How To Determine Liability For Turbulence Injuries
Any time you are injured as a result of another person's negligence, you have the right to sue them for damages related to the injury. This is true even if you are hurt in a particularly bad case of turbulence in an aircraft. Unless you are injured purely by an "act of God", here are some of the parties who may be liable for your injuries:
Aircraft and Component Manufacturers
Just like with other accidents, you have to identify the exact cause of your injury so that you can identify the person responsible for it. For example, some turbulence injuries are actually caused by defective products that don't function as well as they should under the circumstances. For example, if an overhead luggage bin falls on you during turbulence, it may be that the bin wasn't properly screwed to the rest of the aircraft's body. In such a case, your lawsuit should target the body or party responsible for designing the overhead bin or assembling the aircraft depending on the cause of its failure.
The Federal Aviation Administration
The federal aviation authority (FAA) is tasked with monitoring and controlling all air traffic flying over the country. This is the body that informs pilots when it is safe to fly or when the wind/storm is too much and the pilot should climb or descend to avoid the strong winds. As you can see, an error in instructions from the FAA can easily lead an aircraft into a turbulent path. If that happens and you are hurt in the ensuing chaos, your claim should be to the FAA.
In some cases, it is the airline that was flying you that will be responsible for your turbulence injuries. Just like other common carriers, airlines are expected to observe a high duty of care to their passengers. For example, they must ensure that all their aircraft are properly maintained and are safe for flight. Therefore, if an airline allows you to fly on a dammed seat or use a defective seatbelt and you are hurt in turbulence, you may have a valid injury claim against it.
In rare cases, it may also be possible to hold an individual airline employee responsible for your turbulence injuries. Take an example where a steward or stewardess doesn't store a serving cart properly and it ends up crashing into your face during a particularly violent turbulence. In such a case, you may have a legal claim against the negligent steward/stewardess.
Recovering your damages for turbulence injuries won't be easy. Consult an injury attorney like those at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. to help you with the process.