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Mid-Air Turbulence Can Cause Injuries in Many Different Ways, Both to Cabin Crews and Passengers

| Jun 24, 2019 | Aviation Accidents |

Anyone familiar with aviation accidents knows that one thing that can cause very sudden and very substantial harm to passengers and flight attendants alike is abrupt, unexpected turbulence. This risk of harm is generally highest for those who are in the plane’s cabin unrestrained. However, even if you are in your seat with your seatbelt fastened, you can be at risk. Whatever type of injury you have suffered in an airplane turbulence incident, if you’ve been hurt you should contact an experienced Chicago aviation injury attorney about your legal options.

Recently, a startling piece of turbulence-related video footage was published on A commercial flight, traveling across Europe, experience profound turbulence. The most obviously harmed person in the video was a flight attendant, who was steering a beverage cart through the plane’s aisle when the turbulence hit. The turbulence flung the flight attendant against the top of the plane, where she struck with her head, neck and shoulders. She wasn’t the only one hurt. Reports indicated that 10 passengers were hospitalized with injuries.

If you’re moving about the cabin (or otherwise unrestrained,) turbulence can seriously injure you. Even if restrained by your seatbelt, severe turbulence can, as a result of the plane’s violent jerking motion, cause harm, such as soft-tissue damage to your head, neck and back areas.

As the evidence from the European flight reminds us, though, there are more dangers in a turbulence situation than just those. When the turbulence hit this plane, it flung not only the flight attendant, but also her beverage cart. Out-of-control beverage carts can be a source of significant injuries, from contusions to ligament damage to broken bones. In this case, the beverage cart’s contents did much of the passenger damage, with passengers suffering burn injuries as a result of being struck by scalding hot water, which was presumably on the cart to facilitate service of coffee and/or hot tea.

This accident happened just outside Basel, Switzerland. If you are injured in a flight here in the United States under similar circumstances, you may be able to sue and to recover damages. As a flight attendant, you may be able to win compensation whether or not you were warned about the need for you to return to your jump seat due to turbulence.

As an injured passenger, the proof you would need must show that someone from the airline unreasonably put your safety at risk. That could be proof that the airline did not have procedures for restraining the beverage cart properly, that the pilots improperly failed to turn on the “fasten seatbelt” sign, or that the airline did not take proper steps to minimize the risk of harm from other possible dangers like hot liquids or flying objects from an out-of-control beverage cart.

In short, the airline owes you a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety and, if you’re hurt, it’s possible that injury happened because that duty was not fulfilled. For the determined and reliable legal advice your case needs, reach out to the skilled Chicago aviation injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping the injured utilize the legal system to obtain the compensation they deserve for many years. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.