After Asiana Airlines flight 214 made a crash landing in San Francisco on Saturday, two passengers were killed and 182 others were hospitalized. But even the 123 travelers who escaped unscathed physically could be due millions of dollars as a result of surviving the ordeal, say experts.
CNNMoney spoke to a personal injury attorney specializing in air crashes, who points out that even if passengers weren’t physically injured by the crash, there are claims to be made based solely on the fact that they endured a potentially traumatic experience. (I say potentially because I’ve never been in a plane crash, but one would find it safe to assume that anyone on that flight didn’t walk off totally nonplussed.)
“I don’t think there’s a claim out there worth less than $1 million. Many will be worth multi-millions,” said the lawyer, who has not been retained by any of the victims or their families.
Many of those claims could be made citing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can be severely debilitating.
“PTSD is an insidious illness,” he said. “Many can’t return to work. Even those who think they’re fine and return to work, six months later they find out they’re a blob on the floor because it finally comes home to roost.”
Not all passengers may file suits after this Asiana crash, which happened during the pilot’s attempt to land the Boeing 777 over the weekend. In past cases, airlines and their insurance companies have handed out cash settlements to passengers without facing lawsuits, reportedly including the 2009 U.S. Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River in New York with no fatalities.
Asiana passengers likely to get millions [CNNMoney]