Airports are full of hazardous walking areas, creating an abundance of opportunities for visitors to slip and fall. Thousands of people are rushing in all directions on a slippery tile floor, bumping into one another, and practically guaranteeing that someone will injure themselves in the facility. If you happen to be one of the unlucky few that fall and get injured, it is very important for you to know who to hold responsible for your slip and fall injuries.
What to Know About Airport Slip and Fall Incidents
Everyone who passes through an airport is entitled to safe walking space. The airport owner and all property management authorities are responsible for ensuring that safety through the enforcement of a maintenance and cleaning schedule. If there is a hazard in the walking path that cannot be removed immediately, these parties must provide visible notice to visitors. This is often accomplished by posting a “wet floor” or similar sign that enables visitors to avoid the hazard.
These responsibilities are collectively known as the property owner’s or manager’s “duty of care” and may be expected of different parties, depending on where in the airport you fell. To identify who this person might be in your case, consider the following areas in which an airport slip and fall accident is likely to occur:
- Parking lot or garage
- Arrival and departure gates
- Jet bridge (also known as the passenger boarding bridge, or PBB)
- Restaurants within the airport
All these locations may be managed and owned by separate entities, so it is crucial that you are able to prove where your accident occurred to strengthen your evidence for liability. With the appropriate evidence, you can then narrow down the possibilities of who may be responsible for your fall.
Who is Liable for Your Fall in an Airport?
Based on the various locations listed above, the following parties may be to blame for the negligence that led to your slip and fall accident:
- Airline: Passengers that slip and fall on the jet bridge or inside the plane can file a claim against the airline for their injuries and damages.
- Vendor: If you were in a restaurant or shop at the time of your fall, you could hold the store owner responsible. The restaurant or shop qualifies as private commercial property, so they can be sued separately from the airport authority.
- Airport: Visitors often fall when they’re walking between gates or out to their vehicles. If you fall anywhere inside the airport facility, apart from private vendor locations, you can hold the airport owner or manager responsible. (Depending on the airport, the owner may be an individual, a company, or a municipality. The claims process will differ according to this detail.)
Discuss your case details with a lawyer to ensure you are pursuing legal action against the appropriate party. Without the correct information, you will be unable to prove a legal duty of care, and therefore, unable to secure the compensation owed to you. Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that your case is handled appropriately.