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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Crashing Plane Misses an Elderly Couple by Eight Inches

Are Accident Victims Eligible for Compensation Even Without Physical Harm?

Late last year, an elderly couple living near Midway Airport in Chicago found themselves on national news following a fatal plane crash. 

The couple, Roberta Rolinskas, 82, and Raymond Rolinskas, 84, were not struck by the plane. But, the crash did come frighteningly close to injuring the couple. In fact, parts of the plane came within eight inches of them before coming to a halt. 

The Rolinskases and their family are no doubt grateful to have survived the crash and to have done so without any bodily harm at all. But, as is often the result of shocking and severe accidents, the Rolinskases have possibly suffered lasting, debilitating and severe emotional distress and developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

While often met with skepticism, PTSD and other forms of emotional trauma equate to real harm as documented and opined by the American Medical Association, the United States military and the branch of the Social Security Administration that provides benefits for injured Americans. According to these organizations, symptoms of emotional trauma can include:
• Frequent nightmares and panic
• Emotional isolation and depression
• Sleep disorders
• Anxiety and lack of focus 
• Self-medication via drugs and alcohol

When emotional distress is caused by an “act of god,” compensation is often not owed. When emotional distress results from another’s negligence, however, victims and their families can often pursue compensation for losses incurred. 

In the case of the Rolinskases, negligence may have occurred, according to their lawsuit, via the airline’s failure to execute a proper takeoff plan, failure to land properly and failure to maintain, inspect and control the airplane. In more common accidents involving emotional distress, such as car, truck and workplace accidents, negligence can result from careless driving, lack of sleep, substance abuse, high alcohol levels and numerous other things.

If you have questions regarding physical or emotional injuries following an accident, including an aviation accident, contact attorney Michael G Sawicki. Sawicki Law offers free attorney consultations, and while it is conveniently located just north of downtown Dallas, Texas, the firm serves clients all over the country. Call (888)468-8844 to schedule an appointment today.


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