When you decided to work in the airline industry as a pilot or flight attendant, you probably thought of the adventure, how you could fly from one place to the next and see the world. You may not have wanted to dwell on how you could be injured or even killed on the job.
Yet accidents do happen—especially at busy airports like Chicago O’Hare and Midway. And the most common flight crew injuries are not headline-grabbing. They include the following:

  • Injuries from slip-and-fall accidents
    Flight crews walk through aircraft loading areas, gateways and sometimes across slick airport floors with luggage in tow. You easily can hurt a knee, arm, elbow or even sustain a head injury in a bad fall. Even if you are just walking to your car, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
  • Turbulence injuries
    If you have been flying a long time, you’ve been on more than one flight with bad turbulence. Sometimes, you can fall, hurt your head or injure a hand, wrist or knee in bad turbulence. Workers’ compensation claims in those cases go through your airline and where you are based, not where the injury occurred.
  • Burns
    Flight attendants handle hot coffee all day. If you receive a serious burn, you’ll need to file a workers’ compensation report.
  • Back and leg injuries
    Flight crews do a lot of bending, lifting and twisting as they assist passengers in putting baggage in overhead compartments and push heavy carts loaded with beverages through tight aisles. The longer you have been on the job, the more risk there is for injury.
  • Passenger altercations
    Unfortunately, flight crews do have to deal with unruly passengers at times. Whether it’s someone who has been drinking too much during a long flight, a disgruntled passenger or even someone truly dangerous, crew members can take the brunt of their anger. If you receive an injury in such an incident, sidelining you from work, filing a workers’ compensation claim will be mandatory and you also should consult an attorney.

No one wants to get injured on the job while working at 30,000 feet or even at the airport. Knowing what the safety risks are can help you try to prevent them. However, if you sustain a workplace injury, you have rights. Consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help relieve your stress about paying medical bills and about having income as you recover.