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What to Do If You Were Injured on an International Flight

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Chuck Geerhart
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Airline accidents are among many travelers’ worst fears. We fear them for good reason.

Airline accidents are particularly catastrophic compared to incidents like car accidents.

Planes are bigger, much faster, and carry more passengers—so of course, they are particularly catastrophic.

And consider that passenger airplanes are typically traveling between 31,000 and 36,000 feet (up to about 5 to 7 miles) above sea level.

If an accident on an international flight happens, the chance of a fatality or serious injury is very high.

The characteristics of air travel all but guarantee this sad reality. Most of us are familiar with the claims process after a car accident. You get in touch with insurers, negotiate with them, then file a lawsuit if necessary.

While insurance companies will inevitably be involved in the event of international airline accidents, it isn’t the same process as what follows a car accident.

Read on to learn more about what you should do to recover damages after experiencing an injury on an international flight.

You Can Be Injured by Mishaps Other Than Crashes

It’s not just catastrophic accidents that might happen. Injuries from air accidents are often caused by airline negligence. All sorts of injuries might happen when you travel on an airplane.

Passengers might be injured when a plane encounters turbulence, by tripping over poorly secured items in the cabin, by falling while entering or leaving the plane, by being struck by a rolling food and beverage cart, or by having an object—such as luggage in an overhead storage bin—fall on them during flight.

Depending on the circumstances, the airline or its employees may be responsible for your injury. For example, you may be able to show that the crew was not properly trained or that adequate warnings of potential dangers were not provided to passengers.

If you were injured during an international flight, a personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate what legal options are available to you. 

Consult with an International Flight Accident Attorney

If you were ever in a car accident before, this step probably looks familiar.

Really, after experiencing pretty much any sort of personal injury you aren’t responsible for, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. That way, you can take the right steps to protect yourself legally. Failing to do so could jeopardize your claim.

Here are some of the most important things that a lawyer will help you with:

  • Investigating the airline accident,
  • Figuring out who is liable for what aspects of the damages you suffered,
  • Taking note of all of the damages you suffered,
  • Placing a value on the entirety of your damages so you can fully recover from the accident,
  • Documenting your damages with verifiable evidence,
  • Connecting you with the right medical professionals to treat your specific injuries,
  • Sending legal notice to the responsible parties,
  • Filing a lawsuit in court,
  • Negotiating on your behalf,
  • Taking point on all communications surrounding your claim, and
  • Acting as your ally and advocate in any way necessary.

Your lawyer can help you with just about any aspect of your claim. At the end of the day, your lawyer is your ally and advocate. Whatever it is that you need to help make your claim a success, your lawyer’s job is to answer that need. 

What Laws Are Relevant to International Air Travel?

From a general perspective, the types of laws that will apply to liability in international air travel are general liability rules.

Typically, an airline injury claimant will need to hold an airline accountable based on negligence liability. However, other times product liability, which is looked at from a strict liability perspective, applies.

Which type of liability applies to your case will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Sometimes, both will apply.

You may seek to hold a manufacturer responsible for a faulty component of a plane using strict product liability rules. Or you may want to hold the airline or a specific staff member responsible based on negligent liability.

Again, it all depends on your case’s specific facts and circumstances.

Aside from general rules governing liability for accidents, there are other relevant laws to keep in mind. Notably, there are international rules that apply to international air accidents caused by airlines.

International law is applicable because, by definition, international air travel is itself international.

The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, more commonly known as The Warsaw Agreement or but the initials IATA, governs liability for international airline accidents.

Recent Case Result by Chuck Geerhart

$4.15 Million Settlement For Passenger Who Had a Stroke

An airline passenger had a stroke on an international flight.

The airline failed to take proper steps to get medical help or land the plane promptly. John wound up in a persistent vegetative state due to prolonged bleeding in the brain.

View More Case Results

The Law Office of Chuck Geerhart Has the International Airline Litigation Experience You Need

Unfortunately, without hearing more about your specific case, there isn’t much we can tell you to do after your international airline accident.

Of course, contacting an experienced attorney is something you should do as soon as possible after any accident—not just an international air travel accident. Your lawyer is there to help, but they can only do so when you ask for help.

Luckily, our team at the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart has the experience to help you successfully recover the money you are due.

You didn’t cause the accident, so why should you have to pay for it? At the Law Office of Chuck Geerhart, we’ll make sure you don’t have to pay for it.

We’ll give your case the attention it deserves. That’s what we do. That’s how we achieve exceptional results. Book a consultation with us today!  

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