Category Archives: Airport slip/trip and fall accidents

Dulles Airport

Why are travel injury cases more complex, expensive and difficult?

One of the main reasons that travel injury cases are more difficult is because the incident, place of medical care and the injured person’s home tend to be completely different locations. The plaintiff typically lives in one state, gets injured in transit in a second state but usually wants to continue his or her journey, so medical care occurs in a third state.

airport injuryTherefore, gathering the necessary evidence is also more complicated. Bringing a doctor from out-of-state to trial, or having their videotape deposition at their out-of-state offices, can be very expensive. Plus, witnesses may be from other sites and countries, as well! Witnesses are reimbursed for their travel and lodging, and different states have their own rules for what a doctor or witness can be compelled to do.

The Abrams Landau, Ltd. airport injury legal team has helped many travelers and airline employee injured while traveling for vacation or business, and these cases all pose their own unique issues. The important thing is to get experienced counsel involved right away and to secure the evidence so that the case can be proved in court even years later. Too often we are contacted too late to be of any assistance, as witnesses disappear, memories fade and videos are erased or lost.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport terminal, airplane or other 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.

baggage loading airplane

Airline Baggage Loader May Have TWO Claims From Fall Caused By Spilled Jet Fuel

Airport workers injured on the AOA, in the terminal or "sterile areas" may have not only a valid workers comp claim, but also a "3rd party case" against the people who actually caused the crash, fall or other incident
Airport workers injured on the AOA, in the terminal or “sterile areas,” may not only have a valid workers’ comp claim, but also a “3rd party case” against the people who actually caused the crash, fall or other incident

Work on the Air Operations Area (“AOA”) can be hazardous. Workers injured while getting jets ready for their next flight usually have a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. However, when an airline employee is harmed by the unsafe conduct of an airport worker employed by a different company, the injured victim may also have a case against the negligent person and their employers according to Washington Dulles (“IAD”) and Reagan National (“DCA”) Airports lawyer Doug Landau, of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.  

For example, if an airline baggage loader slipped and fell during a late night shift at IAD on jet fuel carelessly spilled by workers of another company, the airline employee would be able to get their medical bills covered by their own employer’s workers’ comp insurance company,  partial wage replacement, reimbursement for travel, prescriptions, etc., and potential future permanency payments as well. In addition, this disabled airline worker could also bring a claim against the fuel truck operator and their employer for “negligence.” This claim is not required, but the losses a negligence case can cover are far greater than the limited medical bill payment and partial wage replacement benefits allowed under the Workers’ Comp laws of many states. Continue reading

Airport Operations Areas, encompass the runways, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy workplaces, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, airline employees and members of the traveling public.

Mayhem on the “Air Operations Area” – Landau to lecture on Accidents on the AOA at American Trial Lawyers National Convention

Airport Operations Areas, encompass the runways, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy workplaces, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, airline employees and members of the traveling public.
Airport Operations Areas (or “AOA”), encompass the runways, taxiing zones, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy, loud, time-pressured environments, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, government agents, airline employees and members of the traveling public.

When Doug Landau takes the podium on the national program to teach other top trial lawyers about the special rules and regulations at airport runways, he will start by defining what is meant by the “AOA.”  According to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) the Air Operations Area (AOA) “consists of airport areas where aircraft can operate, either under their own power or while in tow. The AOA includes runways, taxiways, and apron areas.”

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150_5220_24.pdf

Another FAA definition of the “Air Operations Area” is “where security measures are enforced as specified in the airport security program. This area includes aircraft movement areas, aircraft parking areas, loading ramps, and safety areas and any adjacent areas (such as general aviation areas).”

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150_5300_18b_part2.pdf

To further elaborate, the term is defined in the Aviation Glossary explanation of the AOA as “Any area of an airport used or intended to be used for landing, takeoff, or surface maneuvering of aircraft. An air operations area includes such paved areas or unpaved areas that are used, or intended to be used, for the unobstructed movement of aircraft in addition to its associated runway, taxiways, or apron.”

http://aviationglossary.com/air-operations-area-aoa/

It is the area of the airport, after passengers pass through the entrance of the terminal, successfully navigate the TSA screening area and enter the “sterile area”, where their luggage from the underbellies of the jets is loaded and unloaded, planes are re-fueled, catering trucks mate to international aircraft, maintenance Cushman vehicles stop for repairs, mid-field people movers bring travelers to their gates, tugs tow planes to runways or baggage to “arrivals” conveyer belts, ground crews use hand signals with illuminated wands to cockpits and pre-flight inspections are carried out by airline crew members. “Understanding what area is within the special rules covering the AOA is critical to the investigation of a permanent injury case or collision between airport vehicles or jets,” notes Landau, of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. His Dulles International Airport (“IAD”) office routinely helps injured airport workers, airline employees, air travelers and the innocent victims of unsafe conduct on the runways of East Coast airports.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport terminal, airplane 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.

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel right away who knows how to build an “open and shut” case.

10 Hallmarks of an “Open and Shut” Airport Injury Case

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel who knows how to build an “open and shut” case on your behalf.

The trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was contacted by an out-of-state lawyer earlier this month for assistance in a case in which a traveler was struck by a rental car company employee on the airport premises.

Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau explained to his colleague that an open and shut airport accident case has the following hallmarks:

  1. Pictures of the scene
  2. Videotape of the incident
  3. Witnesses that support the injured victim’s version of what happened
  4. Airport police or county sheriff’s investigation of the incident
  5. Prompt liability investigation to determine who is at fault
  6. Two or more written statements supporting the injured victim’s claims
  7. Physical evidence, such as torn clothing, damaged luggage, etc.
  8. Objective signs of injury which can be clearly perceived by medical professionals, as well as lay witnesses
  9. Prompt, appropriate medical treatment
  10. Records supporting good pre-injury health, and no significant, related pre-existing conditions or subsequent intervening or superseding accidents, illnesses etc.

Unfortunately, the trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was unable to get involved with this particular case because:

  • They were contacted too late;
  • Almost no liability investigation had taken place; and
  • There were no objective signs of injury, despite the subsequent two years of medical treatment.

While lawyer Doug Landau’s first instinct is always to help, and his experience in handling and helping those injured in and around airports is well-known, it was simply too late to help.

If you or someone you know has been injured while on an airport premises and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers or cones warning travelers wet and slippery floors, can be one even where the accident itself is not captured on film.

“Almost” May be Good Enough to Win Airport Maintenance Case

accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers or cones warning travelers wet and slippery floors, can be one even where the accident itself is not captured on film.
Accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers, or cones warning travelers of wet and slippery floors, can be won even when the accident itself is not captured on film.

Although it is always preferable to have direct evidence to prove fault in an airport injury case, sometimes “almost ” having direct evidence is good enough.

Doug Landau has had several cases where the accident, or unsafe behavior, was captured on video surveillance in and around an international airport.

However, a recent case in which a client slipped and fell on wet floor near the arrivals exit was nevertheless successful despite not having video images of the accident itself.

The team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was able to prevail because video images of the area adjacent to the accident showed the airport maintenance team using water and chemical solutions to clean the floor, but not putting up warning signs or barricades to prevent travelers from slipping, falling, and injuring themselves.

Furthermore, Landau had a witness in the form of his client’s daughter, who could testify as to her mother’s fall. This eyewitness could also give evidence as to the airport cleaning crew working nearby without any cones, warning signs, or barriers.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to unsafe conditions in an airport or other public place, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Even the non-glamourous jobs are important at an airport!

Even the Dirty Work has to be Done Promptly at an Airport

Even the non-glamourous jobs are important at an airport.
Even the non-glamourous jobs are important at an airport, and protect the safety and well-being of airline workers and travelers alike.

While being an airline pilot or flight attendant still has glamorous aspects in that you get to travel the world, there are other jobs at the airport that are much less desirable.

This includes maintenance and basic safety protocol.

However, these jobs are just as important as the captain of an aircraft.

If lavatory spills and trash are allowed to build up, then trip and fall, slip and fall, and other accidents can occur.  Furthermore, disease can be spread as international travelers can bring in germs that the local population may not have built up immunity for, or be on the lookout to prevent.

Therefore, employees at an airport, whether on the air operations area or on the aircraft itself, must be vigilant for the safety and well-being of travelers.

If you or someone you know has been injured at an airport or aircraft due to unsafe conditions, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

plane

Pilots’ Injuries on the Ground are more Frequent than Those on Board

plane
An airline pilot is vulnerable to injuries after a flight is over. Tripping, slipping, or bumping are common for a pilot or crewmember, exhausted after a long flight.

While an airline pilot’s job requires significant safety protocols for the safety of the souls on board, for 30 years Doug Landau has been helping airline employees with their own injury and disability cases.

The majority of injuries to pilots have occurred after these highly trained professionals disembark their craft. Even after the flight has landed, the airline crew must perform safety checks and secure the craft.

However, they may be exhausted after an international or intercontinental flight, so it’s tripping hazards, slipping mishaps, and other dangerous areas in the airport and concourse that cause career-ending injuries.

An exhausted copilot navigator may not see a spilled coffee or tripping hazard after a 12 to 20 hour flight from the far east or Australia. Likewise, when performing the aircraft safety check on the outside of the airplane, a pilot can trip, knock her head, or slip on a patch of oil or de-icer, with permanent consequences.

If the injury was caused by a company that is not a subsidiary of the crew’s employer, there may be a third-party case to get additional reimbursement on top of the Worker’s Compensation benefits.

If you or someone you know has been injured while working at an airport or on and aircraft and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Disabled airport passengers face tough decisions when flying with or without their own wheelchairs, scooters or motorized devices. Insisting on airline assistance from curb to aircraft can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary danger and injury.

Disabled Airline Traveler’s Arm Broken By Airport’s Failure to Provide Requested Wheelchair Assistance

Disabled airport passengers face tough decisions when flying with or without their own wheelchairs, scooters or motorized devices. Insisting on airline assistance from curb to aircraft can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary danger and injury.
Disabled airport passengers face tough decisions when flying with or without their own wheelchairs, scooters or motorized devices. Insisting on airline assistance from curb to aircraft can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary danger and injury.

Traveling the “friendly skies” is a challenging prospect for those who are disabled. We recently helped a woman in her case against an international airline and airport.

She was traveling to a family function and contacted the Defendant Airport in advance of her trip to inquire as to arranging for a wheelchair attendant when she arrived. When she arrived at the DC area airport, she was told by representatives of the airline that she did not need an attendant or a wheelchair, since she was able to get into the terminal from the curb by use of her motorized scooter.  The airline representative dismissed the wheelchair attendant who had arrived.

The passenger was further informed that there were mid-field terminal buses and a train system to take her and her husband to their gate. The couple made it to their departure gate without incident. However, on the return trip to the Washington Metropolitan area, things did not go so smoothly…

After landing, the couple was given her scooter and proceeded to the trains that would take passengers back to the main terminal and luggage carousels. Once on the train, the couple saw a spot with no seats, where wheelchairs would go, with a clamp made for wheelchairs to be secured. However, the scooter did not fit in this device, and without an attendant, the traveler held on to a pole as best she could. When the train accelerated, she was thrown to the floor, breaking her arm and causing severe nerve damage requiring surgery. Because of her already compromised condition, her medical care was extremely complicated and expensive. After her arm was broken and the complications it caused, this middle-aged woman was forced to spend most of her days in bed.

The claim against the Defendants was premised upon the fact that the Airlines had a duty as a common carrier to use the highest degree of practical care and foresight for the safety of its passengers.

The airport negligence team at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., brought suit because the Airlines failed in their duty of care of this passenger, who had tried to exercise caution for her own safety well in advance of her trip. The airline brought in the airport, subsidiaries and contractors as co-defendants, and delayed the case for a long time before agreeing to settle with contributions from the various non-airport entities. DC area injury lawyer Doug Landau notes that

“this higher standard of care for ‘Common Carrier’ is meant to protect the traveling public at airports where there is only one way to the jets. You cannot take a cab to the stairs to the plane, nor can you just walk across the runway to catch your flight. Instead, once you are on the airport premises, it is for the airlines and the airport authority to make sure that you are not subject to unsafe conditions and unnecessary injury.”

The prevention of foreseeable harm is at the very heart of negligence law in the United States.

Lawyer Landau adds, “While this standard of care does not apply to hotel courtesy or shuttle vans, once you are inside the airport, it is likely that the laws applicable to ‘Common Carriers’ apply.

If you or someone you care for has been injured at an airport or on board an aircraft, and you have questions, please contact us via e-mail or call (703)-796-9555 at once, as these claims have strict time limits.

Airport worker

You CAN be Clumsy, a Klutz, Butterfingers or just Plain Accident Prone and STILL Win a Workers Comp Claim

Airport worker
Even if you trip over your own power cord while on-the-job, you may be entitled to a workers’ comp award in Virginia.

“Accidents will happen, especially if you’re clumsy or inattentive,” notes International Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau.

“However, even if you trip over your own power cord, you can still win your Virginia workers’ compensation claim if your injury arises out of and in the course of your employment.”

If a co-worker bumps into you — “Laurel & Hardy” style — and you break your arm, again, you can likely win the case as long as you were not engaged in horseplay.”

For workplace injury cases, it is important to have experienced legal counsel, especially in unwitnessed airport or “self-inflicted” accident cases.

Evidence must be secured immediately.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a workplace accident at an airport, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

 

October Landau Law Letter

Airline employees and airport contractors should exercise increased care when pushing wheelchair bound passengers through the airport terminals and gates so as to avoid unnecessary injuries.
The October edition of the Landau Law Letter features an article about passengers injured in an airport.

The October edition of our newsletter, the Landau Law Letter, was published earlier this month.

A unique feature of our newsletter is that we publish lawyer Landau’s schedule so you can “see him in action”.

This is especially helpful if you have an upcoming trial, hearing, or mediation session.  A visit to your trial’s venue in advance will help you feel more comfortable on your own day in court.  You can test out your directions, locate the parking, and get the general lay of the land.

Also, many of Landau’s airport, passenger, and airline injury clients do not live near the Abrams Landau office in Herndon, Virginia.  But you can check the newsletter to see if he plans to be in your area — he welcomes the opportunity to meet with you while he’s in “your neck of the woods”.

And finally, it’s natural to want to see your lawyer “in action” before he goes to battle on your behalf.  Come check out what we do — you won’t be disappointed!

If you do want to come see us in action please be sure to call our office first at 703-796-9555, or send us an email.