed immediately.
- The LA Times reports that falling baggage injures as many as 4,500 passengers each year—and that such things as “laptops, baby strollers, crates of liquor and even bowling balls,” have been known to fall out of overhead bins striking passengers below. Falling luggage and other items must be stowed safely away in overhead compartments, and flight attendants must check to ensure all items are properly placed and the compartments are securely locked. Falling objects can lead to head injuries (including concussions), as well as broken bones and contusions.
- Improperly secured food carts can cause a surprising amount of damage when they roll down an aisle, full of food and beverages. Not only are these carts heavier than you might think, when unsecured they can roll over the foot or leg of a passenger and even knock passengers down, particularly elderly passengers. Although food cart accidents are typically the result of turbulence, it is the responsibility of flight attendants to ensure carts are always securely stored, with wheels locked.
Just like any other industry, airlines must provide a reasonable duty of care which includes keeping all passengers on the airplane safe and correcting any issues which arise during the flight. In certain circumstances, an accident with subsequent injuries could be the result of defective or dangerous equipment used in the airplane. This could include a malfunction of the engine or other mechanical failure, or a defective latch on overhead bins which led the bin to open and spill contents onto those below. Those who are injured while on an airplane (or while boarding or de-boarding an airplane) could potentially pursue an airline lawsuit claim due to the negligence of another to recover damages related to medical expenses, pain and suffering and any ongoing treatments and/or lost wages.
Helping Clients Injured by a Hazard on an Airplane
According to the Bureau of Transportation, about 1.73 million passengers boarded domestic flights every day in the U.S. in 2010. This number has steadily risen since that time, so it is easy to see how airline injuries could occur with this many people flying. Clients who have suffered airline injury as a result of an accident due to negligence may struggle to pay their medical expenses, lost wages or other damages related to the accident. At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.