Chances are that you will never be in a plane crash, but if you are, then you and your relatives have certain rights. In addition to standard legal liability laws, federal and aviation laws provide protections and compensation if you or a loved one is injured while traveling by plane.
You may also have a case for a lawsuit against either the carrier or the manufacturer. Here is more information about your rights after a plane crash and how to receive compensation.
What are the Common Causes of Plane Crashes?
Aircraft and flying are extremely complicated, so crashes happen for a variety of reasons. Human error is high on the list of potential crash causes and is often the root of most problems. Here are some of the most common reasons for a plane crash.
Examples of pilot error or negligence include using the wrong runway or flying too close to other aircraft.
Some weather conditions are sudden and hard to predict and may catch the pilot off guard. However, pilots may be negligent if they disregard known weather warnings.
Control Tower Error
In some high traffic areas, air traffic control personnel may be handling and monitoring a large number of aircraft at one time, and this increases the chance of error and an accident.
A maintenance issue that gets overlooked or a design flaw that the crew was not trained to spot or handle are both examples of mechanical problems.
Certain weather problems or other issues may cause the plane to use up more fuel than expected or a faulty fuel gauge may give the wrong readings.
What Services Are Available to Crash Survivors and Families?
Federal law requires that the National Transportation Safety Board and the air carrier arrange and provide specific benefits and services to survivors and their families. These services include some of the following.
Provide Mental Health Services
You and your family must be provided, at no charge, with counseling services when needed.
Transport Family to Visit Injured Victims
If you are hospitalized outside of your home area, then your family will receive transportation to the closest city to your location.
Return Personal Items
Reasonable attempts must be made to return your luggage or personal items to you or your family.
Arrange of Memorial Services
Family members are entitled to assistance with memorial and funeral services if necessary.
Supply Updates and Daily Briefings
You and your family have the right to timely updates and briefings.
Can Victims Sue for Damages?
Victims and their family members can sue under very specific circumstances. Here are the most common bases for aviation lawsuit claims.
Negligence is when someone knew what they were supposed to do but failed do perform their duties. And example is if someone skimmed over a checklist or ignored a known maintenance issue.
Employer Responsibility Claim
If the crash was caused by an employee’s deliberate act, then you may be able to hold the employer responsible. Employers are especially liable if they knew the employee was incompetent or could be dangerous.
Strict Liability Claim
Strict liability frequently refers to manufacturer or product issues, such as if the crash was caused by a known defect in the plane.
Federal Tort Claim
When a federal employee, such as an air traffic controller, is negligent, then you may be able to sue the federal government for damages.
Federal law provides services and compensation if you are in a lawsuit but often doesn’t cover all the related expenses if you are injured. If you’ve suffered long-term injuries and losses, then you should contact an attorney to see if you can file a lawsuit. The Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC, can help you with legal issues arising from a plane crash. Contact us for an appointment to discuss your case.