It is correct to say that traveling by air is still one of the safest forms of transportation. Even though airplane crashes are extremely rare they do still happen occasionally. When a major airline disaster happens the federal government steps in to provide support services to the families of victims and survivors. This article will discuss how injured victims and surviving family members can cope after an aircraft accident.
It is important to note that families and survivors of an aircraft accident may be able to bring various legal claims against the airline, aircraft and parts manufacturer, and others. The entities and persons who can be held liable for the crash are dependent on what caused the crash in the first place. In a similar fashion, if an airplane accident happens in a smaller plane, a victim or survivor may have a claim that is similar to those in an auto accident.
A key component in deciding which legal claims to bring and who to sue is determining the cause of the airplane crash or a near crash that causes injuries. Most airplane crashes are caused by some of the following factors:
- Pilot error
- Defective equipment
- Defective design
- Structural problems with the airplane
- Errors made by federal air traffic controllers
- Faulty maintenance or repair of the airplane
- Fuel problems or
- Weather related issues
More often than not one of the above factors may have contributed to the cause of the plane crash. As a result, determining what caused an airplane accident can be extremely difficult and is thus undertaken by a number of federal agencies. If you are considering legal action as a survivor or a family member of a deceased, you may wish to have an Alaska aircraft accident attorney investigate these agencies findings as well as to verify the accuracy. The outcome of the investigations determining the cause of the accident play a key role in the types of claims that you may bring as well as who that legal action will be directed toward (defendants).
There are three main categories as to the causes of an aircraft accident. These are:
- Negligence - if the airplane accident was as a result of pilot error or other human mistake, you may bring a negligence claim alleging that you or your loved one was injured or killed as a direct result of the carelessness of the pilot, air traffic controller, mechanic who serviced the plane, or another individual. You will need to show that whoever was responsible for the crash fails to use reasonable care to protect you or a loved one from injury or death.
- Federal Tort Claims Act - if your accident was caused by a federal employee, such as a federal air traffic controller, you may be able to claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act[https://www.justia.com/injury/federal-tort-claims-act-ftca/]. This act sets forth special rules and procedures to be followed.
Product liability claims - this happens when defective equipment, faulty design or structural problems are a major factor in a plane crash. You may claim by way of product liability claims against the manufacturer or distributor of the faulty part(s).