Large-scale aviation accidents go straight to the top headlines of news events. When a smaller scale accident or crash occurs, however, that may go unnoticed by many except those affected. Whether it's a jetliner or a personal 2-seater Cessna, airplane accidents can result in debilitating injuries; significant property damage; and even loss of life. Not just the pilot and passengers are affected - with smaller airplane accidents, those on the ground and in the surrounding area are also affected. Consider a small airstrip with personal planes located just outside a residential neighborhood. Should an accident occur, many families not in the plane are also affected.
Families of those killed in an airplane accident, as well as survivors, are generally able to bring a wide array of legal claims against the responsible airline, aircraft manufacturer, pilot, or others. The laws supporting these type of claims are similar to laws concerning vehicle accidents. Those affected by an airplane crash, either those in the plane or related to the passengers, as well as those affected on the ground, should consult a lawyer that specializes in liability and personal injury before taking any action through their insurance companies.
Often, these claims rely on determining the cause of the accident or crash, such as pilot error, mechanical failures, or defective parts. Often, more than one factor may play a part in the accident, triggering multiple theories of recovery and multiple and overlapping laws and regulations related to various aspects of the aviation industry. The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act requires the federal government to provide support to families of victims in major airplane crashes or accidents. It also places certain duties on the airline, and limits attorney solicitation of airplane crash victims. Your attorney can help you review this law and determine the appropriate course of action for you.
When you or a loved one are involved in an airplane accident, it can be a frightening and confusing time. Please contact a professional attorney to help you navigate through the legal and insurance requirements and questions that you might have.