09 Mar 2015

A question about : Injured from slipping on airplane's ramp

Hi - As I was disembarking from a plane in a London's airport last night, I slipped from the ramp which was was very wet (it was raining and it was dark). Flight attendants did not warn passengers that the ramp may be slippery.

As as result of my fall, my left elbow hit the ramp quite badly. I mentioned this to the airline customer service staff in the terminal who took my name and gave me a cold compress. At that time, my elbow was twice its normal size and very painful. I went to A&E last night to have my elbow checked but luckily it is not broken.

However it is still very painful and I have massive lump (bursitis) due to the fall that I probably will need to have drained. During my fall, I also damaged my coat. Today I called the airline's customer service to ask what support / compensation I could get for any further medical costs and also my coat. They told me to talk to my medical insurance (which I do not have but it is beyond the point). Basically they do not want to admit any wrongdoing.

My question is: is the airline liable for my fall on the ramp? if so, how can I claim compensation for my injury?

Thanks for any view!

Best answers:

  • I slipped in my health club on steps and badly damaged my back which gave me years of trouble, but never considered going after compensation. You will recover pretty quickly so I don't see why compensation is necessary.
  • What financial loss did the accident lead to ?
  • Presumably you live in the UK?
    You would have to prove that the airline was negligent which normally would mean that they did not follow procedures correctly. Ultimately you'd need to discuss with a solicitor if you have reasonable prospects of success and if the claim should be against the airline or the operators of the ramp.
    If you have Legal Expenses on your Home Insurance then they will discuss the claim with you and advise if they believe you have prospects. If you dont then there are hundreds of no win, no fee solicitors out there but be aware they can keep up to 25% of your damages and they'll only be interested if they believe your injury is valued at over Ј1,000 otherwise they dont get paid by the other side.
    To be honest though... its dark, wet and raining... doesnt really need someone else to tell me that something thats wet may be slippy.
  • Thanks. I do live in the UK. I want any potential medical costs to be met if my elbow does not get better and also I want my coat to be replaced.
    I disembarked probably 400 times from a plane before and it is the first time I have fallen. Flight attendants normally warn passengers that the ramp may be slippery and I feel that the ramp was more slippery than usual as I almost fell again after my first fall.
    Good idea - I will contact my home insurance as they provide legal expenses cover as well.
  • Do you really need warning that things get slippery when wet? My 2 year old has already learned this.
    Sometimes accidents happen and I fail to see how this is the airlines fault. Take more care next time, especially if it is wet.
  • Some of the responses on here are unsympathetic at best and generally unhelpful.
    The reality is that irrespective of the weather conditions, the operator of the ramp has a duty of care to ensure that ALL passengers and indeed those operating the ramp are not exposed to harm.
    Yes - it was raining - so if this ramp is exposed to the elements and there is a likelihood of the floor surface becoming contaminated, then there should be controls in place to reduce the risk of slipping.
    A collective control in the form of anti-slip flooring seems the obvious answer or even mopping up the water would reduce the risk of slipping.
    If it was night time, then the lighting should be suitable for the area.
    There should be some form of risk assessment that refers to floor contamination and how to control it. That is a legal requirement and must consider EVERYONE that would use the ramp.
    The OP has obviously been fobbed off and is not getting much help on here. I would certainly pursue it as you should not lose out because of others negligence.
  • Thanks dickydonkin for your comment. I absolutely share your view. To give more context, I fell whilst I was trying to hold my 7 old daughter who was scared of falling. Fortunately the passenger who was behind me held her so that she did not fall with me. And yes the lighting was really poor.
    I find the tone of certain people extremely patronizing and unhelpful. You would change your view if it happened to you.
  • I'm inclined to agree with dickydonkin that a lot of the responses are somewhat harsh. A disembarking passenger is pretty reliant on what the cabin crew tell them about external conditions, and certainly on my last flight we were warned of slippery conditions on the steps before we were allowed to leave.
  • IMHO disembarking 400 times might lead to opinion that one should be more expectant of ill conditions than those who have only done it a few times.
    Compensation culture is all too rife.
  • Surely if its raining then the likelihood that somewhere you walk will be wet and slippery is a forgone conclusion.
    Why would cabin staff, who have not yet stepped outside themselves, be responsible for telling passengers to take care?.
    Personal responsibility has to come into play otherwise you would have a situation whereby everyone had to wait for it to stop raining and all surfaces dried off before passengers disembark. Then everyone would be going on about health and safety gone mad.