With the holiday season approaching, we once again have detected an increase in the number of slip and falls and trip and falls in the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and its parking lots and approaches. This is not new and it’s hardly surprising. When the number of travelers through the airport increases, the number of accidents and injuries rises exponentially. Why? There are a number of reasons for this, but probably the biggest reason is that the airport and airline employees are overworked and stretched too thin. When this happens, safety invariably suffers. Floors are mopped without “Wet Floor” warning signs being placed to warn travelers of wet floors, airplane exit ramps are extended but not fully fastened which leads to trip hazards, dropped food and spilled drinks and water are not removed quickly and are left on the floor as hazards, airline personal are too busy to safely navigate the busy terminal in machinery, extension cords and other equipment are left on the terminal floor as trip hazards, broken seats in the terminals go un-repaired and lead to injuries; restaurants and fast food establishments in the terminals leave food and other hazards on the floor, safety checks are not performed as often as usual, elevators and escalators receive heavier than normal traffic which leads to malfunctions and safety hazards, terminal trains are often late to stops and overcrowded leading to trip and falls and other accidents, and traffic in and around the airport is at an all-time high which leads to more accidents and injuries in the parking lot and approaches to the terminals.
To have a valid premises liability claim, an injured person at the airport generally must be able to prove the following:
- The airport (which includes the terminals, the approaches to the terminals and the surrounding parking lots and property) contained a dangerous condition;
- The Airport (which is managed by and entity known as AATC and owned by the City of Atlanta) knew or, through the exercise of ordinary care, should have known about the dangerous condition;
- The Airport failed to remove the dangerous condition or warn of its existence
- The dangerous condition caused a serious personal injury.
In the case of injuries sustained at the Airport, it is essential that the injured person immediately request and incidence report along with an incident report number, so that the incident can be documented. Many times, travelers are in a great hurry and neglect to get an incident report because they want to catch their flight or a connection. This should be avoided, if possible. There are many legal issues involved that must be addressed early, including providing the City of Atlanta notice, if applicable.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling airport accidents, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.