Domestic Aviation Accidents: Types Of Legal Claims

13 Sep, 2016
By: Donald W Fohrman
Plane mechanic doing his job.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a total of 1,298 aviation accidents occurred in 2013. Of those, 236 accidents were fatal and 429 people were killed. Since multiple factors often interplay to cause an airplane accident, there may be grounds for several different claims and defendants.

Negligence Claims

Negligence claims may be filed when human error was at least partly to blame for the accident’s cause. This may include the following:

  • Pilot errors
  • Negligent repairs
  • Other errors caused by humans

When a person’s negligent actions are suspected, an airplane accident lawyer will list each type of negligence and plead it in the civil complaint. There may also be other causes at play.

Violations Of The Federal Torts Claim Act

Federal Aviation Administration employs, including air traffic controllers, may be at fault in an airplane accident’s cause. When this happens, the Federal Torts Claim Act will apply, and the lawyer will name the appropriate defendants under that act in the complaint.

Products Liability Claims

Products liability often factors in when airplane accidents occur. A defect in the design or the manufacturing of any component part might be partly to blame for the aviation accident. This might include an engine component, an altimeter failure, problems with the landing gear and others. The defective part may lead to multiple defendants holding liability in a resulting lawsuit, including all of those involved in the design and manufacture of the part as well as those involved with installing the part into the plane.

Products liability for airplanes is limited by the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994. Under this act, products liability lawsuits against manufacturers of planes holding fewer than 20 seats that has been used for 18 years and that is certified by the FAA are barred.

Aviation accidents are frightening and may result in the wrongful death or the catastrophic injuries of passengers. Understanding the legal claims and the appropriate defendants to name is important for the recovery of damages.

Category: Personal Injury

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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