Air travel can be safe compared to travels by the use of vehicle or train, but injuries in flights also happen. The injuries may be small like twisted ankle in trying to reach the bathroom, or serious head injury during air turbulence. Anybody who is injured during an airplane trip must know his/her rights. There will be times when the plane or its employees can be held liable; however, the victim should sort through some complex legal regulations to know if they can recover economic relief and against whom.
Determining Who is Legally Liable
Air carriers and airlines are held to highest level of care for their passengers. They are ruled by the Federal Aviation Act which requires them to practice excellent care for their passengers. Even though airlines are not the insurer of the safety of the passenger, they are liable for even the minute negligence on the part of their employees. They are expected to do all which is reasonable under any condition to prevent injuries to occur. But injury is not the only factor adequate to generalize that the airline is negligent. A minimum proof that the airline is at fault is needed.
The Responsibility of a “Common Carrier” and its Employees
The common carrier or an airline should practice extreme caution in all aspects of aviation which includes the maintenance, inspection, operation, loading and boarding of the airplane. As a sample, the airline is accountable for ensuring the safe passage to the restroom and to its exit. The airline may also be responsible for injuries sustained because of overloading aircraft. Furthermore, the pilot is the only authority who is accountable for the safe operation of the flight, including the weather conditions en route. The ground employees are liable for the safe conduct of the aircraft which includes correct inspection to make sure that the airplane is in safe working condition. The airplane cannot depend on the government inspection of its airplanes. But the airline, on the other hand, cannot be held responsible for some rare defects in the aircraft that cannot discover through inspection.
The responsibility of the airline does not go beyond the disembarking of the passengers from the aircraft. Furthermore, the aircraft may not be accountable for the consequences from an unavoidable accident or the act of God. When an accident is caused not by human mistake, but by unforeseen events, appropriate recovery from the airline is not possible. For instance, turbulence may not be possible to foresee but the pilot has the responsibility to check the weather condition for the assigned route of the flight. When high turbulence is expected, the airline workers may need to change or delay the flight.
Other Probable Liable Parties
The airline may not be the sole party responsible to the passengers for the injuries due to an incident in flight. The seller, manufacturer, or maintenance workers of the aircraft or its equipment may be held accountable for the defects that cause the malfunctioning of the air carrier. Furthermore, the air traffic controllers has the responsibility of taking care of the passengers through the air traffic control system, and may be held liable when they see a dangerous situation and is unable to adequately warn the pilot.
Aside from the passengers on the commercial aircraft, the small carrier passengers may also be provided with economic relief from the injuries sustained on an aircraft. Even though the private aircraft does not held to similar high standard of taking care as a big airline, the private aircraft has a responsibility to practice precautions. The visitors on a private carrier can recover from the owner or the pilot of the aircraft under some conditions.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
Since the air travel is common nowadays, it is essential for the people to determine what to do when they are injured during the flight. Any legal claim that involves aviation needs a thorough understanding of the aircraft functions and safety, the FAA rules and regulations, and particular rules associated with the aviation litigation. If you or someone you love experienced injuries because of in-flight aviation injury, find and contact a local attorney who has an experience in aviation litigation claims.