AIR CRASH LITIGATION
Prosecuting claims for injuries and wrongful death arising out of air crash litigation whether in a general aviation aircraft or air carrier aircraft. Actions against air carriers may be either for domestic air crashes or proceedings under the Warsaw Convention for injuries or death occurring on an international flight. Have been involved in litigation of actions arising out of crashes in Argentina, Canada and Australia. Considerable experience in pursuing claims of product liability against aircraft/component manufacturers. Litigation against FAA certified repair stations for improper repairs resulting in post maintenance crashes.
Air crashes have so many components that regard the pilot(s) (how long a pilot, currency, medical, pilot history, etc.), the plane (current on all airworthiness issues, properly structured for what it was being used for, manufacture specifications, insurance, passengers, Air Traffic Control, weather, where the crash occurred, etc.). Why do you think it takes the NTSB so long to render a final report? Besides the sheer number of aircraft crashes, it takes a year to gather all the information together to render that report. So, a few things to remember: (1) Whether you are a member of the crew or a family member of a hurt or dead pilot left to deal with the aftermath of a crash, conquer the stresses, CALL AN ATTORNEY ASAP! This could mean the difference between making a recovery on the case or just plain losing out.
Pilots who are involved in a crash, even a minor incident, should immediately seek the help of an aviation attorney. You have reports to file. If you own the aircraft, you have insurance to deal with. If it is serious enough for the FAA or NTSB to get involved, they are going to want to interview you right away. Everything is time sensitive. GET ATTORNEY ADVICE BEFORE TALKING TO THE FAA OR NTSB.
If you are a family member of someone who died in an air crash please be aware that YOU HAVE A FINITE AMOUNT OF TIME TO FILE AGAINST THE BUSINESS OR AIRLINE, PLANE MANUFACTURER, AIRPORT, OR ANY BUSINESS OF ANY KIND THAT MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CRASH. This is called the Statute of Limitations. It is different for every state. Here in Georgia it is two years. DO NOT make the mistake of calling an attorney for help 7 – 14 days before the Statute of Limitations runs. It is simply impossible to gather all the information necessary to file suit on a crash within that amount of time. Also, we have had people tell us they were waiting for the NTSB report. As stated earlier, the NTSB report could take two years. It is also NOT admissible in Court. It is an indicator, not the final arbiter of what happens in a court of law. If you are not sure what to do, call an attorney who is an aviation attorney and can give you the best advice possible. Contact Alan today for a consultation.
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NOTE: This section does not cover everything there is to know about Air Crash Litigation.