Aviation Accident FAQ

What types of issues arise from aviation accidents?

There are several issues that could potentially arise in an airplane crash lawsuit. These include: liability relating to the accident itself; aviation insurance issues; product liability and actions relating to breaches of FAA rules.

What should I do after an aviation accident?

It is often the case that those injured in an accident or families of those who have lost their lives are contacted shortly after the accident to try to settle their cases with them before they have been able to consult a lawyer. It is therefore very important that you don't sign or otherwise accept any offer of compensation before you have spoken to your aviation accident attorney.

Who decides blame in an aviation accident lawsuit?

As aviation accident reports involve many different parties, it is probable that after an accident each respective party will seek to put the blame onto another. However there can be more than one party to blame and this is often the subject of litigation. It will, therefore, be for the judge or jury (whichever is applicable) to determine where the fault lies in plane crash lawsuits. In these circumstances, it may be that two or more parties are found to share some of the blame - but to varying degrees. For example, the manufacturer may be 60% liable, whereas the pilot is 40% to blame – the majority of states use a ‘contributory' method to apportion liability.

What damages are available to a plaintiff in an aviation accident lawsuit?

On successful determination of an aviation accident or on settlement prior to court hearing a plaintiff will be entitled to damages. These can include past and future medical bills, pain and suffering (past and future), loss of earnings (past and future) as well as damages for a loss of emotional support and companionship. However, the types of damages that are recoverable vary from state to state so you may be limited or prevented from claiming damages relating to non-economic loss or punitive damages.

Can the owner or operator of the aircraft be prosecuted for the accident?

This depends on the circumstances of the plane crash lawsuit. However if the owner or operator has been negligent, and that negligence has resulted in death, injury or damage to property there may be criminal charges brought by the federal government and by the individual state.

How likely am I to be involved in an aviation accident?

Planes crash landing are very rare: when you get on board an aircraft for a single flight there is only a one in eight million chance of fatality.

How do I claim after an aviation accident?

Although the National Transportation Safety Board will proceed with their own aviation accident investigation the causes of the accident and will be able to provide support to families of injured or deceased air passengers, your interests can only truly be protected by an aviation accident lawyer. It is therefore very important that you consult a specialist personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the aviation accident.

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