Articles Posted in Aviation Accidents

At the end of 2017, United Airlines (now known as “United Continental Holdings, Inc.” after the merger with Continental Airlines) announced that it would be issuing each of its flight attendants a new Tumi brand bag. In March 2018, United Airlines began requiring its flights attendants use the newly issued two-wheel or four- wheel “rollaboard” Tumi brand bags.

Unfortunately, the transition to the new Tumi brand bags has created numerous issues for United Airlines flight attendants. Almost immediately, United Airlines flight attendants began noticing that these bags are awkward, hard to maneuver, and in some circumstances, even dangerous to use.

As flight attendants already often need to be performing physically strenuous tasks, moving quickly, working in tight and awkward spaces, and lifting, pushing, and pulling heaving luggage, the additional requirement to use these awkward and uncomfortable bags is unfortunately causing injuries to flight attendants’ wrists, arms, shoulder, backs, necks, and legs.

Stories in the news can remind us of many important things. A recent headline and story from England once again highlights the fact that being a member of an airline cabin crew can be a dangerous job. According to an Aviation Herald report, a flight attendant aboard an Irish airline’s plane was seriously injured when a beverage/meal cart broke free and crashed into his legs. As much as these news stories provide important reminders about the risks of being a flight attendant, it is also important to remember that, if you are hurt working as a member of a cabin crew, you may have certain legal options available to you to compensate you for your injuries. To learn more about the exact options you have, be certain to talk to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney.

From the cockpit of the airline’s Cologne-to-London flight, it perhaps seemed unremarkable as the flight was landing. However, in the cabin, a catering cart had broken free and, when the pilot hit the brakes, the cart raced toward a flight attendant and slammed into him. The flight attendant had been sitting in a passenger seat on the only partially-filled flight and, just moments before the cart crashed into him, raised his knees to his chest to protect himself. The impact seriously injured the flight attendant, inflicting a “suspected fracture” of his left femur.

This flight attendant’s broken leg is not the first time a runaway cart has caused havoc aboard a flight. Last year, a cart aboard an American Airlines flight slammed into a passenger’s head and allegedly impacted him with sufficient force to cause the man chronic traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome.

One recent flight departing from Chicago’s Midway Airport arrived at its destination, but not before an incident of turbulence caused flight attendants to suffer injuries. This latest example of the potential dangers that flight attendants face in the air is something that could become more common if some scientists are correct. According to reports in nature.com and CNN.com, climate change may be fueling more turbulent air and could well create a future in which these incidents of “clear-air turbulence” happen more often and occur with greater severity. Due to the requirements of their jobs, this could pose a particularly high risk for flight attendants. Whenever you’ve suffered a midair injury, it is important that you talk to an Illinois plane accident attorney right away to protect your rights.

That recent flight was a relatively short one – a Southwest Airlines flight going only to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The flight encountered unexpected turbulence at some point along the path. Although the airline did not disclose to the media which duties the cabin crew was performing when the turbulence struck, the turbulence injured three flight attendants and no passengers.

Some of these instances of unexpected severe turbulence are events known as “clear-air turbulence.” This is a type of turbulence, as a meteorologist explained in a KARE TV report on the Southwest flight, “where air is moving aloft. You can’t see it because there isn’t a cloud developing.” Clear-air turbulence is difficult for both pilots and meteorologists to identify. Without something visible or measurements they can identify, pilots often cannot anticipate clear-air turbulence until it happens. Without visible indicators like clouds, meteorologists often cannot predict it either. Meteorologists have computer models, but those only give them a general idea, according to the KARE report.

Late last month, NBC Chicago reported on a Sunday afternoon accident involving several employees of a major airline who were hurt while traveling to their flight. Specifically, the employees were on a bus that was hit by a baggage cart. Six of the airline employees aboard the bus were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries. The cause of the accident was still under investigation as of the NBC Chicago report. Airline employees who are injured in situations like this may have various avenues to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered. Anyone hurt in a situation like this should consult an Illinois aviation injury attorney about their legal options and potential compensation.

One example of a somewhat similar event took place in Philadelphia and was recently resolved by a state court in Pennsylvania. Betty, a flight attendant for a major airline, was headed home after her shift, which involved flying from Philadelphia to Miami and back. After the return flight, the flight attendant boarded a shuttle bus to ride back to the employee parking lot. While boarding the bus, Betty slipped and fell and seriously injured her left foot.

The flight attendant filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The key issue in her case was whether or not she qualified, under the law, as being on her “employer’s premises” when she fell aboard the bus. The flight attendant received her award of benefits, since the court concluded that the shuttle bus was integral to the airline’s business and that Betty’s presence on the bus was required by the nature of her job. These factors meant that the bus was a part of the “employer’s premises” for the purposes of workers’ compensation benefits.

A glitch in American Airlines’ pilot scheduling system means that thousands of flights during the holiday season currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them.

The shortage was caused by an error in the system pilots use to bid for time off…..

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The crash of a cargo jet flying from a British military base in Afghanistan while hauling U.S. military vehicles killed all seven people on board. The crash also spawned multiple lawsuits, one of which was concluded recently here in Chicago, Cook County Record reported. In that case, the jury awarded the families of three of the deceased men on board a sum total of almost $115 million after the evidence in the case revealed that the vehicles on board were not properly restrained and that one of those vehicles broke free, leading to the crash.

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Airline passengers and flight crews acknowledge that deciding to fly aboard a commercial flight comes with certain risks. One type of risk that neither group likely anticipates while flying is facing injuries from a runaway beverage cart. However, on multiple occasions in recent months, runaway beverage carts have inflicted injuries on both passengers and airline employees. At least two of these incidents involved American Airlines and American Eagle. The incidents serve as a reminder that one can incur injuries aboard an airplane from many different sources. Regardless of the source of your injury, it is important to work with skilled Chicago airplane accident attorneys who can help you understand and protect your rights.

The most recent incident to make the headlines involved American Airlines Flight 1941. Early in the flight, the beverage cart, which was fully stocked and allegedly not properly secured, took off careening down the aisle of the Hartford-to-Charlotte flight. The cart, according to a Reuters report, hit one passenger with such force that it knocked his hat off his head. The total damages the man suffered went far beyond just a removed hat, though. The impact allegedly caused a large gash in the man’s forehead, severe bleeding, and a loss of consciousness.

According to the man’s complaint, the infliction of this serious injury did not lead the flight crew to initiate an emergency landing. Instead, the crew flew on to Charlotte, which took another two hours (after the accident occurred). The passenger sued American in federal court, alleging that the airline’s negligence caused him to suffer “chronic traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome.”

United Airlines (UAL) employees are talking and social media chat rooms are buzzing about the potential change in workers’ compensation administrators. For about 20 years Gallagher Bassett has been administrating the claims for benefits due to occupational injuries also known as “occupationals”, “OJI” or workers’ compensation injuries. Typically, an administrator provides claims adjustment services that include the investigation and processing of injury claims and payment of weekly workers’ compensation income benefits known as temporary total disability (TTD) and authorization for medical procedures and payment of medical bills. The administrator may also, at times, negotiate settlements after the injured worker has been released from doctor’s care.

There does not appear to have been a formal notice or press release confirming that United Airlines is replacing Gallagher Bassett. There has been speculation that this may occur October 1, 2017 and that the new claims administrator will be Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

Helpful Advice for the Injured Worker

What do I do when I am injured at work?

You know your job and you know what to do when things are running smoothly and when things go wrong. However, when you get injured you may be unsure about what to do and what to say. Here are some helpful hints for figuring out what to do when you get injured at work.

1. Report everything. If you get hurt at work you should report the accident to your superiors as soon as possible. Let them know exactly what happened and when it happened. It is easy when you have a specific injury, “I picked up a box and felt a sharp pain in my low back.” It is harder when the injury is due to the repetitive and forceful activities that you do at work. If you have pain and think it is work related let somebody know about it and see a doctor. You will need to report the claim to your employer as soon as a doctor tells you that your pain may be work related. Reporting every injury does not mean you are going to a doctor or hiring a lawyer every time. You are documenting that something happened. If you get hurt on Thursday but do not report it until the following Monday your employer may question your claim. Report the accident as soon as possible.

If you’ve read enough headlines about air travel, you’ve probably seen it. Whether it was the United Airlines flight attendants who suffered injuries on a flight from Denver to Omaha, or the Qantas flight attendant who broke her ankle on a flight from Perth to Canberra, turbulence can represent a very serious risk of injury for airline cabin crews. And, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, these injuries are rising. The FAA reported that twice as many serious turbulence injuries occurred in 2016 as in 2015, according to USA Today.

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