You have surely heard of car accidents, but have you heard of cart accidents. Well, if you regularly travel through Atlanta’s airport, you may. Along with a host of other incidents that result in serious injuries to airport patrons, cart injuries (those passenger shuttle carts operated by the Airlines and the Terminal Authority) in the terminals are on the rise, and many result in serious injuries.
Other injuries at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport which are on the rise are:
- trips, slips and falls on the marble floors and carpeting in the terminals;
- violent crimes at the airport that injury passengers;
- escalator falls, especially on the steeply inclined escalators leading from the underground transit system to the gates and passenger greeting areas;
- falls occurring in close proximity to where the garbage receptacles are located in the terminals;
- passengers being run over by other passengers in wheel chairs or knocked over by heavy luggage.
Of course, not all injuries that are sustained in the numerous terminals at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are caused by negligence, but many are. The airport is run by a complicated Airline conglomerate in partnership (at least in some areas of the Airport) with the City of Atlanta. Understanding who is liable for an Atlanta Airport Accident and when there is negligence involved is something that should be conducted very early in the process to ensure that you can pursue all of the claims that you may have against all of the potential liable parties.
Some claims must be addressed to the City of Atlanta (with the corresponding anti-litem notice), while others do not require such a pre-requisite before filing a lawsuit because the claims are against a private third-party (such at the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Authority, an individual airline or a subcontractor who may have been providing services in the Airport).
Many times, who is liable for the injury depends on where the incident occurred in the Airport and may also depend on agreements as to which duties were delegated to whom. Although, it should always be noted that the owner of operator of an premises (and the airport is considered a premise) has a non-delegable duty to ensure that the premises are safe for those who enter, transgress through and exit the Airport.The non-delegable duty doctrine means that the party with such a duty may not absolve itself of liability by contracting out the performance of that duty.
Furthermore, the standard of care applicable to common carriers is applicable to the Airlines themselves, but may not be applicable to AATC or others operating in the terminals. in some cases. See Millar Elevator Svc. Co. v. O’Shields, 222 Ga. App. 456 (2) (475 S.E.2d 188) (1996). That standard provides that “[a] common carrier of passengers is not an insurer of the safety of its passengers, but must exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of its passengers. Extraordinary diligence is defined as “that extreme care and caution which very prudent and thoughtful persons exercise under the same or similar circumstances.”
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, accident cases, personal injury cases, and other lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured or died at the Atlanta Airport. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.