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Can You Sue an Airport if You’re Injured While Traveling?

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Whether traveling for work or vacation, flying is typically the most convenient method of travel. However, accidents can still happen at any point between departure and arrival. If you’ve been harmed during your travels and think you may have an airline injury case, speaking to an experienced airline injury lawyer is the first step toward recovering compensation.

When can you sue an airport for an injury?

If you’re walking through a terminal about to board a plane and experience a slip and fall at airport grounds, then technically the city (not the airport) can be held liable. Everything changes the minute you step onto an airplane, as the liability shifts to the airline. What’s important to understand about injuries sustained while traveling with an airline is how liability shifts at every stage of the journey.

Personal Injury at Airport Facilities and Your Legal Options

Airports are classified based on their size, number of passengers they have every year and the types of goods they transport. For the purpose of this article, we’ll only be focusing on Commercial Services Airports. These types of airports include Los Angeles (LAX), Van Nuys (VNY) and San Francisco (SFO) International Airport. Although these airports are operated by an external government department, Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA), they are technically owned by The City of Los Angeles.

What is a common airport injury?

This might come as a surprise, but it’s more common for people to be injured at the airport than on the airplane. According to the International Airport Review, muscle sprains and strains, as well as torn ligaments, are more common than injuries suffered in air by turbulence. Between the escalators, elevators, conveyor belts and slippery floors, there are several obstacles hasty travellers need to navigate before boarding their planes.

That’s why it’s always best practice to give yourself plenty of time as you make your way through security and to your gate. However, a spilt coffee on a polished tile floor, or tripping over a frayed carpet, are real possibilities that can result in a slip and fall at airport accident for even the most cautious traveler.

What is a common airline injury?

Man with surgical mask standing with luggage at airport - can you sue an airport?

The risk of injury on a plane is incredibly low. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), between 2008 and 2020 there was an average of 2.84 injuries per millionth departure. In these cases, turbulence was the leading cause for injuries in adults. However, a pediatric study found that the leading cause of injuries for children on a plane result from burns due to hot liquids being spilled during meal service.

Who is responsible for airplane accidents aboard a plane?

How the injury occurs can determine who is held liable and whether you can sue airlines for negligence. For example, if a stewardess doesn’t properly close an overhead bin, and this results in an injury, then the airline could be held liable for the incident.

If the locking mechanism is faulty, however, then the liability can shift away from the airline and apply to the airline manufacturer. The cause of the accident ultimately determines who is at fault for an in-flight injury. If the ground crew is the cause of an airplane accident, then the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may be held liable.

Can you sue someone for giving you COVID?

Although it’s easier to prove liability in case of injury, it’s more difficult to determine who is at fault if you catch COVID during your next flight. COVID-19 lawsuits are becoming more common, but such cases still fall within a developing area of law. Knowing whether you were infected in the airport or on the airplane is important when speaking to a coronavirus lawyer to help determine if you have a case.

The Importance of Speaking to an Airport Lawyer After an Injury

If you’ve suffered an injury in your travels and you’re still wondering “Can you sue an airport for an injury?” it’s important to speak with an airline injury lawyer who understands how liability shifts between the departure gate and the arrivals terminal. With more than 50 years of combined experience in personal injury law, and over $1 billion recovered for clients, our team is here to help. Browse our locations and contact Avrek Law today for a free airline injury consultation!

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