Important legal elements of airplane crashes

Generally speaking, modern air travel is incredibly safe. While plane crashes make headlines and get a lot of attention, they are far less common than car accidents and the fatality and injury rates are lower. All told, you're safer on a plane than in a car.

Injuries Do Happen

That being said, injuries do happen, even when planes don't crash. You could be hit by a falling object during turbulence. You could trip and fall just trying to walk down the tight aisles. You could be hurt by an airline worker or another passenger. If you are hurt on the plane, it's important to know if you can seek compensation.

Negligence and Injuries

One thing to note is that just being injured doesn't mean they have to compensate you. The airlines have incredibly high safety standards, but they need to be shown to be in violation in some way -- to be negligent in their duty to keep you safe -- in order to be liable.

For instance, if the pilot turns on the seat belt sign because of turbulence and you don't put your seat belt on, the airline likely wouldn't then be liable for your injuries if the plane dropped 500 feet and you hit your head on the ceiling or the window. They tried to keep you safe and you ignored the instructions. However, if the crew never told you to buckle your belt or if you tried to buckle it and found out that it was broken or defective, you may then have a case against the airline. They fell short in their obligation to protect you from well-known hazards.

Naturally, every case is different, and this is simply one example. There are many factors that come into play when determining who was at fault and who should cover the costs. It could include the airline, the crew, or the manufacturers who made the plane or the parts. The key is simply to understand how fault is determined and to know your potenital rights to financial compensation after an injury occurs.