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Yesterday evening the Houston Chronicle published an article addressing vouchers provided by the airline to the passengers who survived the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 1404.

Everyone who was on the plane has a case against Continental, said Alisa Brodkowitz, a lawyer who represents crash survivors. But passengers might hurt their claims by redeeming the airline vouchers, she said. An airline lawyer could argue a passenger wasn’t too emotionally affected to get on another plane, Brodkowitz said.

Commonly, survivors of a plane crash must travel in order to return home after the traumatic event. In my experience representing plane crash survivors, traveling home on another airplane can be a terrifying experience. Some passengers may not realize they will feel fear until after they are onboard that second flight and there is no opportunity to exit the aircraft. Others may not experience anxiety for several days or even a week after the crash. Unfortunately, the emotional consequences of a plane crash can last for a very long time, regardless of when they begin to manifest.

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