Steps to Follow After an Airport Accident
The worst has happened and you have been involved in an airport accident. What comes next? While there are many different types of airport accidents which command many different theories of recovery, there are some common steps that you can take to both maximize your recovery and preserve your claims.
First, upon being injured, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. This goes double for any employees that had a hand in causing your injuries – get their name, employer, and information. If you do not do this step, it can be very hard after the fact to come back and track down the people who were actually involved in the incident.
Second, while you should get the name and contact information of witnesses and the employees who caused the accident, be careful as to what you say to anyone and especially airline/airport employees. A reactionary statement such as “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault” may become evidence that can be used against you in your aviation negligence case. Less is more when it comes to talking with others, especially airport personnel who may try to take your statement. You may wish to tell anyone who persists that you will not talk with them without your lawyer present.
Third, if you can snap photos of the area where the incident occurred, then it is wise to do so, as an airport may correct a premises defect quickly after the accident and such evidence may be lost.
Fourth, get medical attention ASAP. You may be hurt worse than you think, and some conditions, such as whiplash, may not turn up immediately. It never hurts to get looked at by a doctor after being involved in a major injury. What is more, you will need evidence of injuries to successfully sue the airport or airline, and the most convincing medical evidence is often the doctor’s report, taken soon after the incident. Follow the doctor’s orders – failure to do so may harm your ability to seek damages in court later on.
Fifth, take a picture of your own injuries if possible. Such photos can become very powerful pieces of evidence for the jury in a later suit. You need to act fast here – injuries heal up very quickly.
Sixth, as soon as possible, write down an account of the incident and what happened, but don’t share it with anyone and keep it safe. The purpose of doing this is to make sure you remember as much of the incident as possible (which is why it helps to do it early) so you can keep your facts straight and avoid inconsistencies.
Seventh, if you have not done so already, you may wish to consider retaining an experienced aviation attorney. Not only will this attorney start building your case, but the attorney will be someone who can stand between you and the airport’s legal counsel, which will likely try very vigorously to get you to agree to a lowball offer or to make statements that are damaging to your case.
If you or a loved one have been injured, Call Carabin Shaw at 800-862-1260. We Can Help.