Airplane Accident

Should I Hire an Attorney After an Airplane Accident?

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Should I Hire an Attorney After an Airplane Accident?

Regardless of what else is going on in the world, when an airplane accident occurs, it becomes the top story on the evening news. When you think of an airplane accident, you probably think about a catastrophic collision on an airport runway or deep into an isolated area of the countryside. However, airplane accidents do not typically involve a collision. From a small fire in storage to a defective seat on board, most airplane accidents do not cause any fatalities. What most airplane accidents do cause are injuries that range from minor to serious.

If you suffered one or more injuries from an airplane accident, you should contact an experienced airplane accident attorney to review your case. Your legal counsel conducts a thorough review of your case to determine whether you have enough evidence to move forward with the filing of a civil lawsuit. Most lawsuits involving airplane accidents litigate under the standard principles of negligence, product liability, wrongful death, and personal injury. If a party does not meet the duty of care required by personal injury law, then an airplane accident attorney gathers and organizes evidence that proves the other party committed at least one act of negligence.

Airlines and airports employ high-powered lawyers to defend them against accusations of negligence. If you believe another party committed one or more acts of negligence that caused you harm, you should speak with one of the personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. Since 1988, we have recovered more than $20 billion in monetary damages for clients. After meeting with you during a free case evaluation, the personal injury attorney assigned to your case should have a good idea about how to proceed.

Schedule a free case evaluation with a Morgan & Morgan airplane accident attorney today to get the compensation you deserve.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Should I Hire an Attorney After an Airplane Accident? - FAQ

  • What Are the Severity Levels for Airplane Accidents?

    The International Civil Aviation Organization classifies airplane accidents into five different categories of severity. One of the first reports your personal injury lawyer reviews is the report defining the severity level for the airplane accident that caused you injuries.


    The most severe level of an airplane accident is an accident that causes catastrophic damage. A complete loss of an aircraft and/or several fatalities triggers an immediate investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).


    An accident that results in severe damage to an aircraft, but does not cause a total loss. Several passengers must have sustained serious injuries that required immediate medical care.


    A major airplane accident also produces significant damage to an airplane, but the injuries suffered by the passengers are mostly diagnosed as minor. This category of severity often happens when an airplane attempts to navigate a tarmac in foul weather.


    The airplane sustained minor damage and the passengers suffered minor injuries, most of which involved treating patients at the scene of the accident.


    No damage to the aircraft, but the passengers sustained minor injuries.

  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Airplane Accidents?

    The airplane accident attorney assigned to your case from Morgan & Morgan must determine the cause or causes of the accident that caused you harm. We have to discover evidence that proves another party breached its duty of care to protect you while you traveled on an airplane.

    Pilot Error

    Advanced technology has removed much of the human element involved in flying an aircraft. This does not mean a pilot cannot make an error or errors that lead to an airplane accident. Pilots face an inordinate amount of stress when controlling an aircraft and stress can force a pilot to make poor judgments. Fatigue, technical mistakes, and inadequate training all can contribute to a pilot making an error or errors when controlling an aircraft.

    Defective Equipment

    This common cause of an airplane accident can be difficult to assign fault to the party responsible for the duty of care. Perhaps the airline failed to properly maintain equipment that broke down to cause an airplane accident. Another possibility is the manufacturer of the defective equipment did not fulfill its duty of care to protect passengers from mechanical failure. Once your airplane accident attorney determines the cause, it becomes much easier to assign fault.

    Mistake Made by an Air Traffic Controller

    Air traffic controllers assume the legal obligation to keep planes safe during flight, as well as when they taxi on airport runways. They communicate with pilots before takeoffs and landings, as well as monitor flight paths to prevent collisions. Air traffic controllers also alert pilots when they discover an in-flight emergency on board an aircraft. The airplane accident attorney you hire might discover evidence that links an air traffic controller to one or more acts of negligence.

    Lack of Fuel

    Lack of fuel can cause a pilot to make a dramatic maneuver that causes injuries to passengers on board a flight. The airline typically assumes legal liability for a case involving a lack of fuel. However, an airport might assume responsibility if the maintenance crew failed to check the fuel delivery system for performance. Your airplane accident lawyer interviews both the maintenance crew from the airport and the airline personnel responsible for fueling aircraft to determine which party should assume legal liability.


    Although we cannot sue Mother Nature for delivering a dose of bad weather, we can assign legal liability to an airline that does not delay a flight until bad weather passes. Airlines are under tremendous pressure to follow the arrival and departure schedules. When bad weather hits, airlines have to decide whether to push back takeoffs and landings until foul weather passes. Sometimes, an airline cuts corners by green-lighting an arriving or departing flight when bad weather is about to hit.

  • What Are My Rights to Receive Compensation for My Injuries?

    If you or someone close to you sustained injuries or died because of an airplane accident, you have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages. Each state governs the rights granted to domestic flight survivors, while the legal rights written into an agreement passed at the Montreal Convention 1999 cover the survivors of international flights.

    Whether you suffered injuries on a domestic or international flight, you have the right to take legal action against a negligent party in a United States court. An experienced airplane accident attorney explains your rights to file a civil lawsuit during the free case evaluation. The most important right granted to you is the right to seek just compensation for your injuries.

  • Who Qualifies to File an Airplane Accident Lawsuit?

    Who is eligible to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent party involved in an airplane accident depends on the circumstances surrounding the personal injury incident. The most obvious party who qualifies to file a civil lawsuit is the person injured because of an airplane accident. However, spouses, guardians, and the next of kin also might qualify to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent party. If a victim died because of an airplane accident, the beneficiaries mentioned in the dead victim’s estate have the right to file a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. Finally, anyone suffering from physical and/or emotional harm because of their close location to an airplane accident might qualify to file a lawsuit.

  • Which Parties Get Sued the Most Because of Airplane Accidents?

    After collecting physical evidence, as well as interviewing witnesses, the Morgan & Morgan airplane accident attorney assigned to your case conducts a comprehensive investigation to determine which party or parties should assume fault for causing an accident. The first place to look for legal liability is with the airline. From pilot error to improperly maintained equipment, the airline you booked a flight with might be legally liable for causing your injuries. However, perhaps the airplane maintenance provider is responsible for shoddy maintenance. The manufacturer of a defective part or equipment also represents a common party that gets sued because of an airplane accident. Your personal injury lawyer also considers the acts of the crew, as well as the employees working at the air traffic control center.

  • What Are the Types of Monetary Damages for Airplane Accident Cases?

    After assigning fault for causing an accident, your airplane accident attorney then calculates a value for the monetary damages you deserve.

    Special Compensatory Damages

    Also called economic damages, special compensatory damages cover tangible costs, such as medical bills and property damage. Medical expenses by far represent the largest value that constitutes special compensatory damages. You have the right to recover the costs of diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and physical therapy sessions. If you bought an assistive device and/or took prescribed medications, you should ask for compensation to cover those costs as well. If you suffer from serious injuries, you should ask your physician to submit a statement that describes the likelihood of you making a partial or full recovery. You have the right to sue for future medical expenses, which your doctor calculates a value.

    Special compensatory damages also cover the cost of repairing property or buying new property to replace damaged property. An airplane accident can damage all your possessions, which can include expensive electronic devices. You also should ask the judge hearing your case to cover lost wages. Injuries sustained from an airplane accident can force you out of work for months, if not years.

    General Compensatory Damages

    An airplane accident can leave emotional scars that never disappear. You might go from a confident traveler to one that starts to fear flying. The acute anxiety you experience prevents you from following a normal business traveling schedule, which might negatively impact your income. Your airplane accident lawyer cannot assign a value to pain and suffering by referring to receipts. Instead, your attorney assigns a value for pain and suffering based on the value of special compensatory damages.

    You also might qualify for punitive damages, especially if the other party committed an intentional act of negligence.

  • Speak With an Airplane Accident Attorney From Morgan & Morgan

    Like other types of personal injury cases, you have a limited amount of time to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages. Called the statute of limitations, the deadline for filing an airplane accident lawsuit depends on the state where you live. Most states have established a statute of limitations for personal injury cases that run between two and four years.

    Act with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation with an airplane accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan.

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