Airplane accidents are among the most dangerous forms of transportation accidents. When airplane accidents occur, the resulting injuries are often severe. It is also common for fatalities to result, and the accidents may lead to property damage worth thousands of dollars. Whether an airplane accident involves commercial or private airplanes, the injuries are always serious. If you or your loved one suffers injuries in an airplane accident, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida's injury law. Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney can evaluate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
The injuries you suffer in an airplane accident may vary in terms of severity. While some injuries may be painful and significant, they are less severe. A catastrophic injury refers to an injury that has serious and life-altering consequences. Upon suffering a catastrophic injury, you would require to undergo intense medical treatment.
In most cases, a catastrophic injury may require you to undergo a surgical procedure. The consequences of a catastrophic injury may permanently prevent you from performing any gainful work. In most cases, a catastrophic injury occurs suddenly and without warning, like in the case of an airplane accident.
Catastrophic injuries will have severe and long-term effects on the victim. If you suffer catastrophic injuries, the injuries may subject your family to acute stress. You may require constant supervision and assistance for the rest of your life. You may also have to incur lifetime costs as you pay for medical bills and rehabilitation costs.
If you feel that you suffered a catastrophic injury due to the negligence or intentional act of another individual or company, you may file a personal injury claim. Filing a personal injury claim and seeking compensation will determine the quality of life you will lead. If you get ample compensation, you will be able to afford quality medical care and any other support you may require. Catastrophic injuries come with huge financial implications. The integral part of filing a personal injury claim is to determine the value of your claim. A personal injury attorney can help to assess your catastrophic injuries and their future implications. The attorney can then assist you in filing a personal injury claim and seeking the compensation you deserve.
Some of the common catastrophic injuries that you may suffer during an airplane accident include permanent disability and loss of function. You may no longer be able to work full time after suffering the injury. You may also require lifelong assistance, accommodations, and care. You may have to take medications for a lifetime upon suffering the injuries. The injuries may make you require assistive devices and prosthetics like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.
In most cases, catastrophic injuries lead to severe scarring and disfigurement. The scars may be permanent and last a lifetime. You may suffer spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury during an airplane accident. In severe forms of injuries, you may require amputation of the limbs to hasten the healing process. After involvement in an airplane accident, most people suffer acquired blindness or acquired deafness. It is also common for people to suffer severe burn injuries, which are likely to cause permanent scarring. You may suffer paralysis after suffering injuries in an airplane accident.
When a personal injury attorney is representing you after suffering catastrophic injuries, the attorney evaluates and documents the overall impact of the injuries on your life. The attorney will not just consider how you are after the airplane crash. The attorney will also consider how the injuries will affect your life in the long-term. The attorney will not only consider the physical injuries. The attorney will consider how the injuries will affect your family life, your work life, and your ability to enjoy life.
Sometimes, it may be challenging to discover a catastrophic injury immediately. Some injuries are harder to detect than others. If you suffer obvious injuries like paralysis or blindness, it will be obvious to know that the airplane accident has caused significant damage. However, if you suffer a head injury or other internal injuries, you may appear normal at first. You may also appear normal during the recovery process. However, the head injury may have other serious implications like mood swings, personality change, irritability, inability to concentrate, memory loss, and inability to handle work affairs.
Leading Causes of Airplane Accidents
A wide range of factors may contribute to an airplane accident. For instance, an airplane accident may occur due to flying in dangerous weather conditions. An accident may also occur due to the failure to conduct proper inspections and pre-flight checks. Takeoff and landing errors are also leading causes of airplane accidents. Some of the specific causes of airplane accidents include:
More than half of airplane accidents occur due to pilot error, including fatigue from lack of sleep. Other human errors like overcorrection and miscommunication are also leading causes of airplane accidents. If the pilot flies too low or if there is air-traffic control error, an accident is likely to occur. Alcohol and medication use or illness may also lead to an accident. Misuse of technology and running out of fuel are also common causes of airplane accidents.
Compared to other forms of travel, commercial airline travel is often safe, and accidents are rare. In most cases, personal flights are more prone to accidents than commercial flights. Many commercial pilots have many hours of training and experience. The pilots flying regularly can maintain the skills they have developed. However, the fact that commercial pilots are well trained and experienced does not mean that they are not likely to cause accidents.
If you suffer injuries in an airplane accident caused by a negligent pilot, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the pilot's employer. It is the responsibility of employers to take care while hiring, training, and supervising pilots. If the pilot's employer is negligent in hiring, training, and supervising pilots, the employer may be liable for your injuries.
To help reduce the likelihood of pilot error, the Federal Aviation Administration gives licenses to pilots. The FAA also keeps updated records regarding the licensure and certification of the pilots. It is also a requirement of the FAA for pilots to undergo regular physical examinations. This ensures that the pilots do not have any physical conditions or health conditions that may render them unfit to fly airplanes.
It is also common for airplane accidents to occur due to mechanical errors. Sometimes, an underlying mechanical problem may go undetected, and this may cause mid-flight mechanical trouble. This may, in turn, lead to high risk and cause a tragic airplane accident. If the airplane has a defective design, an accident may occur even if the pilot exercises the due duty of care. The airplane may also have a manufacturing defect. For instance, some airplane parts may be incorrectly produced or poorly assembled.
If you suffer injuries in an accident occurring due to a plane with mechanical defects, you may file a product liability claim. You may submit the claim against the aircraft designer or the manufacturer of the airplane parts and equipment.
Negligence of Air Traffic Controllers
The majority of airplane accidents occur during takeoff and landing. Airplane accidents occurring during takeoff and landing mainly occur due to the negligence of air traffic controllers. The air traffic controllers are in charge of regulating high levels of traffic in the airports to help avoid collisions. In some instances, the traffic may be misdirected, and this leads to the occurrence of airplane accidents on the runway.
Poor Maintenance of Airplanes
It is common for airplane accidents to occur due to poorly maintained airplanes. Airplane owners should conduct regular inspections and maintenance of the aircraft. An accident may occur if the mechanics responsible for working on the airplanes are negligent in the maintenance and repairs. Before takeoff, pilots have the responsibility of inspecting their planes and ensuring that the planes are in good flying condition. This inspection is conducted by the pilot before takeoff also forms part of routine maintenance. Failure of the pilot to inspect the airplane may lead to an accident.
When an airplane accident occurs due to negligent maintenance, the commercial airline or the charter company may be liable for the accident. Airlines have to inspect their airplanes regularly and to ensure that all the pilots and mechanics carry out the routine maintenance tasks appropriately. If it is evident that the airline failed to supervise a negligent maintenance crew, the airline may be liable for the accident.
Airplane accidents often occur due to poor weather conditions. Some of the weather conditions that may pose a threat to the proper functionality of aviation equipment include windy, icy, and other extreme weather conditions. A carrier must recognize when it is too dangerous to fly an airplane and take the essential safety measures. Upon noticing poor weather conditions, the airline may opt to cancel or delay a flight until the weather conditions are ideal.
The complexity of Airplane Accidents
One of the most complicated aspects of litigating an airplane accident is establishing responsibility. It is difficult to identify the liable or negligent party from whom to seek compensation. An airplane accident may have one or multiple responsible parties, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Some of the possible defendants in an airplane accident include the pilot, the manufacturer, or the air traffic control. The primary importance of seeking a personal injury attorney helps to be able to discover who is responsible for an accident.
Airplane accidents are also complicated due to jurisdiction. Many airplanes travel between states or internationally. Many airplane accident cases involve complex legal issues, and it is hard to determine which jurisdiction's law applies to the case. Many claims often rely on state statutes. There is always a question of who should file a lawsuit in case of a wrongful death claim. It may also be challenging to determine the extent of damages to recover.
Other factors that may affect the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in an airplane accident include the residency of the plaintiff and the location of the accident. Other important factors include the jurisdiction from which the airplane operates. It is advisable to work closely with your attorney to help determine the most appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Airplane crashes may also be hard to handle because the statute of limitations regarding airplane accidents may differ from state to state. Statutes of limitations refer to the timeline or period within which you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. The period applies from the time you suffered the injuries. If you did not notice the injuries at first, the statute of limitations might apply from when you first noticed the injuries. It is important to note that your timeframe for bringing a personal injury claim against the negligent party in a personal injury lawsuit may differ depending on the specifics of your case.
In the United States, two federal agencies are responsible for regulating all air travel and investigating airplane accidents. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are responsible for regulating and monitoring air travel. The FAA is responsible for setting safety standards for flight operation. The FAA is also responsible for setting pilot conduct and regulations for aircraft manufacturers. One the other hand, the responsibility of the NTSB is to investigate all accidents and recommend safety standards to help prevent future accidents.
For the successful filing of an airplane accident claim, you should work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. The attorney should have a detailed understanding of the aircraft function. The attorney should also have a good knowledge of safety and FAA regulations and rules regarding aviation lawsuits. Aviation litigation may include the state, federal, and international law. The personal injury attorney you choose should be proficient in handling multiple and complex legal areas.
To file a personal injury lawsuit successfully, the legal team must investigate and determine the causes of an accident to know who should take responsibility for the accident. Often, commercial airplanes have a black box that records what happens in the airplane minutes before the occurrence of the accident. However, it may be hard to diagnose the problems with smaller airplanes that do not have a black box. The attorney has to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of an airplane accident. An aviation investigation often takes time and requires resources to investigate.
Legal Rights in an Airplane Accident
When a person suffers injuries or dies in an airplane accident, a lawsuit may help to recover money damages from the persons responsible for the accident. Some of the parties that may be legally liable include pilots, airplane maintenance providers, government or negligent air traffic controllers, and airport operators, among others. Other parties may be subject to investigation depending on the facts of a particular aviation case.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, several people may have the legal right to bring a lawsuit to recover damages. Some of the people who can file a lawsuit include the person who suffers injuries in the accident. The legal guardian of the person injured in the airplane accident may also file a lawsuit. In case of death, the personal representative of the estate of the deceased victim, the next of kin of the victim may file a lawsuit. Other people in the zone of danger may seek compensation in case of the death of the victim. People in the zone of danger refer to people who may experience emotional harm and suffering due to the accident. Based on the circumstances of the case, your attorney can advise you about the person who has a right to bring a lawsuit and recover damages from the parties at fault.
Upon suffering injuries in an airplane accident, you may bring a lawsuit along with your spouse. Your spouse may seek damages for loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of support, services, and other benefits that married couples offer each other. When a wrongful death occurs, the victim's spouse may file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no spouse, the victim's child or the guardian of the child may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Other relatives of the victim, including the parents, may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if there is no spouse or child.
Length of Airplane Accidents Investigations
Usually, airplane accidents are often complex. It may take up to months before the investigations come to a definitive conclusion on the cause of the airplane crash. It is not easy to state with certainty the period it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit. At times, a case may settle shortly after filing. On the other hand, it may take several months or even years to come to the final resolution. It will all depend on the complexity of the case.
With the help of a competent personal injury attorney, a pending airplane crash case should not take much of your time. The attorney will handle all the investigations on your behalf. The attorney will collect the necessary evidence, conduct the required legal search, and prosecute the lawsuit. All you need to do is provide information to the attorney before he/she initiates the lawsuit. You may also have to provide information to the attorney from time to time in the course of settling your case. You may have the role of providing deposition testimony and take part in settlement discussions as your case proceeds.
After suffering injuries in an airplane accident, you may seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easy to quantify in monetary terms, and this makes it easy to seek compensation. Non-economic losses are not easy to quantify in financial terms, and this makes it hard to seek compensation. Some of the economic damages for which you can seek compensation include:
After suffering injuries in an airplane accident, you are likely to incur hefty medical expenses in seeking treatment. You should not just focus on the current medical expenses; you should also consider the medical costs you are likely to incur in the future. For instance, you may incur medical costs in undergoing physical therapy in the future. You may also require medication in the future. Ensure that you consider all these factors as you compute the applicable medical expenses.
After suffering catastrophic injuries in an airplane accident, you may not be able to go to work for a while. You may have to take some time off to recover from the injuries. While filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may seek compensation for lost wages. You lose this income for the time you spend away from work. While computing lost wages, the court considers your regular rate of pay. For instance, if you earn 30 dollars per hour and you spend ten hours away from work, your lost wages will be $30 X 10= $300.
Lost Earning Capacity
This is the loss of the ability to take part in income-generating activities and earn money. When you suffer injuries in an airplane accident, the effects of the injuries may last a lifetime. You may never be able to go back to work. Even if you go back to work, you may not be as efficient as before, and you may not be able to earn as much money as you did before. You may seek compensation for lost earning capacity. Factors that may influence compensation for lost earning capacity include the remaining period to retirement and your age.
You may also seek compensation for non-economic damages like:
You are likely to experience pain and suffering after suffering injuries in an accident. For instance, you may experience feelings of anxiety and fear. You may even have to undergo counseling to help you recover. You are entitled to compensation for emotional distress.
Other non-economic damages that you can claim include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life. Your spouse may also seek compensation for loss of consortium.
Contact a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries in an airplane accident, the injuries are likely to affect many areas of your life. It is essential to contact a personal injury attorney to help you seek compensation. Contact Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney at 904-800-7557 and speak to one of our attorneys.