DETERMINING NEGLIGENCE IN PLANE CRASHES
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.”
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.
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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.