Aviation accidents aren’t as common as biking or car accidents, but the effects they leave behind are felt for years to come. These accidents are some of the most devastating and deadly accidents that can occur with high numbers of passengers and crew losing their lives as a result. This means that countless families are left grieving and asking the question- Why did the plane crash?
There are several reasons why these accidents might occur. These reasons range from alcoholic impairment by the pilot to mechanical errors. Whatever the cause might be, a lawyer who specializes in aviation accidents and incidents can help determine the true cause of the accident. Once the family members are informed of who the responsible party is, the lawyer can help file a suit against them.
So if you or a family member has been a victim of an airplane crash, here are some things you need to know before filing a claim.
Who Can File a Lawsuit?
The circumstances of the accident are how a person will know whether they or someone else has to file the claim. This knowledge is important when filing a lawsuit. So here are some examples of situations where a lawsuit could be filed and who can file for them.
- If someone is injured or killed in an aviation accident, a lawsuit can be brought against the party deemed responsible. This responsible party might be the pilot who was flying the aircraft, the airline, the owner of the aircraft if the crash occurred on a private plane, the manufacturer of the plane and its key components, the maintenance personnel who looked over the aircraft before take-off, and others who might have had a role in this crash. In this case, the injured person, their spouse, their legal guardian, their kin, and anyone in the danger zone of the accident who experienced emotional harm as a result of the accident can file lawsuits against the responsible party or parties.
- Wrongful death can occur as a result of an airplane crash. Most states have the rule that the deceased’s spouse or child(ren) are entitled to sue for the damage. Also, in most states, if there is no spouse, then their child or the child’s guardian can sue. If there is no spouse or child(ren), then the deceased’s parents are often able to sue. After parents, the next in the line of priority are any siblings they might have.
There are a number of parties who can be responsible for the accident. An aviation accident attorney is able to help discover the true cause and nature of the accident. Once the victim and their loved ones know who the responsible party is, the attorney can help file the suit against the responsible party.
How Quickly Should the Suit be Filed? And is There a Time Limit?
After a serious aircraft accident resulting in an injury or the death of a loved one, financial issues aren’t as important as recovering and mourning. So take your time to heal and mourn, but know that there is a statute of limitations in each state and country for this kind of accidents. For this reason, determining the deadline can be difficult, so seeking legal advice from an aviation attorney as soon as possible is a good idea.
There are time limits for filing a lawsuit, with a few rare exceptions allowing for more time. There are several factors that will determine how long you have to file. Again, this is why contacting an aviation attorney as quickly as possible is crucial. They will be able to guide you through the process and let you know what your timeline is for everything.
How to Find a Good Attorney
When looking for the right attorney to help with aviation accident cases, you might want to use a lawyer referral service to help you get recommendations. Also asking for recommendations from friends, family, and other trusted sources might yield some good recommendations. Also, make sure your attorney has passed the bar exam so they can do more than just give you legal advice on how to proceed with the plane accident case. Just because they have a law degree doesn’t mean they can represent clients in court. So, find someone that can do it all for you.
How Much Time Will This Take?
Plane crash investigations can be complex, with many months passing before a definitive cause can be determined. In some occurrences, a case will be settled after it’s filed, and on rare occurrences, even before it’s filed. However, the average time for a final resolution is about two years.
During the time when your aviation accident case is pending, you won’t have much of your time taken up. You will have to provide information before and during the lawsuit. You may also have to give a deposition testimony and will be involved in settlement discussions as the case goes on. Your attorney will be doing most of the work with collecting the evidence and conducting the investigation on the crash. They will also be performing legal research and bringing forth the lawsuit. They will also advise you about settlement offers, but it is your decision about whether to take it or go to trial.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an aircraft accident and you are seeking a legal professional, contact Scott Senft at 877-291-4878. He covers aviation accidents and can offer you the best legal advice possible.