Conveyor belts, “people movers,” slippery stairs, and countless pieces of moving machinery can cause serious injury to travelers at the airport. Airport operators have a duty of care that includes warning travelers of potential risks and installing protective barriers that can reduce the risk. When airport operators fail to adequately protect the traveling public, they can be held liable for the injuries and fatalities caused by their negligence.
Hazardous Baggage Conveyors
Baggage carriers have precious little shielding which makes them very easy for people to fall into and for children to climb into. Even at the typically low speeds at which these operate, they can pose a serious entanglement risk. Individuals caught in a moving conveyor can suffer crushing injuries, limb amputation, suffocation, and other injuries.
Slips and Falls
Most airports do not have non-slip flooring installed within interior halls and corridors. Inclement weather, regular cleaning, spilled drinks from fast-food restaurants, etc. can make these floors treacherous to navigate. Airport operators, as well as restaurant managers, have a responsibility to ensure that trip, slip, and fall hazards within common areas are promptly removed and marked to protect travelers.
Further, airport operators have a responsibility to ensure that people movers, escalators, and other public transportation functions correctly. When these devices are poorly maintained or incorrectly serviced, they can malfunction, they can cause broken bones, lacerations, and other injuries.
Steps to Take Following Airport Injuries
Individuals traveling through airports are often in a hurry to get in and out as quickly as possible. Suffering an injury can intensify this desire. However, it is imperative that injured travelers slow down and gather the information they will need to pursue a personal injury claim.
Individuals should gather the names and contact details of any witness to the incident. It is also important to take photographs/video of the site of the accident and to file a formal incident report with the airport authorities. Individuals should also contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that a spoliation letter can be sent to anyone operating security cameras that may have captured the incident. This helps preserve such evidence so that it can be subpoenaed at a later date.
When travelers return home, they should undergo a thorough medical evaluation. This helps determine the extent of the injuries and can be used to create a direct link between the injuries and the information contained within the airport incident report.