One Bag Wins, Three Bags Loses

When luggage handlers and other airport workers hurt their backs, dislocate their shoulders, or injure their cervical spine while loading and unloading heavy bags, their injuries may not always be covered by Virginia Law.

Air Operations Area (AOA) worker on the tarmac operating a luggage carrier vehicle to transport suitcases from the underbelly of a jet to the terminal conveyer belts and then to the airline’s baggage carousels.

Where there is a cumulative injury, your claim can be denied by the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Company if it does not satisfy the requirement of a “sudden accidental injury” in the workspace. Often after such an accident, the injured worker will be called by the insurance adjuster and asked:

“what they were doing”,

“how long they were doing it”, and

“when they first noticed the injury”.

If the worker answers that they were loading luggage, supplies, meals, or other heavy material into the jet, the insurance company will use the taped statement against them to deny the claim. They can state that it was not a sudden accident, but simply cumulative, and not recognized under the law. They use leading questions like:

“You were just doing your regular job all day weren’t you?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary just lots of heavy luggage right?”

“You worked the entire day, shift, afternoon, didn’t you?”

“You don’t know which bag caused you to have the herniated disc in your lumbar spine do you?”

These questions are all geared towards denials. The insurance company has already collected the money and the premiums for the coverage. The longer they can hold onto these funds, the more they can invest, the more money they make for themselves and their stockholders.

On the other hand, if a luggage handler, air operations worker, jet loader, or baggage handler transports a particular bag, and reported immediately as hearing a “snap, crackle, or pop” in their back, neck, shoulder, knee, hip or leg, that case is probably a WINNER.  In other words, a sudden or acute airport runway or gate injury, with objective signs and symptoms, such as photographs of discoloration, spasm, bone sticking out, a ruptured biceps tendon, laceration, bleeding, swelling, can support a compensable claim.

If you have any lingering questions as to what defines an ACUTE injury, refer to our article : 

Please contact us if you or someone you care for has undergone a similar event or is in need of assistance at or call (703) 796-9555