Dedicated Airplane Accident Attorneys
Airplane accidents, while rare, frequently result in serious injury or death. While commercial flights remain the safest form of travel, with The Economist estimating the chances of being in a commercial accident are 1 in 5 million, accidents on small aircraft and private planes result in an average of 500 deaths per year, according to NBC—roughly 97% of flying fatalities.
Even in "Miracle on the Hudson" situations where everyone survives, serious injuries can—and often do—occur. If you or someone you love has been involved in an airplane accident, you need a dedicated personal injury attorney to help determine liability and seek compensation. The legal team at Leav & Steinberg LLP has decades of experience litigating wrongful death and personal injury cases, and we will work to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Causes Airplane Accidents?
When an airplane accident occurs, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct an investigation to determine the cause. Because airplanes are intricate machines that require years of training to operate, the majority of accidents are the result of pilot error, followed by mechanical errors, as reported by the FAA. Other causes include inclement weather, sabotage, and air traffic control negligence. Airplane accidents can occur at any time, including while taxiing, during take-off and the initial climb, while cruising, or in the final descent and touching down. Statistics from the Flight Safety Foundation show that nearly half of all accidents occur during the final descent and landing. Accidents that occur while taxiing on the runway are often due to pilot error or air traffic control negligence, while accidents during the initial climb are frequently due to mechanical errors.
Who Is Liable If an Airplane Crashes?
Finding the cause of the accident is crucial for determining liability. For accidents that were caused by pilot error, injured parties and survivors of accident victims can file a claim against the pilot or the airline. Accidents caused by mechanical errors, poorly maintained equipment, and defective parts are a type of product liability, wherein the airline, airplane owner, or manufacturer may be held liable. For example, Boeing is facing multiple lawsuits following the revelation that their defective 737 MAX jets caused two fatal crashes in a matter of months. Government entities may also be found liable, such as in accidents caused by air traffic controller negligence.
How Do I File a Claim After an Airplane Accident?
The process for filing a claim will vary based on several factors. If the flight in question was an international flight, it may be under the jurisdiction of the Montreal Convention, an international treaty that governs international flights. The statute for filing a claim under the Montreal Convention jurisdiction is two years. For domestic flights, the New York statute of limitations is three years for personal injury claims and two years for wrongful death. In addition, the defendant, whether it's the pilot, airline, or parts manufacturer, will more than likely be represented by their insurance company, similar to most car accident cases.
Contact Leav & Steinberg
The team of lawyers at Leav & Steinberg has extensive experience litigating transportation accident cases and wrongful death cases, and we may be able to help you receive compensation. You may need compensation to help care for short-term and long-term injuries, lost wages, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine liability and help you file a claim against the at-fault parties. If you cannot make it to our offices in Manhattan or the Bronx, we can meet you anywhere in the Tri-State area. Request a free consultation with Leav & Steinberg today.