Airports are hectic places, featuring people rushing to departure gates and groups of people clustered together awaiting disembarking passengers. There are wet floors, thousands of carry-on bags and luggage lying about, transport vehicles rushing through, food and gift carts, cleaning carts, and many more obstacles to navigate as you move through. All these factors and others make airports one of the easiest places to suffer a slip and fall accident. Studies have shown that more than 30,000 accidents annually happen on airport ramps alone.
Many injuries, both minor or severe, can be sustained from slip and fall accidents, including cuts and scrapes, muscle and ligament injuries, concussions, broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, dismemberment, and even death, depending on where and how the accident occurred. Some injuries incurred in a slip and fall accident could produce lifelong disability or pain and possibly affect your ability to work and provide for your family.
What Are Some Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Airports?
Airports are large and extremely busy places, often full of thousands of people at any given time, and numerous hazards abound as a result. Some of the more common causes of slip and fall accidents are as follows:
- Slippery, wet, cracked, or broken floors and liquid spills inside the airport; cracked and uneven pavement and sidewalks outside the airport
- Inadequate or dysfunctional lighting
- Defective equipment
- Tripping hazards, particularly in the jet bridges between the building and the plane, loose carpeting or tile
- Escalators and rolling board staircases and people movers
- Faulty baggage carousels and falling baggage
- Debris or trash in walkways
- Lack of, or broken, handrails
- Poor maintenance or neglect
Not all slip and fall accidents are limited to the airport building only. Many exceptionally large airports have transportation, typically metro subway-style trains, that shuttle passengers between building locations. Accidents that occur on these transportation vehicles are deemed as on-premises airport accidents for liability purposes.
What Should I Do if I Have a Slip and Fall Accident at an Airport?
As with any accident in any location, the more information you can gather at the time of your accident, the better. Provided you, or someone with you, are physically able, consider the following recommendations:
- Alert the airport authorities: If you are able, request airport management to the scene to record and document the specifics of the accident. The airport is required to file an incident report for all accidents, and it is crucial that management be aware as soon as possible. You and your lawyer will want to request a copy of the incident report when filing a claim. Obtain contact information for all management personnel with whom you interact during the accident.
- Seek medical attention: No matter how minor you think your injuries are, be evaluated by a medical professional within the first 48 hours of the accident. Many injuries do not present immediately but may impact you in the following days. Not seeking medical evaluation could have serious repercussions for your injury claim, including the possibility the claim will be denied entirely because o lack of medical evidence.
- Gather witness statements: Airports are extremely busy environments, virtually guaranteeing that at least some others witnessed the accident, including those with whom you are traveling. Gather names, contact information, and statements from all witnesses, and request any photos or videos they may have taken of the incident.
- Document the scene: Take photos or videos of everything that could be relevant to your case. Document your injuries, the scene, what factors contributed to the accident, lighting, signage, wet floors, obstacles, weather conditions if applicable, and any other factors that contributed. Make note of security cameras in the area that may have captured the accident to request copies of the footage later. In the days and weeks following your accident, keep detailed and accurate records of all costs, communication, and evidence associated with your accident and injuries.
- Hire a lawyer: Accidents that take place in an airport can be complex and may involve more than one responsible party. Typically, if you are injured because of another’s negligence, you are entitled, but not limited to, current and future medical coverage related to your injuries, loss of wages, disability payments, pain and suffering, emotional distress, home health aide costs, and other damages. Hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer with experience in handling airport-related accidents is essential to obtain the best possible outcome of your claim.
Who Is Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident at an Airport?
Unfortunately, accidents in airports are not routine for several reasons, most notably for the numerous other businesses within the airport that may have been involved in your accident. Most airports have shops; restaurants; kiosks; and various food, drink, or snack carts. Identifying the responsible party for your accident depends on where you were at the time it happened.
If you slipped and fell while in a restaurant at the airport, that establishment is most likely liable for your injuries. If your accident happened in the main area of the airport, the airport is most likely the liable party. If you were injured on an airplane ramp entering or exiting an airplane, the airline may be liable.
According to premises liability law, airports are required to provide duty of care to all visitors to ensure their safety. Any harmful or neglectful conditions that lead to a slip and fall accident are considered to be a breach of the duty of care, making the airport liable for the accident. However, to prove the airport’s liability, you will need to show the dangerous conditions were a negligent act and that staff knowingly did not address the problem.
Mount Laurel Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Fight for Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents at an Airport
Accidents that take place in an airport can be complicated and involve many responsible parties. If you have suffered a slip and fall accident in an airport, the experienced Mount Laurel slip and fall lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman are available to help you obtain the best compensation to which you are entitled. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Burlington County and surrounding areas.