SeaTac is the largest airport in the State of Washington, which is located in Seatac, Washington, which is just south of Seattle. There is also Paine Field in Everett and other airports in the State of Washington, including regional airports in Bellingham and Olympia, as well as Spokane.
With nearly 90,000 flights occurring every day in the United States, roughly 32 million per year, the commercial airline aviation industry is tremendously popular in the modern age. And with so much activity, problems, accidents and injuries are bound to occur as well. Luckily, 2017 was the fourth consecutive year in which zero air flight fatalities happened in our country. Nonetheless, mishaps and accidents do occur regularly, and there are many ways in which passengers can incur injuries when flying on a commercial airline.Washington State Plane Crash Laws
Typically, accident victims can file personal injury claims to obtain compensation for damages suffered. However, having a good personal injury lawyer is vital to the success of these claims.
While actual crash or collision accidents are much less common than those listed above, they do occur. Errors made by the pilot are the leading cause of air flight crashes, followed by equipment malfunctions. The following is a comprehensive list of the top causes of airplane crashes:
- Human error made by pilot and/or airline staff
- Faulty equipment
- Violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations
- Structural or design problems
- Negligence of flight servicing employees
- Negligence of Federal air traffic controllers
- Negligence of third party or airline carriers
If you are injured during an air flight, whether in-air travel or while at the airport, you may have a valid personal injury case. The number one cause of air flight injuries is negligence, which is defined as the failure of the responsible party to act in a way that demonstrates “reasonable care.”
A blatant example of negligence is a flight attendant who chats with a co-worker while pouring a cup of hot coffee on your tray table and carelessly spills your drink, which results in you getting burned. In this case, negligence is simply not paying attention during a work activity that requires focused awareness to ensure the safety of passengers.
Negligence can be caused by any airline employee, from the ground crew on up to the pilot. For instance, if the airplane is not adequately fueled by the responsible ground crew member(s), your plane may run low on fuel causing an emergency landing. In this example, the ground crew has been negligent. However, negligence can be as simple as a flight attendant not closing an overhead bin fully so that during in-air turbulence a bin pops open and a piece of luggage falls and injures a passenger.Product Liability
In addition to negligence, the airline can be held responsible for your injuries if the accident is deemed to have been cause by a defective product. Aircraft owners, operators and manufacturers are required to exercise a very high “duty of care” to airline passengers because so much is at risk during air flight.
For instance, if the landing gear is found to be defective in a landing accident, under the rule of product liability whoever was responsible for ensuring the correct functioning and maintenance of the landing gear can be held at fault for the accident, and for your damages, in a court of law.
Although liability laws themselves are complex, the theory behind the laws is fairly simple: when passengers purchase air flight tickets, they expect that the airplane is fully functional and capable of transporting them safely from point A to point B.
They also expect that all airline and airport employees will do their best to ensure their safety. When there is a breakdown in these expectations that is not caused by the passenger, negligence or product liability usually applies—which means the propensity for an injury victim to file a personal injury suit.Commons Aviation Injuries
There are a multitude of other hazardous airline situations that cause injuries to passengers:
- Severe air flight turbulence
- Out-of-control beverage carts
- Burns incurred from hot beverages
- Falling luggage
- Slips, trips and falls due to airline motion or any other factor
- Cuts from exposed sharp surfaces
If you have suffered any of these injuries, or any other injuries from a plane crash or while on a plane, it is best to seek immediate medical care. These injuries rarely just heal on their own. Rather, they medical care to address them. Doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists can treat your injuries.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If you have sustained an air flight injury due to the negligence of an airline employee or due to a defective product or malfunctioning equipment (product liability), then you likely have a very promising personal injury case to file. Depending on the kind of accident in which you have been involved, your injuries can include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses. The main kinds of damages for which you can sue for compensation in an aviation accident personal injury claim include:
- Physical pain and suffering, both past and future
- Emotional distress and suffering
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium (usually applies to married couples)
- Punitive damages
As safe as air travel has become, keep in mind that an airplane is comprised of hundreds of thousands of parts, out of which one loose screw could cause a mishap. Add to this the reality that for every air flight the cooperative interaction of hundreds of personnel is required for the flight to be carried out safely.
With these factors in mind, it is highly likely that if you have incurred an injury during a routine commercial air flight, it is highly likely that it wasn’t your fault and that you can obtain rewards for the damages you have suffered.
Call Chris Jackman Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your aviation personal injury claim.