Commercial airline accidents can have serious consequences for those involved in them. These consequences can be fatal, but not always. In some cases, serious physical injury can result, or even simply severe emotional and mental trauma.
An example of this is a lawsuit filed by a group of 18 American Airlines passengers who are suing over an engine fire that occurred last month before their plane left Chicago. It isn’t clear exactly what caused the engine fire—the incident is currently under federal investigation—but the passengers are seeking compensation for injuries they suffered.
Nobody was seriously physically harmed in the fire, but the plaintiffs are seeking damages for mental suffering and trauma resulting from the panic the incident induced. The attorney who is handling the case says that passengers aboard the burning plane were terrified, and scrambled chaotically to escape for fear that there might be an explosion before they were able to get out of the plane. They accuse the airline of not doing enough to prevent such panic from arising.
Specifically, the passengers accuse American Airlines of failing to train flight attendants to provide adequate instruction to passengers, for failing to deploy all emergency evacuation slides and for improperly deploying one slide.
It remains to be seen how this case will shake out, but it is important to note that economic damages are not the only important type of damages for those involved in commercial airlines accidents. Certainly, economic damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and decreased earning capacity are important for an injured airline passenger to seek out, but noneconomic damages can be equally and even more important, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Those who are injured in an airline accident should, of course, always work with an experienced attorney to ensure they have the best possible advocacy and the best opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries.