Common causes of in-flight injuries

Turbulence, human error and a lack of restraints could lead to injuries acquired during an airplane flight.

Connecticut residents who have a fear of flying may worry about what can happen when a plane crash lands; however, some passengers can be injured during seemingly normal flights. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, turbulence alone was linked to 17 serious injuries over the course of a single year. A serious injury can include one that requires more than 48 hours of hospitalization as well as a wound that fits into one of the following categories:

  • Bone fracture
  • Second- or third-degree burn
  • Internal organ damage
  • Nerve, tendon or muscle wound
  • Hemorrhage

While not all wounds received on a plane will fall into the serious category, many of them take place because of similar circumstances. It does not take a publicized crash to result in a life-changing injury.

Turbulence

Planes often have to fly through turbulence. This irregular motion of the air can lead to bumps, cuts, bruises and broken bones for some passengers and airline workers. When the plane is tossed around on the irregular air current, people can be jostled in their seats, the aisle or the lavatory. In some cases, luggage and other equipment can become dislodged and lead to a collision-related injury. While pilots cannot entirely avoid turbulence, they may be able to predict upcoming obstacles to warn passengers of a potentially bumpy ride.

Human error

Human error and negligence can play a big role in airplane-related injuries. Pilots, stewardesses and passengers are expected to act in a certain way to keep everyone aboard safe. Passengers are asked to properly store their carry-on bags to avoid unwanted shifting during the flight. Stewardesses have to use extra caution when passing out drinks and meals to ensure no one receives a scalding injury. Pilots have to remember to turn on the air pressure and stay focused on the flight path to keep everyone riding the plane as safe as possible.

No restraints

Most people riding on an airplane are expected to stay buckled throughout the majority of the flight. Children under the age of two, however, may be allowed to ride on their parent's lap without being restrained. This could lead to a greater risk of injury due to falling. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that 35% of in-flight pediatric medical events involved children under the age of two even though this age group only accounts for 1% of passengers.

Whether a Connecticut plane passenger receives a paper cut or a deep laceration, in-flight injuries need to be properly addressed by commercial airlines. When an injury affects a person's day-to-day life, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of aviation-related case.