Aviation Litigation and Your Rights: Injuries from Turbulence and Falling Luggage

 Posted on June 22, 2016 in Aviation Litigation

While nearly every flight experiences some turbulence, the risk to passengers is generally low. This is because most instances of turbulence are small and short-lived. There are, however, circumstances in which passengers can and do become injured, either because of the turbulence itself or because of fallen luggage or other projectiles. In some of these instances, passengers may be due compensation.

Light Turbulence versus Moderate to Severe Turbulence

Turbulence is essentially a sudden but violent shift in airflow. Caused by a number of elements, including the wind, jet streams, thunderstorms, heat, or objects near the plane, such as a mountain range that causes a shift to the plane’s altitude or tilt. Because most experienced pilots know how to avoid these elements and situations and do their best to ensure the safety of their passengers, this shift or tilt is generally so slight that it feels more like tremor or shake while in flight. This is known as “light turbulence.”

Moderate turbulence, which causes the plane’s altitude to shift up to six meters, is less common, but it does occur. Your drink may spill, and your body may strain against the seat belt. If items in the overhead storage are not carefully secured, they could fall and potentially injure you. Or, if you happen to be moving about the cabin, you could fall and be injured. However, it is unlikely that the pilot will lose control of the plane and injuries are not all that common.

In severe turbulence, the plane’s altitude can change by up to 30 meters. Often experienced during storms or when a pilot or control base fails to properly plan the safest course, it can cause passengers to be tossed about the cabin (even those in their seats) and may even jar open overhead compartments and send projectiles or luggage throughout the aircraft. Passengers are much more likely to experience injury in this type of turbulence and may even require immediate medical attention.

Experienced Aviation Litigation Attorneys

If you or someone you love experienced turbulence on an aircraft that led to injury, you may be due compensation. But, because aviation litigation is extremely complex, it is important to first have your case evaluated by a legal professional that is both experienced and knowledgeable in this specific area of the law. It is also critical that you have someone on your side, protecting your rights and best interests against those who seek to limit or eliminate any settlement that may be owed to you.

At Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, we work hard to help our clients achieve the justice and settlements they deserve. Skilled and experienced in aviation litigation, we are prepared to build a strong case for you and your loved ones. Schedule a free initial consultation with a Chicago aviation litigation lawyer that is committed to your best interests. Call us at 312-605-8800 today.


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