Inflight Personal Injury

Photo or flight attendant loading luggage into overhead bin on flight.

Inflight Personal Injury Law Firm

We Hold Airlines Accountable For Passenger Injuries

Kreindler & Kreindler is recognized as the world’s preeminent aviation accident law firm. Our airplane crash attorneys have represented victims of aviation accidents and their families since the firm’s founding in 1950. Fortunately, commercial aviation accidents have become extremely rare. However, each year thousands of air travelers are injured due to accidents other than airplane crashes.

Visit our Aviation Accident page to learn more about our other aircraft accident practice areas.

We are committed to successfully representing victims injured by inflight accidents and provide our clients the highest level of trust and confidence that our investigation will bring about the best possible result for every case we take on.
~ Erin Applebaum | Attorney

Inflight personal injuries can result from many causes:

  • Weather
  • Turbulence
  • Service cart mishaps
  • Burns from hot liquids
  • Overhead compartment malfunctions
  • Boarding accidents
  • Harm done by other passengers
  • Slip and falls

Flying is safer today, due in no small part to the 70-year legacy of Kreindler’s impact on aviation industry standards, practices, laws and safety regulations.

Article 17 of the Montreal Convention states that carriers are liable for damages sustained by injury or death resulting from an accident that took place on board the aircraft or “in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.”

Kreindler Partners and Former Military Pilots (L-R): Justin Green, Brian Alexander, and Dan Rose

Who knows more about aviation law than attorneys who are also licensed, commercial pilots?

Kreindler Partners and Former Military Pilots (L-R):
Justin Green (USMC)
Brian Alexander (U.S. Army)
Dan Rose (U.S. Navy)

We Know, We Fly - Kreindler Attorneys are also Pilots

Our staff of aviation accident attorneys includes pilots, engineers, and a former aviation maintenance specialist. In each case, we assemble a team of litigators, investigators, outside experts, and staff to meticulously examine and prepare all aspects of our claim’s liability and damages to determine the cause of the accident, identify responsible entities, present the strongest case and obtain the highest possible compensatory award for the plaintiffs we represent. 

Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc, AA Flight 58

Kreindler obtained the nation's highest-ever award for emotional distress caused by turbulence

In regards to air turbulence litigation, the Kreindler firm is recognized among top aviation accident law firms for its landmark victory on behalf of 13 passengers in the case of Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc. In that jury trial, led by Kreindler partners Daniel Rose and Jim Kreindler, the firm obtained the nation’s highest-ever award for emotional distress caused by turbulence during a Los Angeles to New York flight. On June 25, 1995, the passengers of that plane experienced 30 seconds of severe turbulence as the aircraft rose and fell hundreds of feet while flying over Minnesota. The airline admitted liability.

Domestic & International Airport and Inflight Injuries

Domestic airline and air carrier safety is governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which requires carriers to exercise a high standard of care for their passengers. While an airline is not the insurer of a passenger’s safety, it is responsible for even the slightest negligence on the part of its employees and is required to do all that is reasonable under the circumstances to prevent injuries resulting from an “accident.” 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) defines an “accident” as an occurrence associated with the operations of an airplane in which any person suffers death or serious injury or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

If an airline passenger is injured or killed in the course of international air travel, that person’s right to compensation will likely fall under Article 17 of the 1999 Montreal Convention, an international treaty governing airline liability for injuries or death to passengers during most international flights.

  • UNSURPASSED RECORD OF SUCCESS of any law firm for aviation accident law
  • LEADING COUNSEL in nearly every major airline disaster case worldwide
  • OBTAINED THE LARGEST RECOVERY for a single disaster in the history of aviation

Turbulence

Turbulence is one of the most frightening and dangerous aspects of air travel; it is also one of the most common causes of in-flight injuries.

The FAA defines turbulence as “air movement that normally cannot be seen and often occurs unexpectedly.” It can be created by a variety of conditions, including extreme weather fronts, atmospheric pressure, jet streams, and the air around mountains. Turbulence can even occur in a seemingly clear sky, a phenomenon known as “clear-air turbulence.”
When turbulence causes injuries, injured passengers may have a claim against the airline operating the flight. As a firm with aviation attorneys who are also active pilots and aviation safety experts, we work with aviation and weather experts to plot out the aircraft’s route, obtain satellite images of the weather at the time and location of the accident, and seek to quickly preserve any available data that may assist in proving our client’s claim.

Turbulence can be one of the most frightening experiences - even for the most experienced airline traveler.

As experienced aviation attorneys, we also understand that even if the pilots were unaware of the impending turbulence, recovery may be available to our clients according to the Montreal Convention governing international air travel.

Our comprehensive investigations of these incidents include seeking answers to numerous critical questions:

  • Was the pre-flight weather dispatch properly reviewed and adhered to by the aircraft’s pilots?
  • Was the aircraft’s weather radar properly operated and observed?
  • Did the pilots maintain communication with air traffic control?
  • Did they monitor transmissions and follow warnings from the other aircraft in the area?
  • Were the pilots made aware of turbulent conditions ahead but decided not to change course to save time, fuel, and the expense of flying around it?

Our investigators also review all available government data and reports, including FAA and NTSB findings, as well as the airline’s own investigation practices and procedures to assess liability and obtain full and fair compensation for our clients.  

Service Cart Mishaps

Every year, passengers experience inflight injuries due to direct impacts with these fixtures of air travel. Rolling service carts, which weigh hundreds of pounds, can be difficult to navigate and avoid in the narrow aisles of airplanes. A collision with a fully loaded, heavy, metal service cart causes lasting serious injuries.

Burns from Hot Liquid Burns

Serious burns requiring medical attention frequently occur on flights as flight attendants move about the airplane cabin serving passengers scorching hot beverages. Turbulence, bumping into passengers or other flight attendants and unexpected movement of the airplane can cause spills that result in burns.

Overhead Compartment Malfunctions

The warnings for being cautious when opening overhead compartments are warranted as they all too often result in head and neck injuries when items fall from the bins overhead.

Boarding Accidents

With passengers rushing to make connecting flights, running late, and trying to keep track of family members and carryon items, serious injuries on boarding ramps, the tarmac, escalators, and at the baggage carousel can be debilitating.

Harm Done by Other Passengers

The stress of travel and alcohol consumption can lead some passengers to behave inappropriately while on flights. Airline pilots, flight crews, and attendants must protect passengers from injury, harm, and harassment done by unruly, drunk, or belligerent passengers. 

What to do if You’re the Victim of an In-Flight or Airport Accident

If you’re the victim of an airport or in-flight accident, taking these sensible, pro-active steps can make all the difference in the successful litigation of your case: 

  • Seek immediate medical attention – First and foremost, make sure you have a doctor or other medical professional evaluate you. Even if you feel fine at the time, many injuries don’t reveal themselves until sometime after the accident. Be sure to request copies or access to all medical records related to your injury.
  • Gather evidence – To the extent you’re able to at the time, write down or make an audio or video recording any important information, including the circumstances and exact time and location of the accident.
  • Take photographs – Every detail matters. Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the lighting and airplane or airport conditions where the accident occurred. 
  • Gather witnesses – Talk to any people who saw the accident and make sure to get their full names, addresses, and phone numbers so they can be reached later if necessary.
  • Consult a lawyer –  We offer a free consultation, and if we take your case, our experienced in-flight accident attorneys will assist you every step of the way, including with an independent investigation of the accident and taking any necessary legal action, up to and including filing a personal injury or product liability lawsuit on your behalf.

The Drive to Win Demands Experience

When you choose Kreindler & Kreindler, you can have a high level of trust and confidence that you are being represented by an aviation litigation firm with the depth of experience, resources, and commitment to bring about a successful result.

With each case we accept, the firm assembles an experienced team of litigators, investigators, outside experts, and staff to meticulously examine and prepare all aspects of our claim’s liability and damages. 

Regardless of how or where the accident occurred, our goal is nothing less than an independent and exhaustive investigation of the facts to determine the cause of the accident, identify responsible entities, present the strongest case, and obtain the highest possible compensatory award for our clients.  

Aviation Accident Law Books

We wrote the book

Kreindler has literally written the book on aviation accident law. Our partners have authored numerous highly acclaimed books, articles and treatises, including the leading treatise in the aviation litigation field, Aviation Accident Law.

Look inside the book here

Call on Our Experience

Kreindler is one of the largest and most distinguished aviation accident law firms in the world. Since 1950, our attorneys have served as leading counsel in nearly every major commercial aviation disaster litigation. Our staff of attorneys includes pilots, engineers, and a former aviation maintenance specialist. The firm has successfully handled countless private, charter, military, general aviation, and accident cases. Our partners have authored numerous highly acclaimed books, articles, and treatises on aviation litigation.