Category Archives: Airport Runway, Tarmac and AOA incidents

Special Accident Inspection Rules for the Airport Operations Area

Unlike this delicious Maple Syrup, the Airport Operation Area is subject to Federal inspection, not local police investigation.  The "Wm Abrams" on the label is no relation to ABRAMS LANDAU founder William Abrams, Esq.
Unlike this delicious Maple Syrup, the Airport Operation Area is subject to Federal inspection, not local police investigation. The “Wm Abrams” on the label is no relation to ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. founder William Abrams, Esq.

When I am injured at the airport deplaning, or collecting my luggage, why can’t the local police investigate my airport accident case ?  Passenger and airline employee injuries that occur at Dulles and National Airports’ “Airports Operation Area” (or “AOA”) are investigated by the Airport Police. The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (“MWAA”) has its own police force.  The MWAA Police have jurisdiction over the AOA, runways and airport “sterile areas” (the areas beyond the TASA security inspections). As the runways and “secure areas” of the airport are under Federal Authority, the local Loudoun County, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria Virgnia Police cannot inspect the scene of an accident.

According to Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau, that is one reason investigation personal injury cases at the international airports is more difficult than a car crash case or slip and fall accident outside of the airport. “It is best to get the MWAA Police and First Responders’ Reports as soon as possible, and then interview the airlines employees and passengers who may have witnessed the accident. Many areas of the airport are filmed for security reasons, and preserving the tape or CD should also be a priority.”

Landau adds, ” Getting the best, experienced airport injury lawyer for your or a loved one’s case should be accomplished as soon as their medical care has stabilized. No oral or written statements should be given until counsel has been retained.  Photos of the injury sites and preservation of the evidence are also important action items.”  If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport slip and fall, vehicle crash or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Prescription Help for the Injured and Disabled

If you have ever been injured — in an airport accident, or under any other circumstance – then you know that getting and paying for your prescription medication  can be an unwelcome hassle during a difficult time.  ABRAMS LANDAU airport injury lawyer Doug Landau tells his clients about IWP, a national pharmacy service working on behalf of injured individuals.

“Clients who have suffered a debilitating injury at an airport can use some help to make their lives just a bit easier.  I think IWP offers a great service and is setting the standard for pharmacy care for the injured,” says Doug.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, in an automobile accident, at an airport, or anywhere else, and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555).

Dulles International, Reagan National Airports Closed Due to Storm; Law Shop Open

Prior to Hurricane Sandy,  Fairfax County Bicycle Police Help Doug Landau load bike safety helmets back into the Herndon Virginia law firm's building police boxes to law shop
Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Fairfax County Bicycle Police help accident lawyer Doug Landau load bike safety helmets back into the Herndon Virginia law firm’s main building, which survived the storm undamaged

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reports that all major airlines that serve the Washington D.C. region’s two major airports have canceled flights until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy. The airports themselves technically remain open. But the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (“MWAA”) is urging passengers not to travel to the airports until flights resume.  Even if the runways were not flooded and visibility obstacles overcome by use of on-board instruments, the high velocity winds would have made for dangerous flying conditions.  So far, we are unaware of any injuries at either Dulles or National Airports, and MWAA’s wise decisions have kept airline employees and travelers safe.  The Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU is also technically open, though we have been operating at reduced staff levels due to school cancellations, road conditions and other safety issues.

Please continue to send us faxes, e-mails, letters (our US Postal Delivery person made it yesterday, albeit several hours later than normal, and we did receive FedEx, but not UPS !) and know that we will endeavor to respond as quickly as we can.  Herndon Reston area injury lawyer Doug Landau appreciates the fact that disabled clients are being smart and safe in this weather by continuing to make telephone conference appointments to discuss their cases, rather than playing “telephone tag.”  The ABRAMS LANDAU team encourages clients and their families communications, and having an appointment to speak with Mr. Landau at a time certain promotes efficient case work, safety and focus on the issues. Many smart clients even send their questions ahead of time via e-mail, text or fax.  They are pleased when they get swift answers to their legal concerns and direction as to actions to be taken to win their cases.  If you have a question about your (or a loved one’s case), call, e-mail or fax us today !

Can Disabled Airline and Airport Employees Receive Workers Comp AND Social Security ?

Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau at the Alexandria Courthouse where his Virginia workers compensation client also won additional benefits as the result of a crash caused by an airline employee
Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau at the Alexandria Courthouse where his Maryland workers comp client also won additional benefits as the result of a tug crash caused by a Virginia airline employee

When an airport employee is disabled due to an on the job injury and cannot return to work for twelve months or more, they may seek Federal disability benefits. The state and federal systems are not mutually exclusive according to Washington, D.C. area airport accident lawyer Doug Landau.  When the airline worker later qualifies for Social Security Disability Income (“SSD”), they can still collect their full state workers compensation weekly wage loss benefits.  The Federal system will take a “set off” so that the monthly disability check is often reduced, but the additional medical benefits are still available to the disabled worker and his family. At Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, clients injured at National, Dulles and other International airports have won their workers comp claims and, because of continued inability to work, have successfully pursued their Social Security cases.  The Federal disability claims almost always take longer than the state compensation claims, but the Social Security program’s benefits can last far longer. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured in an airport accident and there are questions about Workers Compensation, Social Security Disability and Personal Injury cases on the AOA, in the terminal or in the air,  e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once. Accidents at airports can result in injured airline and airport employees qualifying for BOTH state workers compensation benefits AND Social Security Disability payments.

Airline Pilot’s slip and fall injury winning decision affirmed on appeal

ABRAMS LANDAU was asked to assist an Airline Captain as the result of an accident on the tarmac.  This pilot slipped on a wet ramp and fell while deplaning.  An Accident Report was filled out for this injury on the Air Operations Area (“A.O.A.”), and the pilot missed only two weeks from work after seeing an orthopedic doctor when he got back to Virginia.  When his symptoms continued for over a year, the pilot had surgery on his left leg for a tear of the meniscus.  However, there was a complication during surgery.  He was hospitalized for clots as an after-effect of the surgery.  He was disabled for 7 weeks thereafter and incurred medical bills in excess of $30,000.  As the carrier had already denied the claim, we asked for an immediate Workers Compensation Hearing.

At trial, the ABRAMS LANDAU team won an Award for this hard-working pilot, who had worked his way up in the airline from his start as an airplane mechanic.  The Workers Compensation Award included: coverage for the compensable consequence of his surgery, payment of all medical bills, travel mileage reimbursement, and future permanency.  In injury cases, the responsible party may have to pay for the original injury, as well as the complications or “compensable consequences” of the original injury.  This is important because this pilot’s problems all began with that fateful slip on a wet ramp while he was on the job over a year prior to the surgery itself.  What seemed like an inconsequential injury turned out to be a very big deal!  Luckily he sought the advice of Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau.  If you or someone you know has been injured in a job-related accident with lingering effects of the injury and there are questions about your eligibility for a Workers’ Compensation claim, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555).

How does an injured airport employee sue for an on the job accident ?

Measuring wheel, Herndon Virginia airport injury lawyer Doug Landau of ABRAMS LANDAU experienced counsel investigate research prosecute permanent injury airport negligence airline employees liability claims
Measuring wheel in hand, Herndon Virginia airport injury lawyer Doug Landau of ABRAMS LANDAU stresses the importance of getting experienced counsel to investigate, reseach and prosecute permanent injury airport negligence and airline employees "third party liability claim"

If an airport or airline employee is hurt on the job, they may be able to bring a negligence claim for the unsafe actions of the person who caused their injuries. “The disabled worker may have a viable workers comp claim, but the comp benefits are limited,” according to Virginia airport accident lawyer Doug Landau.

For example, when a National, Dulles or Richmond Airport worker slips and falls on the job through no fault of their own, they may bring a state comp claim AND pursue a “third party liability claim.” The reason it must be a “third party” or “stranger to the work,” is because an airline or airport worker generally cannot sue a co-worker or boss. But claims against someone not under the “umbrella of workers comp” CAN be sued for money damages adds Landau, of the Herndon Virginia law firm, ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. To bring such a claim successfully, the injured worker should retain experienced counsel, critical evidence should be gathered, and liability investigation completed while the injuries are still healing. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an accident at an airport or in flight, and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once, so that timely investigation can be conducted by counsel on your behalf.

Virginia Workers Compensation Airport Fatality Claims Limited

Fatal accidents Virginia airports involving airline employees workers comp benefits Herndon fatality lawyer Doug Landau payments limited amount duration
Fatal accidents at Virginia airports or involving airline employees can result in workers comp benefits, but Herndon Dulles area fatality lawyer Doug Landau notes that these insurance payments are limited in amount and duration

Misconceptions about what benefits are available to the families of airport and airline employees after a fatal accident necessitate some of the most difficult conversations Dulles area attorney Doug Landau has at the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd.. These are the most serious cases, yet the benefits, under Virginia workers comp law, are limited. Whether our client was killed in the construction of the Dulles International Airport expansion or in the air in the 9/11 disaster, the benefits for their grieving families are shockingly small. In fact, the do not even last 10 years.

Under the Virginia Code, section 65.2-512, compensation to dependents of an employee killed in an on the job, compensable accident includes: burial Continue reading

Why can’t local police investigate my airport injury ?

According to air travel attorney Doug Landau, this local Wincheter Poiice car wold not be allowed on the Dulles Airport Air Operations Area to investigate an accidental injury
According to air travel attorney Doug Landau, this local Wincheter Poiice car wold not be allowed on the Dulles Airport Air Operations Area (IAD AOA) to investigate an accidental injury case

Local police cannot investigate airport injury cases that take place in “sterile areas” or the AOA because of Federal rules and regulations. Dulles area airport injury lawyer Doug Landau explains what these terms mean and why they are important to air travel accident cases.

What is a “sterile area” at an airport ? Is it really clean ? Does it have an autoclave ? No, it is simply the area from the security checkpoints back to the gates, jets, tarmac and midfield terminals. It is the part of the airport AFTER you get in line to be checked by TSA Personnel. Local police are normally not allowed to investigate accidents, crimes or other incidents in this special area. The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) controls Continue reading

Airport Injury Cases are Different

The unusual vehicles and "pecking order" at the Airport makes for unique issues that require an experienced lawyer for airline and air travel accdent cases
The unusual vehicles and "pecking order" at Airports make for unique issues that require an experienced airport injury lawyer for airline and air travel accident cases

Anyone who tells you otherwise does not know what they are talking about ! The major airports throughout the United States have special rules, unique protections and protocols that we will explore in future posts. Even a “simple” slip and fall case where a passenger is injured while trying to board an aircraft is subject to special rules. The local police are not even allowed on the tarmac to investigate.

For example, at Reagan National Airport (“DCA”) or Dulles International Airport (“IAD”) outside of Washington, D.C., only the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (“MWAA”) are allowed on the “Air Operations Area” (“AOA”), as this ground is controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). The MWAA police may then be investigating a co-worker who is also in the employment of Dulles or National Airport ! Many people may believe this to be a clear “conflict of interest” and unfair to the travelling public.

That is why it is so important to engage legal counsel experienced in these kinds of unique cases, investigate these incidents quickly and preserve the evidence before it is destroyed, lost or recorded over. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an accident at an airport or due to an airline’s unsafe decisions, and there are questions about what laws apply and how to seek reimbursement for all harms and losses, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.