Over the years, airline travel has become increasingly more stressful, between post-9/11 security and COVID-19 processes and procedures. Airplanes are aging, and the industry, in general, has been struggling.
During the past year, we’ve seen airlines being accused of responsibility for everything from rough security enforcement to transmission of COVID-19.
Airlines can and should be held accountable for injuries and fatalities to their passengers caused by their negligence, but these suits can be incredibly complex.
Local Flight Grounded
Just this week, Spirit Airlines flight 334 scheduled to depart from McCarran International Airport to Pittsburgh showed signs of braking issues and opted not to continue the flight due to “an abundance of caution.” While the passengers on this flight were not harmed and were rescheduled on another flight the following day, what happens to those passengers who get injured or even killed during plane travel?
Traveling via airplane frequently requires travel over state lines. So who has jurisdiction if you are harmed or killed on an airplane in the United States?
In cases of air travel, the Federal Aviation Administration sets rules and standards concerning procedures, pilot operation, manufacturing, and enforcement of civil and criminal charges and penalties. The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of aircraft accident investigations and making recommendations to the FAA.
How An Airline Can Be Held Responsible For An Injury
Airline liability falls into two categories: negligence and product liability.
While negligence will cover things such as pilot error, improper servicing and maintenance, and non-adherence to rules and regulations, product liability covers defective manufacturing of the airplane’s parts and components.
Consequently, laws surrounding airline travel can be complicated. But when an individual is injured in an aviation accident, there are ways that the airline may be held accountable.
The Nevada Common Carrier Law
In Nevada, we have common carrier laws. A common carrier refers to any business transporting individuals from point A to point B and includes industries such as public transportation, trains, and airplane travel.
All common carriers are held to a higher standard of care and must abide by stringent safety rules and regulations. Airlines, in particular, owe this increased duty of care to passengers from the time they are actively boarding the plane until the time they disembark.
If passengers become injured due to the failure to abide by these standards, the airline can be held accountable.
While the liability of common carriers is limited to negligence and not necessarily passenger safety, they can still be held accountable in cases of
- Turbulence or other “acts of God” if they failed to notify and caution passengers of upcoming turbulence, did not provide proper safety equipment or faulty safety equipment, or otherwise acted negligently, leading to passenger injuries
- Injuries from baggage and food carts
- Injuries while moving throughout the cabin
If the airline failed to provide care and this failure led to an injury, the injured party may be able to pursue compensation for their damages.
How to Proceed if You Have Been Injured in an Airline Accident
If you have been injured on an airplane, it is important to notify the airline via an official complaint. Federal law requires that the airline respond to any written complaints within 60 days of their receipt. The Federal Aviation Administration also maintains a hotline for reporting a safety issue.
If your injuries were obviously the result of the airline, and you have suffered financial damages, you should get the advice of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney to discuss a possible claim.
Call the personal injury team of LV Personal Injury Lawyers at (702) 800-4660 or contact us online to schedule a no-cost consultation.