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The invention of the airplane has allowed humans to travel great distances in a short time, and most people prefer to travel by air than other forms of long-distance transportation. Planes are built for safety, but there are still chances that an aviation accident could happen. The year 2016 was the second safest year in aviation history, according to the Aviation Safety Network, but there were still 19 fatal accidents. Airplane crash litigation determines the cause, injuries and compensation for victims of aviation accidents.
An aviation accident can occur any time there is a disruption in the normal functioning of the aircraft. Determining the cause of a crash helps to identify who is liable for the damages. The design of equipment, or the plane itself, could be defective, causing a malfunction that is out of the pilot’s control. Tires, brakes, engines’ fuel management components, and a variety of other parts that make up the plane could fail. These malfunctions could point to faulty design, giving liability to the manufacturer. Lack of maintenance would make the pilot or owner at fault.
Human error can also lead to aviation accidents. Inexperience or improper training of pilots, air traffic controllers, or air and ground crews could make them unfit for the job. Fatigue, intoxication, or medical issues could meddle with the pilot’s ability to focus and make judgments about operation. Most commercial airlines have qualified, licensed pilots. It is obviously wise to avoid getting into a private plane with an inexperienced pilot in order to avoid catastrophe.
Researchers have found the most common cause of aviation accidents are a combination of environmental conditions, equipment failure, and human error. When one component begins to fail, others have to overcompensate to make up for it. This can lead to added stress, lowered visibility, and an overall inability to perform at the highest level.
Depending on the cause of the accident, you can file different kinds of claims. Product liability claims deal with accidents a due to faulty manufacturing or design defects. Airlines file human error-caused plane crashes as negligence cases. For the courts to prove a pilot guilty, plaintiffs must establish a reasonable level of care and show the pilot failed to perform that duty. If human error on the part of an air traffic controller caused the accident, you can sue the controller under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) exists to investigate aviation accidents, issue safety protocols, and study transportation safety, as well as to collect information for the national database. The board also has the responsibility of coordinating services for victims of aviation accidents and their families, including counseling, memorials, and communication under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act. The act states that the involved airline must cooperate to provide services to victims and families.
Insurance companies usually manage and settle airplane accidents, but sometimes the compensation is not enough. Typically, the insurance claims only cover costs for property damage, leaving medical expenses to loom over injured parties. To receive full compensation for damages, victims of airplane accidents should enlist the help of an attorney. An attorney can help you recover costs for medical bills, lost opportunity, and property repairs. The severity of harm may entitle you to additional funds for psychological and physical suffering.
Call on the Minneapolis personal injury attorneys at Knutson + Casey to sort through your aviation accident claim and recover the damages you deserve. Whatever the cause of the accident, our team can determine the best plan of action to cover all your expenses. Call us today for a free initial consultation to further discuss your specific needs.