Who Is At Fault In An Aircraft Accident?

Aviation accidents are serious catastrophes that can cause major injuries and death. As air travel becomes more popular, the risk for an aircraft accident increases. 
A devastating airplane crash or helicopter crash is oftentimes fatal to all those on board – causing passenger and flight crew deaths. Surviving passengers and family members are left to deal with the consequences of aviation accidents, oftentimes resulting in severe emotional and physical trauma. 
Aircraft accidents do not only result in serious and fatal injuries, but can also cause extensive property damage as well. A helicopter or airplane crash affects many people, including those at the crash site. Damages occur on the ground as well, as accident debris fall through the sky landing on cars, homes, and even people. 
Determining who is at fault in an aircraft accident can be a complex matter. Airplane crash liability and helicopter accident liability is not easy to determine. In addition, often requires the use of aviation experts and aviation law professionals to settle. 
If an aircraft accident affects you or a loved one, you do not have to go through this alone. As an experienced personal injury attorney and wrongful death attorney, Sweet James is the aircraft accident lawyer you want on your side. 
Whether a commercial airline crash or a private aircraft accident, all aviation accidents are serious matters. Personal injury claims and wrongful death claims stemming from these accidents can face long, drawn-out legal battles before a settlement is reached. Don’t let yourself get buried by the confusion that follows an aircraft accident – contact a dedicated aircraft accident attorney today. 

What Causes Aircraft Accidents?

A number of things can cause aircraft accidents, resulting in major or minor crashes. The most common reasons that an airplane or helicopter crashes are:

  • Faulty or defective equipment 
  • Pilot error
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) violations
  • Design defects
  • Structural problems
  • Flight Service Station employee negligence
  • Federal Air Traffic Controller negligence
  • Third party negligence
  • Weather
  • Passenger interference
  • Poor weight distribution

Any one of these reasons can cause a fatal airplane crash or deadly helicopter accident. 

Who Investigates Air Travel Accidents?

In the United States, two federal agencies share the responsibility of regulating air travel and investigating aircraft accidents. These two agencies, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), look into both commercial and private aviation accidents to determine the cause and set forth future protocol to avoid the same accident happening again. 
In addition to investigating air travel accidents, the NTSB and FAA set the rules for aircraft safety, pilot conduct, flight operations, and aircraft manufacturer standards. The FAA also enforces its regulations through civil penalties or criminal penalties. In terms of primary duties, the NTSB investigates aircraft accidents, and the FAA governs aircraft safety standards. 

Aircraft Accident Lawsuit

The type of aircraft accident claims your aviation lawyer files will be dependent on the nature of your airplane or helicopter accident. In some cases, the type of claim is clear and holds only one party accountable. In other cases, there are several potential defendants to choose from. However, your aviation attorney will work to bring a case against one or all of them, depending on the role they played in your air travel accident. 
Some accident claims must be tried in a number of different courts, as laws can vary. In all cases, some percentage of negligence must be found in order to successfully hold a defendant legally responsible for the aircraft accident. 
How do you prove negligence in an air travel accident? In order to determine aircraft accident liability, your aviation accident lawyer must prove the defendant(s) were negligent. Your aviation accident lawyer will do this by making a case that the defendant failed to meet the industry standards as put forth by the FAA. Any party responsible for the aircraft that failed to adhere to industry standards related to aircraft operation, engineering, or other regulatory issues can be held liable for that aircraft’s accident and any deaths, injuries, or damages that resulted from the crash. 

Types Of Aircraft Accident Claims

Generally, there are two types of claims one would make following an aviation accident: wrongful death or personal injury. 
A wrongful death aviation lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased and their next of kin. For more information on filing a wrongful death claim, contact wrongful death attorney Sweet James. 
A personal injury aviation lawsuit is filed on behalf of the aviation crash victim. Personal injuries can range from minor to major, with not all damages being physical. However, to pursue a claim against an aviation company, pilot, or manufacturer, you must first speak to a personal injury attorney. 
Both claims for wrongful death and and personal injury are due to negligence, product liability, or both. Liability can be assigned to the aircraft owner or operator, aircraft manufacturer, or common carrier if the aircraft was a commercial airline. In order to prove negligence, your aircraft accident lawyer will have to provide evidence that the liable party failed in their duty of care. 
If more than one party is responsible for the airplane accident or helicopter crash, the court will use the legal theory of comparative fault when determining a victim’s settlement. As a result, this means that the judge or jury will determine the percentage each defendant is liable and distribute blame accordingly. 

Aircraft Accident Settlement

Settlements in aircraft accidents include the following recoverable damages: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages
  • Property damage
  • Funeral expenses

Do not leave money on the table. No one should have to suffer through the devastating effects of an aviation accident alone. With the help of leading personal injury attorney Sweet James, you can make sure those responsible for your accident are held accountable. 

Aircraft Accident Attorney Sweet James

The shock of an airline accident can be overwhelming. Above all, the damage done by a helicopter accident is long lasting. If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of aviation accident, you deserve compensation. Contact aviation attorney Sweet James today for a free consultation.


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