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Airplane Accident Personal Injury Attorneys - The Injury Firm

Considering they’re so rare, airplane disasters always make the news regardless of where the accident occurs in the world. Commonly known as a plane crash, the reason they’re seen as a tragedy is that they tend to cause deaths after plummeting from the sky. Compared to incidents of other vehicles, passengers don’t stand much chance of surviving a plane crash.

Just recently, we saw huge crashes in both Venezuela and Greece which serve as constant reminders there is a danger to air travel. Back in 2005, nearly 160 people (passengers and crew) died after a plane crashed in a remote location within Venezuela. According to the investigation that followed, both engines had mechanical problems and the errors were only found after taking off.

Sadly, just two days before, technical problems killed over 100 passengers (around 40 children) after a plane crash from a Greek airline. In fact, there was also a second incident in Venezuela five years after the first. After a Conviasa ATR-42 suffered maintenance failures, 15 people passed away with a further 34 people suffering injuries.

For the loved ones left behind, the news can be devastating and the following court case needs to find negligence and liability against the guilty party. Whenever a high-profile incident like this takes place, you need the very best attorneys by your side and this is what we offer at The Injury Firm.

Definition - If we look at the term ‘aviation accident’, Annex 13 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation suggests it can be qualified as any incident involving aircraft where a serious injury occurs, the airplane becomes missing or inaccessible, or when the aircraft experiences structural failure. As soon as the passengers step onto the plane with the intention of flying to the destination, the accountability begins while ending when the passengers disembark. In terms of potential incidents themselves, an aviation accident covers any occurrence where the safety of the entire operation is jeopardized.

Common Causes of Airplane Accidents - Whenever an incident of this magnitude occurs, the first factor to check will always be manual error; did the pilot make a mistake? After this, they could occur due to;

  • Poor maintenance or lack of repair after spotting an issue
  • Failure of important components
  • Defect in the manufacture of the plane
  • Extreme weather

If we look across the last half-century, pilot error has been the main cause of incidents and they lead the way by some margin. After this, mechanical failure can also cause issues.

Filing an Airplane Accident Claim - If the airplane incident DOES NOT involve a commercial airplane or airline, the claiming process will be similar to that of a car accident. With commercial planes, they have a much higher standard of care and can’t just let anybody on-board without running through safety demonstrations and ensuring the aircraft has been maintained and checked extensively.

If an incident takes place on a commercial carrier, the first distinction to make will be whether your flight is domestic or international. Thanks to the Warsaw Convention and Montreal Protocol, we now have two agreements that deal with international flights in a broad sense. Within these agreements, damage and injuries to passengers falls into the responsibility of the airline. Also, we should note these agreements cover domestic legs of an international journey.

Ultimately, this means no passengers will have to prove negligence in order to receive compensation after an incident. On the plus side, this makes the case easier and you don’t have to fight just to be given a chance to prove your case. On the downside, there are limits to how much each passenger can claim unless there’s a case for willful misconduct. If you’ve been involved in an aviation incident or perhaps a family member passed away as a result of a crash, personal injury attorneys will help to explain the process and how much you can claim. 

With the two agreements we’ve seen, they have limits on all liability claims so willful misconduct will need to be proven for anything more. With our help, you can gather the evidence and create a case that goes beyond the realms of most standard cases. If proven, the limit from the agreements will disappear and you can obtain as much compensation as you desire for your own injuries or the passing of a loved one.

Most recently, 1988 saw what came to be known as the Lockerbie Bombings in Scotland. After an explosion on a Pan American flight, the US federal court decided the limit was not applicable according to the two agreements because the airline didn't conduct proper anti-terrorist procedures and this was willful misconduct.

Taking Legal Action - When the lawsuit has to find absolute negligence from one party or another, this can be difficult after a plane crash or any other aviation accident because the evidence can prove inconclusive. Does the liability fall with airline employees, the maintenance team, the manufacturer of the aircraft, or even the manufacturer of specific parts?

After you hire an attorney, such as The Injury Firm, they will assist you in proving negligence by investigating the details and looking at the incident from all possible angles. If necessary, industry experts can also be brought in to make a stronger case. If negligence can be proven, in any direction, there are some important considerations to make and your attorney will help you to make these decisions;

  • Which is the best forum for the trial?
  • Should federal or state law apply?
  • Should the operator be sued or perhaps the parts manufacturer, corporate officers, aircraft manufacturer, or the pilot?
  • How can liability be proven?
  • Which is the best way to recover compensation from breach of warranty, negligence, strict liability, or statutory provisions?
  • Can evidence from the crash be preserved?

Whenever an airplane crash occurs, measures will be taken by your attorney to preserve all evidence. From here, they can conduct an extensive investigation and talk with medical professionals regarding the injuries you’ve sustained.

These days, the rarity of airplane crashes means that no company can ever be ‘experienced’ in dealing with the cases but being prepared for when the opportunity comes is pivotal. Over the years, we’ve researched and studied the area of airplane incidents extensively so we have the knowledge you need to get the right compensation.

At first, it can seem as though everything is on top of you with no help which is why a professional service can be so important. With knowledge of what you need to do, as well as what you should avoid doing, The Injury Firm can represent your needs in the right way. Below, we’ve created a graphic to demonstrate the causes of airplane incidents across the last 50 years.

Cause

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

Total

Pilot Error

40

32

24

25

27

26

174

Pilot Error (Weather-Related)

11

18

14

17

21

17

98

Pilot Error (Mechanical-Related)

7

5

4

2

4

3

25

Total Pilot Error

58

57

42

44

53

46

300

Other Human Error

0

8

9

6

8

8

39

Weather

16

10

13

15

9

9

72

Mechanical Failure

21

20

23

21

21

28

134

Sabotage

5

5

11

13

10

9

53

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.