Injuries Caused by Turbulence on United Airlines

Chicago Lawyers Assisting Airline Workers Injured on the Job

Flight attendants and others who work for United Airlines may be able to recover workers' compensation benefits for injuries caused by turbulence on United Airlines flights. In one incident in 2017, for example, nine passengers and a crew member were injured by turbulence on a United Airlines airplane. The plane was flying from Houston to Panama City before suffering substantial turbulence 80 miles east of Cancun as a result of encountering a tropical storm. The plane landed in Houston, and distressed passengers were evacuated. The Chicago United Airlines workers’ compensation lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck may be able to help you obtain benefits in situations such as these.

Injuries Caused by Turbulence on United Airlines

United Airlines is headquartered in Chicago. Accordingly, flight attendants and others employed by United Airlines are covered by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act even if they do not live in the state of Illinois. In Illinois, businesses are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to ensure that employees who are hurt or become sick on the job receive some benefits without regard to fault. In a personal injury lawsuit brought in court, by contrast, you would need to establish negligence or another standard of fault in order to recover damages.

Turbulence is air movement generated by atmospheric pressure, cold fronts, warm fronts, thunderstorms, or the air around the mountains. It can occur even if the sky seems clear. Turbulence may not be predictable. According to the United States Federal Aviation Administration, turbulence is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries during a flight. Often, these happen because the injured person was not wearing a seatbelt, and the turbulence happened unexpectedly. However, since fault need not be proven to establish entitlement to workers' compensation benefits, you can recover these benefits even if you were not wearing a seatbelt, and even if your own negligence caused you to suffer work-related injuries.

Work injuries arising from turbulence can occur whether you are a flight attendant, a pilot, or someone in another role on a flight. Common injuries arising from turbulence include back injuries and spinal cord damage. Sometimes baggage is not properly stowed and falls on a flight attendant or other personnel.

The critical issue is whether your injuries were suffered in the course and scope of employment. If your attorney can show that, you should be able to obtain specific benefits. These may include medical costs, lost wages, and disability benefits.

You should provide notice to your employer of your injuries within 45 days of an accident caused by turbulence. The employer should let its insurer know that you have been injured. Once you are unable to work for at least three scheduled working days, your employer is supposed to let the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission know about your injury by filing a report.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act permits you to choose your doctor. You can choose whomever you want to see for emergency services. For scheduled visits, you can choose two treating doctors before needing to get your employer's approval to see another doctor. If your employer has a preferred provider network, you may want to select your two providers from within that network. If you decide not to select your provider from the network and go out on your own, you will have only one choice. However, if the doctor whom you choose for either of your two choices refers you to someone else, that counts as part of the same choice. For example, if you initially choose to see your family care practitioner about back problems, and he refers you to an orthopedic surgeon, the orthopedic surgeon counts as part of the first choice.

Hire an Experienced Chicago Attorney for Your Aviation Injury Claim

If you suffer injuries caused by turbulence on United Airlines, you should consult an aggressive and knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney about your claim. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent injured airline workers in Chicago and beyond. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.