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Airplane Turbulence Injuries: Steps to Take

Flying to a travel destination can be both exhilarating and exhausting, but it should never cause you pain or emotional distress due to unsafe flying conditions. Extreme turbulence does not just disrupt a peaceful flying experience, but can also cause harm to passengers, including injuries and even death. 

On May 21, 2024, over 71 passengers were injured and one person died during an incident of extreme turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight. According to the Bangkok airport manager, multiple passengers sustained broken arms, but most of the injuries were minor cuts and bruises. Flight data shows that the entire incident lasted only 90 seconds.

While turbulence can be a normal part of the flying experience, extreme turbulence that causes harm can be experienced due to airline negligence. 

What is Turbulence?

As defined by the United States Department of Transportation’s Aviation Department, “turbulence is air movement created by atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts or thunderstorms. It can be unexpected and can happen when the sky appears to be clear.” 

When turbulence occurs, passengers are usually required to keep their seatbelts on in order to prevent injury. However, there are times when passengers can still be injured while wearing a seatbelt.

If you find yourself injured on a flight due to extreme turbulence these are the important steps you can take as you physically and emotionally recover:

1. Seek Medical Treatment

If you are injured during extreme turbulence, you should notify your flight attendants and seek treatment. It is recommended to check in with medical services when you land. Most major airports have medics in the airport for emergencies and will be able to support you. 

2. Document the Accident

Documenting the turbulence and the injury you experience in flight will make it easier for you later on when you file a report to the airline and seek compensation for physical and emotional damage. These are some important details to collect:

  • Flight number, Plane model, Airline
  • Time of incident 
  • Details of turbulence
  • Injuries from accident

3. File a Report with the Airline

Most reports need to be filed within 10 days of the incident. It is best to check the rules of reporting with the airline you are traveling with. By filing an airline report, your accident, and complaint will be well documented if you decide to pursue legal action. 

4. Seek Legal Advice

It is recommended to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer if you have been injured on a flight. A personal injury attorney can assist you with filing airline and medical claims to support you during your injury. 

GLP Attorneys: Experienced Personal Injury Aviation Lawyers

If you have been injured due to turbulence, please call or email our attorneys for a free consultation at 1-800-273-5005 or fill out our contact form. One of our skilled attorneys will be able to tell you whether the airline was negligent or reckless in causing harm to you and whether you might be able to collect damages.

Click here to learn more about our firm’s aviation accident practice, including tips for understanding negligence and how your medical bills get paid after an accident.

If you have been involved in an accident, please call or email our attorneys for a free consultation