Flying is the safest way to travel. Airplane accidents occur in only one out of 1.4 million flights. Of course, if you could ask the passengers on TWA Flight 800 or Malaysian Airlines 337, they might say different.
The sky doesn’t forgive carelessness. Neither should you.
But airline accidents often involve politics. Several agencies investigate jurisdictional issues. How can you navigate those minefields and get the compensation you deserve?
You need an aviation accident lawyer. They’re experts who can overcome the legal hurdles and headaches of an airline accident. And we’re going to show you just what they can do for you.
Investigate the Accident
Two primary agencies handle airline issues: the NTSB and the FAA.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) represents the government. They make sure the accident wasn’t a result of a rule violation.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handles most of the investigatory work. They coordinate with local authorities and use their own process to find out the cause of an accident and the responsible party.
Neither one of these organizations works for you.
They aim to enforce the law and improve overall safety, respectively. And they’ve done an excellent job. It’s because of these organizations that air travel is so safe.
But their findings aren’t for individual use. In fact, you can’t submit an NTSB analysis in court.
An airplane accident lawyer is different. They can question witnesses, pilots, look at photographs, and listen to black box recordings. They can come to their own conclusion, something that they can enter into evidence.
They coordinate with the FAA and NTSB, as well as independent experts. They get all the facts straight. That way, they can…
To get your entitled compensation, you have to know who to sue. The NTSB will determine fault, but those reports can take years. And they’re inadmissible.
A lawyer can establish liability faster. Most know fault in aviation accidents lies in one of three areas:
Human error can involve multiple parties. A pilot might ignore a warning light or skip a flight procedure. Ground crews or controllers might give the wrong directions. The investigation will determine if one or all are the case.
Mechanical error usually signals a fault in the aircraft’s design. That points back to the airline itself. Plane makers should inspect their planes for safety and ensure regular maintenance.
Environmental error is rare. Most pilots know to avoid bad weather, and controllers should give up-to-the-minute weather reports. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable.
Inclement weather may also expose faulty design. In this case, liability would point back to the manufacturer. If one or all of these factors played a role in the accident, the next step is to…
Where to file your case might get tricky. As a general rule, jurisdiction belongs to the state where the crash happened. But if the accident occurred over water, it gets more complicated.
The federal government may have jurisdiction based on admiralty law. If the crash happened at least 12 nautical miles off US shores, it’s also in the fed’s territory under DOSHA (Death on the High Seas Act).
If injury or death occurred before the crash, the state the plane was above might claim jurisdiction. What does it mean for you?
You need a lawyer. An experienced lawyer will handle the jurisdiction issues and file your case before the appropriate judge. Once it’s submitted, barring a settlement, your lawyer will have to…
Litigate Your Claim
In most lawsuits, the lawyers on both sides look to settle. It keeps the suit out of court and lowers costs. But if a settlement fails, and you have to go to court, the right lawyer can win you compensation.
The first step starts with you. If you’re involved in an airline accident, keep track of everything. Doctor bills, injury reports, insurance claims, they all will give your lawyer an idea about your case.
In general, airplane accidents fall under four legal principles:
Your documentation along with the investigation results will help determine which principle your lawyer argues. They then must establish the accident’s cause, prove negligence, and show which laws apply.
The judge will then rule either in your favor or against you. The right lawyer will make sure it’s the former. Of course, that raises a new question.
Where Can You Find an Expert Aviation Accident Lawyer?
Flying is still the safest way to travel. But accidents do happen. When they do, it often results in tragedy.
These accidents have multiple agencies investigating them. These agencies work for the general welfare of everyone, not individuals.
For those seeking compensation, the legal system presents a minefield: jurisdictional issues, politics, establishing liability. It’s a nightmare.
Finding justice requires an expert, someone with experience, someone with a winning record for verdicts and settlements. In short, finding justice requires an aviation accident lawyer.
And our firm has the best.
We specialize in personal injury cases, especially those involving airplanes. Our settlements and verdicts have won millions of dollars for clients and helped the community improve.
We’ve made airliners accountable and changed the way industry does things. Based in Jacksonville, we cover Florida and the whole country. If you sustained an injury in an airline accident, we want to help.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you start down the path of justice.