Many survivors of the Asiana Airlines airplane crash in San Francisco have an unusual pattern of serious spinal cord injuries, which doctors say, show how severely and violently they were shaken in spite of wearing their seatbelts. According to an article in the USA Today, two people have been unable to move their legs. Many others have needed surgery to stabilize their spines so they can move. Several passengers have also sustained crushed vertebrae that compress the spinal cord and ligaments that have been so stretched and torn that they cannot hold neck and back joints in place.
Serious Back and Neck Injuries
The Asiana aircraft, which crash-landed on July 6 at San Francisco Airport, was carrying 307 passengers and crew. Of those, two died and 305 survived. More than 180 people were hospitalized with injuries. However, only a small number of those people suffered critical injuries. Geoffrey Manley, chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital, tells USA Today he is struck by a pattern that shows how the victims’ upper bodies were thrown forward and then backward over the lap belts that kept them in their seats and saved their lives. Experts say that these injuries are reminiscent of the days when cars did not have shoulder belts.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still looking into what caused this aviation accident. Investigators are examining several causes such as mechanical failure, pilot error and pilot inexperience. Officials are also looking into whether one of the two female victims who died in the crash was killed when she was run over by a San Francisco Fire Department truck that was responding to the incident. The coroner’s office has stated that a determination of cause of death may not be available for at least two weeks.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members of the two victims who were killed in this crash. My thoughts and prayers are also with the many passengers and crew members who have been seriously injured in this incident.
This may be a confusing time for many of the victims involved. They may be dealing with airline officials, insurance companies and hospital bills. They may not be able to work until they have recovered completely from the shock of being involved in such as traumatic incident and from their injuries. During such a time, it is important that they obtain a free consultation from a California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to stay on top of what can be a lengthy official investigation and ensure that victims’ and their families’ legal rights and best interests are protected.