Do I have a personal injury claim after being injured on a flight? 17 Answers as of February 21, 2012

As a result of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on first leg of a two-leg flight with same airline I fainted while deplaning. I was carried to first class section of plane, and wheelchair was called for, as was a medic. I was questioned by airline crew about symptoms, which were leg pain, difficulty breathing and feeling faint. While waiting for medics to arrive, the wheelchair arrived; shortly thereafter, a call came to crew asking if medic was really necessary. It was conveyed to them that medic was likely necessary. Caller on phone told crew to convey to me that Medic could be costly and passenger might have to pay. Crew decided medic not necessary, and I was wheeled to next leg of flight, whereupon deplaning second leg, I had a Pulmonary Embolism, and was taken to Emergency hospital, and in ICU for several days. Severe bruising from fall when collapsing, and told lucky to survive. Do I have a worthwhile claim against airline for their decision to put be back on a flight, after I had already fainted, and was in their care?

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LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
You absolutely have a claim since you were in distress the airline should have dispatched emergency care providers to determine the extent and nature of your complaints. Call our office we can help you sort it out.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/27/2011
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP
Bloom Gates Sigler & Whiteleather, LLP | Matthew Shipman
You may have a claim based on the facts that you have submitted. I would definitely contact an experienced attorney and have them evaluate your claim.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 5/25/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
It is likely that you have a claim based on your facts. However, this particular set of facts I have not litigated, and you seem to have non-permanent injury. The jury is charged at the end of the trial, when determining damages, to consider the "extent and duration" of the injury. While yours is not permanent, the extent seems severe. I'd contact my local bar association to ask for a referral if I did not already have counsel in mind. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/12/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
It seems that you might have a cause of action. Call an attorney familiar with suing transportation entities for negligence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Yes you may have a good claim, but you need a personal injury attorney with experience with airlines.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I would think the suit would be possible. However, the damage from the embolism probably had already occurred. If you are doing well I would not pursue it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
    Sorry to hear about your experience. You may have a claim against the airline for negligence. However, keep in mind that the airline will argue that a medic was provided as an option, even if it would have been at a high cost to you. Of course, you may contend that the flight crew effectively "trumped" that option by advising that the medic was not necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Hard to say. Question is always what is reasonable as far as airline is concerned. You don't have a guarantee when you fly. Also, a doctor would have to testify as to causation. was something the airline did or did not do the cause of the problem or would the problem have occurred anyway?
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    That is a very tough question. I think it would be up to you to decide if you needed to go to a hospital. I am assuming you were awake and knew what was going on at the time. This is an unfortunate event that happens when flying. Talk to an attorney in your home state or where you were put on the plane after your first flight.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Depends on a number of issues, but it is a difficult case, Also, what are the doctors indicating the injuries were from the delayed treatment, if any. Need should discuss with doctors and then discuss with lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    first of all, you do not have a personal injury claim against the airline, your health problems were not as a result of any form of negligence on their part. They were not the cause of the deep vein thrombosis. Secondly, You had fainted and crew was not able to obtain your informed consent as to treatment and costs. It was an emergency and they had to take a decision on the spur of the moment. You may not prevail in any claim against the airline.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Whether you have a worthwhile claim depends on whether there is any permanent impairment or medical condition that was caused by their actions. At the outset, the fact that you had additional medical complications after they let you get back on the flight does not necessarily mean they were negligent. Based on all of the information they had, they may have made a reasonable decision. Whether it was reasonable is a medical question that must be answered by some expert in medicine. In this type of case, you need a doctor or nurse to say that it was negligent to let you continue the flight based on your symptoms. If you have no permanent medical problems as a result of the incident, then it is probably not worth pursuing. If you suffered a permanent injury, I would say it is worth getting an attorney to hire an appropriate expert to see if there is a case.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Hale Law Group
    Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
    It sounds to me like you have a reasonable case against the airline. You should give me a call when you have a chance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You may have a claim, but it would not be that easy. Do you have an eyewitness to attest to the fact that the crew made the choice to cancel the medic? If not, they will likely say that you made the decisions once you learned it would be costly. Do you have health insurance? or Medicare or both? Any of those may negate you being concerned about cost. You would also need an expert to attest that if they had you examined by the medic, to a degree of medical certainty the PE could have been avoided. It may be tough to find an expert to say that. You should discuss with a medical malpractice attorney and provide your medical records to him/her for review.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    You may have a claim. A lot depends on the details of the interactions that took place between you and the crew, and whether you were given any opportunity to receive medical care (e.g., if you turned it down for cost or other reasons, the airline would have a strong defense that it could not force you to receive care). A lot would depend on the specifics of your conversations/interactions with the crew. Another question I would have is whether any doctor told you that your pulmonary embolism suffered after the second leg, would likely have been prevented by immediate care after the first leg. You may want to discuss this with your doctor. If your doctor believes that immediate care would likely have prevented the extent of your problem, that would be a major factor in your favor in terms of pursuing a claim. I recommend you talk to an attorney in your area. Many states have short statutes of limitations on personal injury claims. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
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