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Can You Sue An Airline For In-Flight Injuries In California?

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

Filing Lawsuits For Plane Or Flight-Related Injuries In California

In most cases, commercial airplanes go through rigorous processes to ensure the safety of the people on board. For example, all planes go through maintenance and heavily rely on air control and scheduling to ensure they don't run into problems.

Unfortunately, there doesn't have to be a plane crash for in-flight injuries to happen.

Let's talk about liabilities and in-flight personal injury, as experienced by our prescreened Airplane accident lawyer in California.


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Like most civil claims, there is a set process and requirements in identifying who to sue and how much you can claim for it.


What If I Get Injured On A Plane?

IMPORTANT: There doesn't have to be a plane crash for a passenger to be injured.

When they think of airplane accidents, people probably picture horrific collisions with many injured or dead at once. However, it is still possible to get injuries on a flight that hasn't crashed due to the pilot's or another crew member's carelessness.

Each year, several airline passengers experience mild, severe, and occasionally deadly injuries brought on by incidents in flight. Injured passengers may file lawsuits against the airline, airline personnel, manufacturers of the aircraft and equipment, or even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Some of these injuries can include:

  • Luggage falling from overhead bins is a common source of injury during flights.

  • By shoving shoulders, elbows, etc. on sitting passengers, rolling food carts might harm them. These carts can also potentially hurt passengers as they move throughout the cabin.

  • Passengers moving throughout the cabin may experience slip-and-fall accidents.

  • If the captain or other crew members fail to alert passengers to the need to buckle up and sit down during severe turbulence, it could result in injuries during the flight.

If you've recently sustained injuries in flight, you should contact a prescreened Airplane accident lawyer in California ASAP.



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Who Is Responsible for Airplane Accidents?

In personal injury cases in California, you and your California plane injury lawyer need to identify the liable parties who have been negligent, resulting in the accident or injury your sustained.

Here are the most common parties identified as liable for in-flight injuries:


1. The Airlines


Airlines owe their passengers a high quality of care. As a result, if they don't adequately train their workers, they could be held accountable for any injury. All employees are subject to the same duty of care.

2. Airline Or Flight Staff

Injuries brought on by negligence may be the responsibility of an airline employee. Pilots, flight attendants, ground workers, maintenance personnel, and others may fall under this category.


For example, an improper latching of an overhead bin by a flight attendant that causes the contents to tumble out is an example of negligence.


3. Air Traffic Controllers


If an air traffic controller causes a collision between two aircraft on the runway, the FAA, which is in charge of overseeing air traffic, may be held responsible for the resulting damages. As a government entity, the FAA will be subject to unique laws and regulations in this dispute.

4. The Plane Manufacturer

An aircraft or components manufacturer might also be held accountable for damages. In addition, a passenger who sustains injuries in an accident brought on by faulty machinery or poor design may be able to pursue a Product Liability Lawsuit in California.


Is The Airline Liable For My Slip And Fall Injury During A Flight?


Some form of negligence often causes slip and fall cases. For example, if there is a hazardous spot in the plane (where people can trip or clip) and the airline fails to address it, they might be liable for your injuries.


That said, there could be multiple liable parties in your case. As mentioned, they could be any party mentioned in the previous section.


What If A Loved One Dies in A Plane Accident in California?


When a loved one dies in an accident, surviving family members have the right to sue the negligent parties for damages. Family members may be awarded the following damages:

  • Funeral costs/burial fees

  • Medical costs

  • Loss of income

  • Emotional distress

For egregious cases, the courts might also award punitive damages, which are meant to punish negligent parties. But, again, this is usually to deter others from doing the same thing by "making an example" of the defendant.


That said, negligence needs to be established for family members to sue an airline. Contact a California wrongful death lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.


Who’s Liable In A California Plane Crash?


Whether you survived a crash or a loved one dies because of it, negligent parties are the ones you should be suing. Potential negligent parties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Pilot

  • Employer of the pilot

  • Producers, sellers, or creators of a faulty aircraft

  • Instructors or schools for pilots

  • Airlines

  • Airports

  • Owner of a plane

  • Air traffic controllers

  • Leasing party for the aircraft

  • Crew members of aircraft

  • Aircraft maintenance

  • Publishers of instruction manuals for use or maintenance

  • Owner or operator of the helipad or airfield

  • Owners of risky structures like unsafe cell towers

Most plane crash survivors suffer severe injuries. These injuries could lead to high medical costs, lost income, property damage, and extreme emotional repercussions. You should find a catastrophic injury lawyer in California ASAP for severe cases like this.

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What Are The Causes Of Aviation Accidents In California?

Aviation accidents can be caused by human error or weather conditions. Here are the most common types of accidents our prescreened airplane accident lawyers in California:

1. Operational Mistake

Pilots are taught how to conduct maintenance checks and make sure the aircraft is ready for takeoff as part of their job. Every pilot must possess the knowledge, proficiency, authorization, and training required to safely operate the aircraft.

Unfortunately, human error can result in significant injuries, like other transportation accidents. For example, about half of all fatal airplane crashes result from pilot errors.


Pilots and airlines are the first potential liable parties if you've been involved in a plane crash in California. You might need to prove that these parties are responsible, so contact a plane crash attorney in Los Angeles to assess your case.


2. Mechanical Failure


A malfunction in a crucial component of an aircraft might result in a crash. Unfortunately, even the most skilled pilot may not always be able to successfully prevent a faulty plane from crashing.


Your plane crash attorney in California will assess your case to see if maintenance crews or plane manufacturers are to blame for your accident.


3. Weather Conditions

Pilots need to be aware of the weather conditions that make flying hazardous. To protect everyone on board, airplanes frequently experience delays during inclement weather. However, because the weather may be so unpredictable, operators must be trained to fly in various scenarios.


A pilot may occasionally avoid hazardous weather conditions by choosing a different path, making a U-turn, or flying below or above the weather system.


Find The Best California Lawyer for Plane Crash Accidents

1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Association-Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney best fit to handle your claims. Contact us on our 24/7 lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999 or complete our inquiry submission form for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

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