Based on reports gathered from the National Institute of Mental Health, we’ve been able to conclude that not less than 25 percent of Americans have some nervousness regarding air travel, while about 7 percent suffer from aviophobia. Despite the anxiety and fear that air travel poses on the majority of population, it’s not wrong to also conclude that air travel remains one of the safest modes of transportation. In fact, for every ten million vehicle accidents in the United States, there’ll only be an account of 30 accidents involving airplanes. Not only this, the chances of dying or getting injured in a car accident throughout your lifetime are one in 99, while the odds of dying in an airplane accident are one in 7,199. Even with the assurance, there are threats involved. We have faulty overhead compartment latches, turbulence and narrow aisles- and if it happens that you sustain an injury while on the plane, knowing your rights as a passenger will go a long way to help you. There are airplane accident attorneys in place to help you evaluate the circumstances that have led to the injuries sustained.
Commercial airline responsibilities to its Passengers?
Air carriers and commercial airlines under the federal aviation act are held to exhibit high standards of care for the passengers. Though upon the purchase of a ticket, passengers are still not insured, but airlines take full responsibility of even the slightest acts of negligence. There’s a duty to be carried out by all airlines on its passengers; they are to exercise full vigilance in respect to all aspects of air travel, and these include maintenance, operation and inspection, boarding of the plane and loading.
However, the fact that a passenger injures him or herself while traveling by air does not necessarily mean that the airlines will take full responsibility. In a case where you sustained an injury while on the plane or boarding, you have to first prove that the employees of the airline demonstrated some act of negligence that led to your injuries. Speaking of acts of negligence, they could include:
- Not stowing each person’s luggage beneath his/her seat before takeoff, and in turn causing a tripping hazard on the way to the restroom.
- Stocking too much load on the aircraft’s overhead compartments, leading to the opening of one or more compartments during flight, thereby resulting into an overhead hazard.
- The pilot not familiarising him or herself with the flight conditions and necessary instructions.
- Ground personnel failing on their part to inspect the airplane properly before takeoff.
It’s important that you understand that an airline’s duty to its passengers come to an end as soon as the passengers disembark the plane. For instance, if a passenger trips outside the airplane, probably along the runway and breaks his or her arm or ankle in the process, the airlines are in no place to take responsibility for the damage caused; rather, the injured passenger might look on to the airport itself as a potential reliable party.
Additionally, even though the pilot has it as one of his duties to familiarize him or herself with the weather conditions of the route to be taken, you cannot hold them responsible for unforseen acts of nature, I mean a gaggle of geese that might fly into the propellers or extreme turbulence.
Other parties responsible
While you might not be able to file a lawsuit against the airline itself probably because they cannot take responsibilty of injuries sustained by passengers, but there might be connected parties that’ll take the fall. For example, the manufacturer or repairer could be held responsible for any major defects in the aircraft equipment. Also, the air traffic controller may be held responsible for endangering passengers and aircraft’s crew lives if they fail to report any hazards along the route to the pilot.
You’ll be entitled to compensation if you or any of your loved one get involved in an aircraft accident.