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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Items May Shift During Flight - Who is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Carry-On Luggage?

If you have been on any plane, you likely heard the warning that you should take care to open the overhead bins as items may have shifted during flight. Although you may have listened to the advice, you might not have taken it seriously or gave little thought to quickly opening the bin to retrieve your baggage.

However, flight attendants give that warning for a reason—baggage really does shift during your trip, and it can cause harm if it flies out of the bin at you. In some cases, a Texas airplane accident attorney may be able to help you get damages for the injuries the luggage in the overhead bins caused.

Falling Luggage is a Serious Problem

Every year, thousands of travelers are harmed because of falling luggage. Some of these carry-on items can weigh over 40 pounds, which means that they can cause severe injuries if they land on your head, shoulders, or arms.

Bags placed in overhead bins will generally move during the flight for two major reasons:

  1. The luggage may be positioned correctly, but they become dislodged from their initial location and shift in one direction or another in flight.
  2. The overhead bins are much too full. Storage bins that are overcrowded can put pressure on the bin latches, which may cause them to open spontaneously or suddenly.

Flight attendants have an obligation to ensure that your baggage (and others’ carry-on luggage) is stored away safely during the flight. They should have training as to how to pack overhead bins in a way that will decrease movement during the trip as well. Overhead bins should not be so overloaded that they cannot latch, and the flight attendants must ensure that this is not the case.

In many cases, flight attendants should help customers put their baggage in the bin correctly, and they may even open the overhead bins for passengers so that they are not harmed while opening the bins.

Asserting a Claim for Falling Baggage

In many cases, an airline will be reluctant to just pay for your injuries and damage after baggage has harmed you. Instead, they may be more adversarial and force you to take your case to court. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which court in which you should bring your claim as well. In addition, international flights are subject to international law too, which further complicates the claim.

In many situations, the injuries involved in falling luggage cases are minimal, which makes some passengers less likely to force an airline to pay for their damages. However, you should not have to pay for these injuries yourself—the airline is likely at least partially at fault, and you have rights!

A Texas airplane accident attorney can be a great resource to negotiate with the airline or help you start your lawsuit in court. Contact our Texas personal injury attorneys today for more information about how we can help you with your legal claim after you have been harmed by falling baggage on an airplane.


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