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Liability in an Aviation Accident

Aviation accidents can have devastating consequences for those injured in crashes. Not only do accident victims suffer sometimes grave injuries but they can also suffer immense emotional and psychological effects.

After such an accident, you can seek justice and fight for compensation for your damages, such as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Current and future medical expenses

If a loved one died in the accident, you can also receive compensation (in a wrongful death suit) to cover loss of consortium, funeral/burial expenses, and loss of their earnings. However, to receive compensation in a lawsuit, you will need to first establish liability.

Who Can Be Held Liable in an Aviation Accident?

As we discussed in our previous blog, “What Causes Aviation Accidents?” many different people can be held liable for an aviation accident depending on the cause of the crash. While some accidents may be the fault of the pilot, others may be the fault of air traffic control personnel or another third party. People who may be held liable for an aviation accident include (but are not limited to):

  • Common carriers. Commercial airline planes are known as common carriers, and they must adhere to regulations made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If the airline violates these regulations, they can face serious consequences, including a personal injury suit because of their negligence.
  • Manufacturers. If the plane crashes because of defective products, the manufacturer of those parts and/or the plane itself may be held liable.
  • Pilot/owner. Airplane pilots and owners owe their passengers a duty of care and should ensure they safely operate and maintain the plane for the safety of others. Failure to handle routine maintenance or safely fly the plane can lead to a serious accident and lawsuit.

Comparative Fault & Aviation Accident Liability

In many cases, multiple parties may be at fault. Under comparative fault laws, the court can assign a percentage of blame/liability to each defendant (at-fault party). For instance, an aviation accident may have occurred because a pilot made an error when making their descent; however, there may have also been an issue with the plane’s landing gear. In this case, the court may assign 75% of the fault to the manufacturer of the defective gear and 25% of the fault to the pilot. With a settlement case for $100,000, the manufacturer would have to pay $75,000 of damages while the pilot would pay $25,000.

Need Help Establishing Liability? Call Today!

At the Law Offices of David Henderson, our attorney is dedicated to helping clients pursue legal action and fight for fair compensation in negligence-based accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in an aviation accident, we are here and equipped to help you understand your legal rights and options as well as build a solid case strategy.

Schedule a case consultation today by calling (888) 295-6566 or completing this online contact form.