What Happens if I Slip and Fall at the Airport?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Airports are bustling hubs where people are always on the move, particularly in high-traffic areas like terminals, parking lots, baggage claim, lounges, and dining spots. Common hazards, including wet floors, spilled liquids, uneven surfaces, and cluttered corridors, heighten the risk of slipping and falling in an airport.
Identifying who is to blame in an airport slip and fall accident can be complex, as multiple parties and entities may be responsible for your injuries. However, our slip and fall attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can help you get to the bottom of your accident. We have the expertise and resources to determine who is at fault and get you compensated for your injuries and damages.
What Causes Slip and Fall Injuries at Airports?
With their vast and bustling spaces, airports have numerous hazards that can lead to slip and fall incidents. Here are some of the frequent reasons for slip and fall accidents in airport settings:
- Wet or slippery indoor floors. One of the most common causes of airport slip and falls is indoor floors becoming wet or slick. Common causes include drink or liquid spills, cleaning activities, and water or snow tracked indoors.
- Uneven surfaces. Flooring in airport hallways, rooms, and other common areas may be damaged or undergoing repairs. These situations can create unexpected elevation changes, increasing the risk of tripping and falling.
- Clutter and obstacles. Walkable areas in airports are frequently cluttered with cleaning carts and discarded luggage or belongings. The more cluttered a walkway is, the higher the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
- Poor lighting. The most common airport areas with poor lighting include service corridors, outdoor walkways, stairwells, baggage claim areas, and zones under construction or renovation. Low or inadequate lighting makes it harder to see hazards, increasing accident risks.
- Weather conditions. Airports in Michigan are frequently exposed to snow and ice during the colder months. Many outdoor walkways can become slippery or dangerous to traverse. De-icer fluids can also accumulate in these areas and create slippery floors.
Common Injuries From Airport Slip and Falls
The type and severity of injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents at airports depend on the specific conditions of the incident. Common injuries from these accidents include:
- Strains and sprains. Falls commonly result in muscular or tendon injuries, particularly around the ankles, wrists, knees, and other joints.
- Fractures and broken bones. Falls on hard surfaces can result in bones fracturing or breaking. Older victims are at a higher risk of fractures than younger ones.
- Bruises and contusions. Impacts with various floor surfaces in airports often result in bruises and contusions to the arms, legs, sides, head, and face.
- Cuts and lacerations. Metallic fixtures, broken glass, and sharp edges can cause painful cuts and lacerations during a slip and fall.
- Spinal injuries. A hard fall can cause a victim’s spine to impact a hard surface and cause severe injuries, such as spinal trauma, herniated discs, and, in the worst cases, paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). If a hard fall results in an impact on the head, it may cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries are severe and are often fatal.
Who is Responsible for Maintaining Airport Safety?
Multiple entities and parties are responsible for visitors’ safety in an airport. Depending on where a slip and fall incident occurs, one or more of these entities may owe you a duty of care:
- The airport. The authorities responsible for airport operations, infrastructure maintenance, and compliance with safety standards owe all visitors a general duty of care inside the airport. The airport is usually within the jurisdiction of the County or City where located. To sue a governmental unit, you must consider governmental immunity and the special rules to follow to make a claim against the governmental unit that is responsible for safety. Notice must be given immediately and in the form the statute mandates. Consult an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights.
- Airline companies. Certain areas inside the airport, such as designated gates and lounges, fall within the responsibility of airline companies. Airlines owe a duty of care to their fliers and visitors inside the airport spaces where they operate. This means they are legally obligated to ensure these areas are safe and free from hazards that could cause harm.
- Maintenance companies. Many airports subcontract maintenance companies to keep the airport clean. These companies are responsible for cleanliness and have the duty to clean and prevent spills, debris, and other dangerous surfaces. Maintenance companies failing to address spills or slippery surfaces could be liable for slip and fall accidents.
- Retail and food service outlets. Each store, kiosk, and restaurant leasing or owning space inside an airport is responsible for the safety of its customers within these spaces.
Can You File a Slip and Fall Claim Against the Airport?
After a slip and fall accident at an airport, you might be thinking, “Can I sue an airport for falling?” It’s possible to file a claim against the airport if you can show they were responsible for your accident. In any slip and fall case, there are four key points you need to prove:
- Duty of care. Show that the airport or another party operating within the airport, like a retail store or maintenance service, was responsible for ensuring your safety where the accident happened.
- Breach of duty. Prove that the airport or other entity with a duty of care toward you failed to maintain it at the time of the accident.
- Causation. Demonstrate that the airport’s breach of duty directly caused your accident.
- Damages. Provide evidence that the injuries and damages you suffered were caused by your accident and have no other possible explanation.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall at the Airport
If you experience a slip, trip, or fall at an airport, staying calm and taking the appropriate actions is important. Remember that it’s crucial to act promptly, as evidence can deteriorate, witnesses may become unavailable, and there may be time limitations for filing a claim. Follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention. Prioritize your health and well-being and get medical help as quickly as possible, even if you don’t think you are injured. Some injuries, like concussions, may not be immediately noticeable. Airport terminals often have medical personnel or first-aid stations to provide initial care. Your medical records can establish evidence for a potential claim.
- Report the incident. After seeking medical attention, report the incident to airport personnel or security. They can assist in documenting the incident and may provide you with an incident report form to fill out.
- Complete an incident report: Fill out the incident report form provided by airport staff. Include details such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as any contributing factors like wet floors, spilled liquids, or debris. Be as specific as possible.
- Document the incident. Take pictures of the scene, including potential evidence of fall hazards, such as wet or dangerous surfaces. Keep copies of your medical records, photos of your injuries, witness statements, and other evidence of the accident.
- Collect witness information. Collect their names and contact information if there were any witnesses to the incident. Witness statements can be valuable in determining liability because they corroborate your account of the accident.
- Preserve all relevant evidence. Keep the clothes, shoes, luggage, travel documents, and everything else you wore on the day of the incident. Their condition can be used to prove the incident took place and strengthen your case.
- Notify your insurance company: If you have health or travel insurance, notify your insurance company about the incident and your injuries. They may cover some of your medical expenses.
- Consult a qualified attorney. If you believe the airport or another party may be at fault for your injury, consider consulting a personal injury attorney who specializes in slip and fall cases.
Our senior partner, Eileen Kroll, started her career as a registered nurse before graduating from law school. Her unique perspective allows her to combine her experience in law and healthcare to advocate on your behalf for maximum compensation.
Get Help for Injuries From a Slip and Fall at an Airport
Determining the cause of your injury due to someone else’s negligence can be challenging. At your complimentary consultation, we can review the facts of your case, learn more about the severity of your injuries, and let you know if you have a valid claim for compensation.
We thoroughly investigate every slip and fall case we handle and provide unwavering support to our clients throughout the claims process. Our goal is to identify all possible defendants who may be responsible for your losses. This allows you to concentrate on your recovery while we handle the rest, including collecting evidence to strengthen your case.
We are experienced in negotiating directly with the insurance company on your behalf, and in cases where the insurer fails to offer fair compensation for your injuries, we are prepared to initiate a lawsuit to pursue the financial damages you deserve.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.