If you or a loved one has been involved in an airplane accident, you likely have many questions about what to do next. An experienced airplane accident lawyer can provide invaluable help during this difficult time. This comprehensive guide will explain exactly what an airplane accident lawyer does and why their services are so critical after a crash.
What is an Airplane Accident Lawyer?
An airplane accident lawyer is a personal injury attorney who focuses specifically on aviation-related accidents and injuries. They have extensive knowledge of aviation laws and regulations, as well as the complex investigations involved in crash litigation.
Airplane accident lawyers represent victims and families affected by all types of aviation disasters, including:
- Commercial airline crashes
- Private plane crashes
- Helicopter crashes
- Hot air balloon crashes
- Parachuting accidents
Their role is to handle all legal matters associated with the accident. And just like what any good Houston bike accident attorney does in cases involving bike accidents, the airplane accident lawyer will typically get involved with investigating the crash, determining liability, filing lawsuits against responsible parties, and negotiating settlements for victims and families.
Why You Need an Experienced Airplane Accident Lawyer
Trying to handle an aviation accident claim on your own can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. There are many complex state and federal laws involved. An airplane accident lawyer has the expertise to navigate all the legal intricacies efficiently and effectively.
Here are some key reasons why working with an experienced aviation attorney is so critical after an airplane crash:
They Understand Complex Aviation Regulations and Laws
Aviation accidents are governed by various state and federal regulations. An airplane accident lawyer understands these intricate laws like the back of their hand. This includes regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and individual state laws. They know how to investigate if these regulations were violated in any way that led to or contributed to the crash.
They Handle the Entire Legal Process for You
You should be focused on your recovery after an airplane accident, not dealing with paperwork. An aviation accident attorney will handle the entire legal process for you from start to finish. This includes collecting evidence, filing claims, dealing with insurance companies, negotiating your settlement, and representing your case in court if necessary.
They Can Bring Lawsuits Against All Liable Parties
There are many different parties that could potentially share liability in an airplane accident, such as:
- Plane or helicopter manufacturers
- Engine manufacturers
- Parts suppliers
- Air traffic controllers
- Maintenance providers
- Government entities
An experienced aviation lawyer will know exactly who to bring legal action against on your behalf. They will aggressively pursue compensation from all negligent parties through in-depth investigations and aviation litigation.
They Have Resources to Reconstruct the Accident
Reconstructing what exactly happened leading up to an airplane crash requires immense resources and aviation expertise. An airplane accident lawyer will work with top experts like aviation engineers, mechanics, pilots, air traffic controllers, and meteorologists. These professionals can provide critical evidence by analyzing:
- Air traffic control transcripts and radar data
- Voice and data recordings from the plane
- Pilot communications
- Weather reports
- Aircraft maintenance records
- Crash site details
- Injuries sustained
Their technical skills, testing capabilities, and other resources are invaluable when it comes to proving liability and recovering maximum compensation.
They Can Handle Complex Settlement Negotiations
There are no simple formulaic calculations for aviation accident injury claims. Many factors have to be considered when determining fair compensation. An airplane accident lawyer has successfully handled numerous complex, high-value settlement negotiations specific to aviation cases.
They will fight relentlessly to recover a full settlement for you. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages when applicable. If a fair settlement offer cannot be reached outside of court, your airplane accident lawyer will take the necessary legal action by filing a lawsuit.
They Help Strictly Uphold the Statute of Limitations
Each state has a different statute of limitations on the deadline to take legal action after an aviation accident. This window of time can be as little as 1-2 years in some states. An airplane accident lawyer will immediately address any statute of limitations concerns when taking on your case. They help strictly preserve your right to recover damages.
Key Services an Airplane Accident Lawyer Provides
Some of the most critical services an experienced aviation attorney will provide include:
Conducting a Thorough Initial Investigation
An early independent investigation is crucial after an airplane crash. An airplane accident lawyer will visit the accident scene, thoroughly examine the wreckage, review flight records, inspect maintenance logs, and gather all other available evidence. Early investigations can uncover time-sensitive evidence before it disappears or gets altered.
Filing an Official Accident Report
Your attorney will file an official accident report with the FAA, NTSB, local authorities, and applicable airlines or insurance providers. This formally documents the crash and your intent to pursue damages. All liable parties are put on notice that litigation will proceed.
Communicating with Manufacturers
If there are any manufacturing or design defects suspected in the crash, your airplane accident lawyer will immediately inform all involved manufacturers. They are then prohibited from destroying evidence or altering the accident scene, which helps preserve critical proof for your claim.
Handling All Legal Paperwork
An airplane accident lawyer will handle all legal documentation, filings, petitions, responses, and other paperwork required throughout the claims process. You don’t have to worry about missing deadlines or filling out complicated aviation litigation forms.
Working Closely with Government Agencies
Your attorney will liaise with investigative agencies like the FAA, NTSB, police, and first responders. They can gain access to valuable government reports with investigative findings, analysis records, and other evidence collected.
Coordinating Expert Witnesses
Aviation expert witness testimony is often the key to proving negligence in airplane crash cases. Your lawyer will work closely with various technical experts to recreate the accident, pinpoint mechanical defects, analyze radar data, and prove the liability of all potentially responsible parties.
Negotiating Your Settlement
An airplane accident lawyer will handle all aspects of negotiating fair compensation from aircraft manufacturers, airlines, part suppliers, air traffic controllers, mechanics, pilots, and any other negligent parties. If reasonable settlement offers are not made, they are fully prepared to take your case to court.
Representing Your Case in Court if Required
Most airplane accident claims are settled out of court through negotiations. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your aviation accident lawyer will aggressively try your case in court. They are highly skilled in aviation litigation and have the trial experience necessary to win maximum compensation.
How Much Does an Airplane Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most airplane accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any upfront legal fees or hourly charges. Their aviation attorney fees are only earned if they recover monetary compensation on your behalf.
A standard airplane accident lawyer contingency fee is 33-40% of your final accident settlement. All initial case costs are typically advanced by the firm as well. Any reimbursement of costs comes out of your final payout if successful.
It’s important to hire an airplane accident lawyer with plenty of experience, resources, and skill in trying complex aviation cases. They often obtain far greater compensation, so a higher contingency fee is well worth it.
When to Hire an Airplane Accident Lawyer
It’s critical to hire an airplane accident lawyer as soon as possible after an aviation crash, ideally within 1-2 weeks. Here are some key reasons to hire an attorney immediately:
- The sooner an investigation starts, the more evidence is available.
- Experts can visit the scene and secure necessary evidence before it disappears.
- Witnesses’ memories are fresher and clearer.
- Strict deadlines for legal action can be met.
- They can communicate with manufacturers to preserve evidence.
- Compensation negotiations get underway faster.
Don’t wait weeks or months to hire an airplane accident lawyer after a crash. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to build a strong, well-documented claim.
Finding the Best Airplane Accident Lawyer
While a skilled and experienced Houston burn injury lawyer can adequately represent you in an airplane accident case, they don’t offer you the best odds of winning your case and getting the compensation that you deserve. To boost your chances of success, what you need is the best airplane accident lawyer for your case.
Here are the most important credentials to look for:
- Extensive aviation litigation experience
- Have handled numerous airplane crash cases successfully
- Highly familiar with laws and procedures
- Specialized knowledge of aviation manufacturers and regulators
- Access to skilled aviation experts like pilots and engineers
- Membership in aviation trial lawyer organizations
- Resources to investigate thoroughly and recreate crashes
- Experience negotiating aviation settlements
- Superb trial record if litigation becomes necessary
- Ample resources to handle the long litigation process
- Stellar reputation with a proven track record of results
Don’t hesitate to ask any prospective attorney detailed questions about their experience, resources, strategy for your case, and past verdicts and settlements obtained.
What to Do After an Airplane Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in an airplane crash, it’s critical to take the following steps:
- Seek medical treatment for any injuries immediately.
- Document the incident including specifics on injuries, property damage, witnesses, parties involved, etc.
- Report the accident to aviation authorities and insurance providers.
- Gather and preserve all evidence related to the crash.
- Contact and hire an experienced airplane accident lawyer.
- Follow your attorney’s guidance regarding providing official statements, speaking to media or involved parties, litigation process, settlement negotiations, and all other legal matters.
- Focus on your recovery while your airplane accident lawyer handles the complex legal process.
- Do not accept or sign any settlement offers without your attorney reviewing them.
- Cooperate fully with your lawyer’s investigation and trial preparation if required.
Following these steps will put you in the optimal position to recover maximum compensation so you can move forward from the tragedy.
If you or someone you love has been harmed or killed in an aviation accident, then you understandably have many questions about what to do next. An experienced airplane accident lawyer can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve during this challenging time.
Contact our experienced aviation attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation right away. We have helped victims and families nationwide recover hundreds of millions in compensation after aviation crashes.
Let us review the details of your accident at no charge, and explain your legal rights and options. Call us at (713) 804-8149 or contact us online today to have us aggressively fight for you.