Causes for Falls at the Airport

Passengers who are injured because of a defective surface, spill, or other hazard at an airport may be able to recover damages.
Passengers who are injured because of an uneven surface, spill, or other hazard caused by the airport or airline’s negligence may be able to recover damages.

Unfamiliar terrain, distractions, ever-changing signs, and uneven jetways present dangers to even the most careful airport travelers. However tripping or slipping in the terminal, in the jetway, or on the airport operations area (AOA”) does not necessarily mean the airport authority or airline is responsible for the injuries sustained.

For an injured airline traveler to recover damages for injuries sustained by tripping or falling, there must have been some negligence on the part of the airline or airport authority. The airline or airport authority must have been negligent in the maintenance or design of the jetway, tram, hallway, or airport surface.

Where an airline’s failure to clean, maintain, or warn of a dangerous condition leads to a traveler’s physical injuries, that individual may have a viable claim against the air carrier.

Because trip and fall accidents at airports are frequently due to a design defect in the surface, or a failure to warn of slippery or other dangerous substance, many cases are also against the airport authority. But passengers’ falls caused by ice, snow, or de-icer overspray on slippery steps can lead to successful claims for reimbursement for the medical bills, time off from work, and other harms where the corporate defendants know of the dangerous conditions and failed to take the appropriate safety steps or preventative actions.

It is critical in these kinds of cases to: get the names and contact information of the witnesses, take pictures, insist on a copy of the airport incident report, save the boarding pass and itinerary, and any other physical evidence to show the dangerous or defective condition.

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