We often hear that statistically speaking, flying in an airplane is safer than riding in a car. It’s true that automobile accidents occur much more frequently than plane crashes. However, the consequences of an aviation accident are almost always very serious—often catastrophic, or even fatal.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an airplane crash, you would be wise to talk with a personal injury attorney experienced in aviation-related litigation as soon as possible.
Proving Liability in a Plane Crash Case
One of the most challenging aspects of litigating an airplane crash case is proving liability. Flight is complicated, from the equipment employed and the maintenance procedures to pilot qualifications and procedures. Determining what went wrong in a plane crash virtually always requires the services of high-level experts.
Of course, planes crash for many reasons, and sometimes multiple factors combine to lead to an aviation accident. The most common causes are:
- Pilot error: About half of all plane crashes are ultimately attributed to pilot error. As flying a plane is a complex operation, there are many opportunities for a pilot to miscalculate or to overlook a critical action.
- Mechanical failure: From a legal perspective, mechanical failure may result in different types of liability. For example, the airline could be responsible due to faulty maintenance, or the failure could be the result of a defect in the equipment, giving rise to a product liability claim.
- Weather: At first glance, it may seem that weather is outside the control of both the pilot and the airline and nobody’s fault. However, airlines and pilots are charged with making educated, responsible decisions about the conditions in which it is safe to fly. If that duty has been neglected, the airline may be at fault.
Another significant difference between airplane crash cases and other types of personal injury claims is that most personal injury cases are filed in state court. However, some airline-related claims must be filed in federal court. For example, if an air traffic controller is responsible or alleged to be responsible for the accident, the case must be filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act rather than state tort law.
Not every personal injury law firm has the resources to successfully manage this type of case, from locating the right experts to making a long-term investment of time and money in case preparation. While it is always important to find the right lawyer and law firm for your needs, it is especially important that you choose your attorneys carefully when seeking assistance with a complex claim like a personal injury or wrongful death case associated with an airplane crash.
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you have been injured in an airplane crash, whether as a passenger or a bystander, it is in your best interest to speak with a veteran personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able. In the days following the plane crash, you will likely be contacted by airline representatives or the airline’s insurance company. Those callers will be looking for ways to minimize their liability to you, and may take advantage of the fact that you are upset, perhaps disoriented and maybe even medicated in the wake of your injuries.
Don’t give them the opportunity to take advantage of you. Get a seasoned advocate on your side immediately. Just call 1-800-253-5523 or fill out the form on this page.