Aircraft accidents lead to complex personal injury cases that can often involve an out-of-state airplane owner or leasing company, contractors, and a deep understanding of federal regulations. The Tallahassee personal injury lawyers at Fasig | Brooks will fight for you if you have been injured in an airplane accident in the Tallahassee, FL area. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury lawyer from Fasig | Brooks.
What Causes Aviation Accidents?
According to the Summary of US Civil Aviation Accidents for Calendar Year (CY) 2018 released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there were 1,347 airplane accidents, of which 231 were fatal, leading to 395 people losing their lives. The following are the most common reasons why an aviation accident might occur:
The manufacturer of defective aircraft can be held liable for aviation accidents and injuries that were caused by the faulty part or design due to a legal principle called strict liability. The parts of the aircraft have to physically endure the altitude and temperatures that it travels in and the instruments that pilots use to navigate and adjust their altitude need to always function properly.
Inadequate Maintenance or Negligence
According to the FAA, 20% of all aviation accidents are the result of mechanical failures. Low temperatures and high speeds put a strain on planes. The average lifespan of a commercial airliner is 30 years if maintained properly. All commercial aircraft are designed to continue flying even if an engine fails, but smaller planes that have only one engine are in immediate danger if an engine fails. Components that are not installed correctly, unsecured access panels, discrepancies in electrical wiring, and tools being left behind in the aircraft can all contribute to disasters.
The majority of fatal airplane accidents involved private aircraft. According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the top two causes of fatal plane crashes are unintentional collision with terrain (CFIT) and loss of control of the plane during the flight. Examples of pilot error include fatigue, inebriation, failure to check the weather before flying, ignoring commands from air traffic controllers, and skipping pre-flight checklists.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Aviation Accidents?
Plane owners and employers should be held accountable for a crash when they fail to prioritize passenger safety. Our personal injury law firm will investigate if the aircraft owner was negligent or reckless when operating the plane, leading to your airplane accident.
A commercial airline company can be held responsible for an aviation accident if they are operating in violation of the FAA. An airline company is considered a common carrier since it offers transportation to people in the general public. Because of this, airline companies are regulated under both federal and state common carrier laws.
The manufacturer of the aircraft could also be held liable if you were injured in an aviation accident. The manufacturer can be held strictly liable for a defective product if it is considered unreasonably dangerous when used by a skilled pilot.
How Can an Aviation Accidents Attorney Help You?
You need an attorney who is equipped to handle cases involving aviation law to help you recover compensation. The attorneys at Fasig | Brooks help you by first bringing you in for a free case evaluation, where we listen to you tell your side of the story.
We then launch an investigation to determine the cause of the accident, so that we can determine who is liable. The average person does not have the time or resources to dedicate to such an investigation, especially if the defendant is a major company with a significant insurance policy.
It is tough going in front of the attorneys of a major company to argue for damages without our attorneys’ legal knowledge and experience. This may be your first personal injury lawsuit, but we have helped hundreds of people like you. We have strong relationships with expert witnesses such as pilots, flight instructors, and authorities who can conduct a thorough post-accident aircraft damage assessment. If needed, an expert witness can be deposed to provide testimony that is helpful to your case. Call us now to schedule a consultation so we can tell you more about the resources we use to build strong cases for our aviation accident clients.
These are the most common questions our Tallahassee aviation accident attorneys receive. We strongly encourage you to call 850-204-3299 to schedule your free consultation with us.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive in My Aviation Accident Claim?
The most common types of compensation are economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages compensate you for your financial losses. Economic damages include the following:
- All medical costs, including immediate treatment for your injuries, medical exams and lab tests, prescription medications, follow-up visits, and physical rehabilitation
- Cost of future medical care
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Future lost earnings if you are unable to return to work
- Other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the crash
Noneconomic damages compensate you for nonpecuniary, subjective losses, with pain and suffering being the most common type. An aviation accident leads to far more than physical injuries. There is a strong psychological component to experiencing the pain and the trauma of an aviation emergency. This can lead to emotional distress, mental anguish, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and lifelong anxiety. Additionally, an aviation disaster could lead to permanent, scarring injuries such as:
- Facial disfigurement
- Permanent or temporary, full or partial paralysis
- Loss of the use of an organ
- Amputation of a limb
Lastly, punitive damages may be awarded if there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant, whether it is a pilot or a manufacturer, or another entity, was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
What do I Do If a Loved One Was Killed in an Aviation Disaster?
A lawyer can help you recover compensation if you have been injured in an aviation accident or if you want to file a wrongful death case on behalf of a loved one who died in a plane crash. If you have lost a loved one in an airplane accident, then you can file a wrongful death suit to recover damages such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Expenses for the medical treatment that your loved one received after the accident before their death
- Damages for pain and suffering the victim experienced just before their untimely death.
The spouse, children, parents, and dependents, including adoptive children or siblings, can file a claim in Florida. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Florida is four years from the date of the accident.
Call Our Tallahassee Law Firm Now
Airline passengers and workers can recover compensation for injuries sustained in an aviation accident if they can prove negligence. Our law firm handles personal injury, motor vehicle, premises liability, and wrongful death cases in Tallahassee. When it comes to aviation disasters, we are on your side, leaving no stone unturned in your investigation. We represent injured passengers, crew members, and other aviation industry workers and are ready and eager to provide you with the tenacious advocacy that you deserve. Call 850-204-3299 now to schedule your consultation at our Tallahassee office.