Slip And Fall Accidents At LAX: What You Need To Know
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fifth busiest airport in the world, serving more than 70 million passengers a year. While most passengers use the airport without any issues, the sheer volume of people using the facilities means that accidents will happen, and some visitors experience painful slip and fall injuries. Find out what you may need to do to claim compensation for an injury that you or someone you love suffers due to a slip and fall accident at LAX.
Slip and fall basics
If you slip and fall over on private property, you cannot automatically file a personal injury lawsuit. To take legal action, your attorney must prove that you fell over because of a dangerous condition or hazard on the property. This hazard must pose an unreasonable safety risk, and your attorney must also prove that the defendant either created the hazard or failed to rectify the problem in a reasonable period.
LAX is enormous, and the airport is full of potential hazards. Passenger gates, boarding bridges, staircases, runways and retail stores may all present hazardous conditions, but your attorney must prove negligence before you can win a lawsuit. To complicate things further, you may need to consider multiple defendants.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is a department within the City of Los Angeles. LAWA owns and operates LAX, as well as Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys general aviation airport. The airport provides services to passengers, air freight carriers and private pilots. LAWA generates revenue by leasing facilities to airlines, concessionaires and other tenants.
According to where your slip and fall accident takes place, you may need to deal with different defendants. For example, if you slip over in the car park, you may need to deal with the company that manages these facilities, whereas a trip on a staircase in the terminal may only involve LAWA. Of course, companies that lease facilities from LAWA may pay other companies for cleaning and maintenance. As such, your attorney may even need to file a lawsuit against one of these service companies.
Unsurprisingly, you need to take reasonable care in an airport. If you fall over because you were running through the terminal to catch a flight, the defendant may claim you are to blame. Nonetheless, you can still become the victim of somebody else's negligence if you slipped while running because the floor was wet.
Slip and fall lawsuits are complex because it's often difficult to prove negligence, especially when an accident takes place in an airport. In any situation, either party can argue that multiple factors led to the accident, so your attorney will need to compile detailed evidence to prove that you were not to blame for your fall. The problem is sometimes even more complex because there are no witnesses to the incident except you!
Nonetheless, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pull together the evidence you need. While an attorney will always look for witnesses and security camera footage, it's often necessary to hire third-party experts to examine the evidence in more detail.
For example, if you slip over on a wet surface, an experienced expert can measure the coefficient of friction on the surface while wet. If the value is too low, your attorney can prove that the surface was unreasonably slippery and that the owner was negligent in his or her cleaning and/or maintenance. If the property owner (or lessee) did not install hand rails, treads or other safety devices, your attorney could argue that he or she did not adequately mitigate the risk, given the likelihood that the surface area would get wet.
Millions of people use LAX every year, and slip and fall accidents are an unfortunate risk. Whether it is at LAX or another airpoirt, contact a trained attorney from a firm like Vaughan & Vaughan for more advice about your legal options if you or someone you love falls over while using an airport's facilities.