Being injured in an airplane accident can have a catastrophic impact on a person’s life. A plane crash victim can be left dealing with painful injuries, steep medical bills, and emotional trauma. Airplane accident victims who have suffered disabling injuries may also be left wondering how they’ll ever be able to provide for their families or pay off their mounting medical expenses.
At LA Lawyers Group, our dedicated, compassionate team of plane crash attorneys understands the unique pain and adversity a plane accident can cause. Our aircraft accident lawyers are here to help plane crash injury victims pursue justice and hold the guilty party accountable for the losses they’ve caused. Our team has helped plane accident victims recover damages for their medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain, emotional distress, and more.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an aircraft accident, contact LA Lawyers Group today for a free case evaluation. In the State of California, victims of aviation accidents have legal options when it comes to pursuing damages. One of our expert aircraft accident lawyers can help you understand what your options may be according to the unique circumstances of your case. Note that LA Lawyers Group provides our accident attorney services on a contingency basis. You’ll never pay us a fee until we settle or win your case.
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Types of Aviation Accidents
Our accident attorneys can help accident victims who have been in many different types of aviation accidents, including:
Commercial Airline Accidents
Small Plane Crash Accidents
Charter Plane Accidents
Private Jet and Private Plane Accidents
International Flight Accidents
Corporate Aircraft Accidents
Airplane Boarding and Exiting Accidents
What Causes Plane Crashes?
The three most common reasons for aircraft accidents are pilot error, mechanical failure, and weather conditions.
Pilot error is the most common cause of aircraft accidents. Almost half of all aviation accidents are caused by pilot error. Some examples of pilot error that could lead to an accident include:
Excessive Landing Speed
Failure to Follow Proper Procedure
Properly manufacturing and maintaining an aircraft is crucial for the safety of pilots and passengers. Even tiny mechanical issues can lead to disaster, especially when they occur while a plane is in flight. Around a quarter of all aircraft accidents are caused by mechanical issues, which may include:
Design or Manufacturing Flaws
Plane owners and operators know that certain weather conditions are dangerous to fly in, so they will often delay flights due to weather conditions. However, weather can be unpredictable, so poor weather conditions can occur while a flight is already underway. Pilots can sometimes avoid weather incidents by taking evasive action (such as turning around or flying above or below the weather system), but weather conditions are still responsible for around ten percent of all aviation accidents. Some examples of weather conditions that could lead to aviation accidents include:
Other Causes of Plane Crashes
While pilot error, mechanical issues, and weather conditions are the three most common causes of plane accidents, there are a variety of less common issues that can also lead to accidents. Some additional issues that can lead to plane accidents include:
Fire or Smoke Onboard
Ground Crew Error
Improper Loading of Cargo
Midair Collisions Caused By Other Aircrafts
Who Can You Sue for a Plane Crash Injury?
The circumstances surrounding an airplane accident can be immensely complex. Depending on the unique variables involved in a plane accident, liability for the accident may fall on:
Aircraft Crew Members
Air Traffic Controllers
Aircraft Maintenance Workers
Determining Liability in an Airplane Accident Case
California is what’s known as a comparative negligence state, which means that fault for an accident in California can be determined in percentages. So, in California, more than one party can be found legally liable for the damages related to an aviation accident. How much liability is assigned in an accident case in California is generally determined based on negligence. Legally, negligence is the failure to provide a duty of care, which is a duty to take reasonable care to avoid a behavior that could harm someone.
There are a variety of ways someone’s negligence could lead to an airplane accident. For example, a pilot could be negligent by failing to follow proper procedure, which could easily lead to an accident. Or, an aircraft owner could fail to perform proper maintenance on their planes, leading to a mechanical malfunction that causes an accident. Another example would be if an aircraft operator insists on flying when they know weather conditions are too dangerous, putting their crew and passengers in harm’s way.
Every air travel accident case is completely unique, so it’s critical to assess and investigate the circumstances surrounding a plane crash accident case thoroughly. It’s crucial that an accident victim’s lawyer seek out every applicable bit of evidence that will help furnish proof of who is liable for an accident and how much liability should fall on each involved party’s shoulders. When handling plane injury claims and cases, our personal injury attorneys rigorously investigate each incident in order to build the strongest possible case for our clients.
Damages Available to a Plane Accident Victim
The specific damages available to a person who has been injured in a plane crash will vary based on the type and scope of losses they’ve sustained due to their injury. There are three general types of damages that a plane accident victim may be able to recover: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. It can be challenging for an accident victim to put a dollar amount on these types of intangible losses. But an experienced plane crash attorney can help you understand the type of compensation you could be entitled to for the devastating intangible impact an accident has had on your life. An experienced aviation attorney will also be able to use this understanding to make sure an insurance company properly compensates you for your non-economic losses.
Economic damages are given to compensate a victim for their economic losses. In a plane accident case, economic damages may be available for:
● Medical Bills ● Future Medical Expenses ● Lost Wages
● Lost Earning Capacity ● Property Damage
Non-Economic Compensatory Damages
Non-economic damages are given to compensate a victim for their intangible, non-economic losses. In a plane accident case, economic damages could be available for:
● Emotional Distress ● Pain and Suffering ● Loss of Consortium
● Loss of Enjoyment of Life ● Disability ● Disfigurement
In rare cases, a judge may award a victim punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish a defendant that has exhibited particularly malicious or egregious behavior. This type of compensation is awarded on top of other damages an accident victim may receive.
An example of a case in which punitive damages may come into play would be in the case of a known defective product. Say an airplane manufacturer knew that their product was defective, but sold it regardless. If the use of this known defective product resulted in an accident, a judge may decide to award punitive damages to the accident victims in this case.
Damages Related to Wrongful Death
If a plane accident victim is killed in an aviation accident due to the negligent or malicious actions of another party, the victim’s family may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, the damages available in a wrongful death case differ from the damages available in a personal injury case (the type of case a surviving accident victim would file). California law states that surviving family members can claim any “just” damages that are applicable to their particular situation. This is a broad definition, so the damages awarded in a wrongful death case may vary widely based on the circumstances involved in a specific case. Some examples of the types of damages that may be available in a wrongful death case include:
● Funeral and Burial Expenses ● Loss of Income That Would Have Been Earned Over the Rest of Decedent’s Lifetime ● Loss of Financial Support for the Household ● Loss of Services Provided Around the Household (Such as Cleaning, Childcare, Landscaping, etc.) ● Loss of Intangible Support (Such as Love, Affection, Guidance, Attention, etc.)
There are some types of damages that are not available in wrongful death cases in the State of California. Damages that are related to the decedent’s losses in between their injury and their time of death can’t be recouped through a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes things like medical expenses prior to death, the decedent’s pain and suffering, and any type of punitive damages. Note, however, that it is sometimes possible to recover damages related to losses of the decedent through other types of legal action, such as survival actions. If you’re wondering which type of legal action or actions you should pursue after the untimely death of a loved one, contact LA Lawyers Group to speak with one of our wrongful death attorneys.
How Long Do You Have to File a Plane Crash Injury Lawsuit?
Generally, airplane accident victims have two years from the time they were injured to file a lawsuit, since California’s standard personal injury statute of limitations is two years. However, there are a few exceptions to this timeframe. Most notably, the statute of limitations for suing a government agency or public entity is considerably shorter than the standard statute of limitations for personal injury cases. You only have six months to file if you will be listing a government agency or public entity as a defendant in your plane crash injury lawsuit.
It’s always best to seek legal counsel as soon as you can after you’ve been in a plane accident. But if you believe a government agency or public entity may be liable for your injuries, it’s crucial that you take legal action quickly due to the shorter statute of limitations tied to this type of accident case.
Get Help from a Los Angeles Plane Crash Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a plane accident in Los Angeles County, LA Lawyers Group is here to help. Contact our law firm today to receive a free case evaluation from one of our expert attorneys. Our airplane accident attorneys have helped our clients recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, and more.
Call LA Lawyers Group today at (818) 386-6777 to receive your free consultation with one of our Los Angeles aircraft accident attorneys.