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Articles Posted in Aviation Accidents

As an American Airlines International flight attendant, you travel a great deal and may encounter unexpected, even dangerous situations, not only on the plane, but while on layovers or in hotel restaurants. If you’re injured in the scope of employment, you’re entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. However, if a third party contributes to or causes your work injury, you may be able to also file a civil lawsuit against the third party to recover damages. You need to be aware that American Airlines or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may have the right to recover expenses related to payment of workers’ compensation when a third party was at fault. This is called a subrogation interest. Subrogation of American Airlines international flight attendant claims can be extremely complicated. If your work-related injuries may have been caused by someone other than your employer, you should consult the experienced Chicago workers compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. As an AV-rated law firm, we’ve fought for fair compensation for more than 60 years.

Subrogation of American Airlines International Flight Attendant Claims

Workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy. Through this system, lawmakers intended you to be able to recover benefits without needing to establish an employer’s liability as you would in court. In exchange, you cannot sue your employer for work-related injuries and your benefits may be less than what you’d recover if liability were established in a lawsuit. However, if a third party is responsible for your work injuries in Chicago, you may be able to pursue damages in a lawsuit against that person or entity.

Flight attendants encounter a wide spectrum of passengers on the job. Regrettably, those sometimes include troubled people, including people with substance issues and those with mental health issues. Either of these groups can be particularly prone to violent outbursts during a flight, especially longer-haul flights. If you’re a flight attendant who’s been hurt by an out-of-control passenger, then you may be entitled to take certain legal actions and recover compensation, so you should make sure you don’t delay in contacting a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney to discuss your situation.

Recently, multiple news sources covered the story of a Newark-to-Miami United Airlines flight that diverted to Charleston, South Carolina due to a passenger’s violent outburst. The passenger allegedly became agitated and then attacked, biting one man’s ear, striking another in the nose (and possibly breaking it), and hitting a third person in the temple, according to USA Today.

Many flight attendants, including O’Hare-based United and American Airlines crews and Midway-based Southwest crews, likely read this story with a grim sense of familiarity, having their own “horror” stories of violent passengers. Injuries inflicted by violent passengers stand as the dark flip side to the glamorous life that many people often associate with being a flight attendant.

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In early 2021, United Continental Holdings (commonly known as UAL) began offering its flight attendants a Voluntary Separation Leave package with additional benefits to encourage voluntary separation from the company. As a term of the separation agreement, the flight attendant must waive his or her right to pursue legal claims and release United from liability related to his or her employment with and/or separation from United. Flight attendants are understandably concerned that this may affect their right to file a workers’ compensation claim and collect benefits for work related injuries.

This agreement does carve out some exceptions, including the right of the flight attendant to claim workers’ compensation benefits. This means that accepting the VSL does not forfeit your right in a workers’ compensation claim! Remember that you have three years from the date of the accident or two years from the last payment of compensation to file any Illinois workers’ compensation claim. You may file the workers’ compensation claim even after accepting the VSL.

However, flight attendants considering accepting this agreement should note that by signing the VLS agreement, the flight attendant is certifying that he or she had “no unreported on-the-job injuries”. By signing this agreement, the flight attendant who suffered unreported injuries or Occupational disease exposures in the past may jeopardize his or her right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in the future. Accordingly, if a flight attendant has an unfiled workers’ compensation claim, it will typically be in his or her best interest to report the injury and file the claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (not just Sedgwick) prior to signing the VSL agreement to protect his or her right to workers’ compensation benefits. However, every case is different and this blog is not intended to provide legal advice, simply guidance and things to consider.

Stop-Payment-Check-300x131We represent flight attendants who are injured on the job. We are familiar with the adjusting companies for United Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue.

If are you are forced to miss therapy or doctor visits for your work injury due to a self-quarantine for the Corona virus, your Workers’ Compensation benefits should not be stopped or interrupted. If your weekly temporary total disability payments are suspended to due the quarantine, THIS IS WRONG!

Flight attendants who have questions about Illinois Workers’ Compensations benefits and the COVID-19 virus should call us toll free at 800-444-1525. There is no charge for speaking with our attorneys as all initial consultations are free.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission announced a suspension of business to limit the effect of the COVID-19 virus. This suspension of operations is in effect until 3/31/2020 when the situation will be re-evaluated. Here is the link to the Commission’s announcement:  ⁣

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/ ⁣

Unfortunately, no hearings nor docket calls will take place during this period.  In order to comply with the order of Governor Pritzker, the law firm will not be traveling to the union halls for interviewing at least through the end of March.  However, your Katz Friedman lawyers are working hard for you and remain available to take telephone calls.  Our office is open with a reduced non-lawyer staff to insure we make progress on each and every case.⁣

istockphoto-683815596-612x612-1-300x200While air travel in the United States, generally speaking, is getting progressively safer, flight attendants’ jobs are still dangerous ones. Flight attendants’ exposure to injury-causing risk is inherently tied to the nature of their work; even as passengers have long been safely secured in their seats with the “Fasten Seat belts” sign on, flight attendants may still be moving about the cabin to provide service to those passengers. This places them at serious risk in the event of sudden turbulence. When you, as a flight attendant, suffer an injury due to turbulence, you have options to get the financial compensation you need. Start by reaching out to an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney without delay.

An American Airlines flight recently served as a reminder of these sorts of potential dangers. According to a WBIR report, the flight, which was roughly 15 minutes away from landing, experienced sudden turbulence as it descended from 19,000 feet to 16,000 feet. As one passenger told WBIR, the turbulence’s severity, on a scale of 1 to 10, was a “15.”

Fortunately for the passengers, the flight crew had long since turned on the “Fasten Seat belts” sign, so the passengers were buckled in. Two flight attendants, still working on performing their duties, were not. One hit the roof of the cabin so hard that she was knocked unconscious. The other broke both her ankles, according to the report.

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American Airlines has finally debuted its new lineup of employee uniforms following allegations that a previous batch — which debuted over three years ago — were causing rashes, headaches and hives.

“When we set out to create our new uniform collection, the clear goal was to deliver …. (click here) to read the full article via Fox NewsAANewUniforms-300x169

When you are injured in a car crash, your lawsuit may be as simple as suing the other driver involved in the accident. When your accident, however, involves a vehicle like a semi-truck, a bus or a commercial airplane, your case may involve many more defendants, especially if a mechanical flaw or malfunction in the large vehicle is one of the crash’s alleged causes. In either situation, but especially in the latter scenario, you need the skill and knowledge of an experienced Chicago injury attorney. Your knowledgeable injury attorney can help you overcome the various roadblocks the defense may try to place in your way, such as challenges based upon personal jurisdiction.

If you’re injured (or a loved one dies) as a result of a plane crash, there may be a large number of people and entities who were potentially negligent and possibly owe you compensation for the harm you suffered. Some of them may be out-of-state businesses and may have relatively limited interaction with Illinois. Based on that, they may claim they cannot be sued in this state.

The law in Illinois, however, often says otherwise. A recent case originating here in Cook County is a good example. In the late hours of April 6, 2015, a Cessna bound for Bloomington, Illinois left Indianapolis, Indiana. In the early morning hours of April 7, the plane crashed roughly one mile northeast of the airport. All seven men aboard the plane tragically died in the crash

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In mid-November, the Chicagoland area saw a preview of winter, with temperatures in the teens and single digits, along with snow on the ground. Cold and slick conditions can cause havoc for drivers, but they can be especially perilous for air travelers. As if to remind everyone of that, ABC 7 had the story (and video) of an American Eagle flight arriving at O’Hare Airport that slid off its runway upon landing, after having already aborted one landing attempt due to poor weather conditions.

Sometimes, weather-related accidents are outside everyone’s control but, many times, these crashes have an element of human error to them. If you were hurt as a result of a bad-weather plane crash, you need an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney on your side to help you get to the bottom of your accident and, if human or mechanical errors played a part, hold accountable those who were responsible for the harm you suffered.

Thankfully, no passengers, crew members or people on the ground were hurt in this recent incident. Not all weather-influenced flight accidents here had such fortunate outcomes. Back in December 2005, a Southwest Airlines flight slid off a runway at Midway Airport while the pilot attempted to land in a snowstorm. The plane eventually careened through a wall and into a roadway intersection. A 6-year-old boy died in the accident. At the conclusion of the NTSB’s investigation, that agency concluded that the accident was the result of pilot error. Specifically, the pilots failed “to use available reverse thrust in a timely manner to safely slow or stop the airplane after landing, which resulted in a runway overrun.” That failure came as the result of the pilots’ having been distracted by the plane’s autobrake system, according to the NTSB.

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New information regarding commercial airplane crashes and fatalities points to some good news. A report has indicated that the number of deaths in commercial jet crashes dropped substantially between 2016 and 2017. While the report indicated far fewer fatalities, the information also served as a reminder of how dangerous being an airplane crew member can be, since nearly 45% of the deaths last year were crew members. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal air crash, it is important to take prompt action, including retaining a skilled Illinois aviation accident attorney.

The Aviation Safety Network’s recently released report regarding commercial airline crashes and deaths, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, showed that 2017 was, overall, a good year for airplane safety worldwide. In 2017, there were 44 deaths arising from 10 crashes. The year before, there were 16 fatal crashes, but those crashes led to many, many more deaths (303).

According to the network, the rate of fatal airline crashes has been dropping steadily and continues to do so. On “average, for every 7 million flights worldwide, there is one fatality,” the Times reported. None of those fatalities took place in the United States. 2017 was the fourth consecutive year in which there were no deaths in commercial jet crashes in this country. The last time a commercial jet crash caused fatalities was in 2013, when an Asiana Airlines flight crashed on its final approach in San Francisco. The crash killed three passengers, all of whom were Chinese teenagers.

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