During a flight, a box of liquor fell on my head from the overhead bin. The box was improperly stored in a 'medical supplies' only bin. I filed a report with a flight attendant. I was very shaken and hurt, but didn't have any cuts or blood.The box was heavy and hit on my head, so I wanted to get checked. My head was pounding and my neck hurting. Went to ER and got checked. Thankfully, nothing serious,but a neck strain.Sent the airline a complaint email. All I needed was my ER visit to be paid and get compensated for the inconvenience, since the incident was due to staff negligence. Airline customer care asked me to send all relevant documents. I did. The risk management team of the airline is reviewing my case on ER visit expenses. Can I get compensated for the inconvenience they caused?
Yes, if you were hurt as the result of the negligence of the airline (or its employee) you are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and disability, if any. I would recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer admitted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to discuss a possible claim against the airline. Most firms, like mine, will offer free consultations. Best of luck!
While you cannot recover damages for inconvience, you can recover damages for pain & suffering. The throbbing head, stiff neck, etc. As you mentioned you can also recover for any medical costs you incur, not just the ER visit if you require additional treatment. Do not settle with the airline until you have determined ther is not reasonable likilyhood that you will need additional medical treatment of any kind !! You need to contact a personal injury lawyer in MA as soon as possible!
Although I agree with prior posts, yet I would like to comment on few other issues in response to your question. First, if it was an international flight, than your injuries are governed by Art. 17 of the Montreal Convention, which governs liability of airline for personal injury sustained by airline passenger while on the board of aircraft or while “embarking or disembarking.” In general, the Montreal Convention applies to international flights between countries, signatories to the Convention. For example, international flight between the USA and France is governed by the Convention. Furthermore, MC governs airline’s liability for delayed or canceled international air flights, loss of baggage, damages to cargo and injuries of airline’s passenger. If MC is applicable, it preempts all state law claims against airline. In your particular case the MC does not apply because it was a domestic flight and you can in theory sue airline for personal injury occurred while at flight. Lastly, personal injury sustained on the board of domestic flight is not preempted by Airline Deregulation Act (ADA), 49 U.S.C. § 41713. See, Charas v. Trans World Airline Inc, 160 F.3d 1259, 1261 (9th Cir.1998) (defining the ADA's preemption provision narrowly to exclude “the provision of in-flight beverages, personal assistance to passengers, the handling of luggage, and similar amenities”). For all the above-stated reasons, it is possible for you to obtain your actual, general, special, incidental and consequential damages, including damages for inconvenience. Lopez v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 677 F.Supp.181 (holding that inconvenience, delay and uncertainty are compensable injuries even in absence of out-of pocket costs) also see Ben Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Airways, 59 F.Supp.2d 986 (N.D. Cal. 1998)(holding that passengers' inconvenience is legally cognizable harm under Articles 17 and 19 of Warsaw Convention) also see Montreal Convention, Art. 17, 19; 49 U.S.C.A. § 40105 and 14 C.F.R. §§ 250.4-250.6.
Lastly, if it was a domestic flight, than your entire situation is less difficult. In any event, you shall consult with an attorney ASAP. Regards.
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