When You Fly Unfriendly Skies
When you board a passenger aircraft, you likely make the common assumption -- and have the right -- to presume that you’re going to travel from “A” to “B” safely. At any given point during the day, there are more than 5,200 passenger aircraft flying above North America. The rarity of plane crashes -- decreasing yearly -- shows just how safe air travel is.
However, passenger personal injuries while aboard are increasing yearly. Why? Mainly, serious personal injuries occur during unexpected turbulence, particularly to passengers who aren’t buckled properly into their seats.
Turbulence is air movement that normally can’t be seen, and often occurs unexpectedly. It frequently occurs when the sky appears to be clear -- and when you may think it’s safe to move about the airplane cabin.
Consider these compelling statistics from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): • In-flight turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and flight attendants. • Each year, nearly 60 people in the US are injured by turbulence while not wearing their seat belts. • Through 1980 - 2008, US air carriers had 234 turbulence accidents, resulting in 298 serious injuries and three fatalities. • At least two of the three fatalities involved passengers who were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated. • Generally, two-thirds of turbulence-related accidents occur at or above 30,000 feet. Both Transport Canada and the FAA require passengers to wear their seatbelts: • When the airplane leaves the gate and as it climbs after take-off • During landing and taxi • Whenever the seat belt sign is illuminated during flight As well, both authorities strongly recommend that passengers keep their seat belts loosely fastened at all times while seated. Some passengers assume it’s safe to stand in the aisles (for instance, looking in the overhead bin) while the plane is taxiing. What they aren’t aware of is that the pilot’s foot brake has 9 “G’s” of force -- that is, nine times the force of gravity. In an emergency taxiing or runway situation, where the pilot needs to brake suddenly, a standing passenger could be thrown violently down the aisle with resulting injuries.
Also, although flight crews are professionally trained, mistakes sometimes happen. Food and beverage carts, for instance, should be safely stowed during turbulence, but are sometimes left in the aircraft cabin’s aisle. People can be injured by hot beverages being spilled during service in turbulent conditions or by falling items from unsecured overhead bins.
And to complicate matters, although you may be a BC resident, if you are injured during travel or in another country, there may be jurisdictional matters that can make an injury claim even more complex.
Helpforme lawyers are experienced and expert in personal injury claims stemming from air travel. We have one of the largest groups of personal injury lawyers under one roof in BC. They’re your personal advocates to help you through the complexities of your in-flight injury, ensuring you get the claim settlement you deserve. And Helpforme has contingency-based fees, so you don’t pay until your claim is settled. Find out how Helpforme can help you.