Aviation accidents don’t happen all that often—but when they do they can kill hundreds of people at a time. Even taking into account the massive scale of so many aviation accidents, flying remains one of the safest ways to travel. None of that matters if you’ve suffered an injury in an aviation accident or if your loved one died in an aviation accident in Lafayette, LA. When this happens, you need an experienced Lafayette aviation lawyer.
Since our founding in 2010, Kenny Habetz Injury Law has secured millions of dollars for our personal injury clients. If you have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, Kenny Habetz Injury Law knows where you’re coming from. We’ve represented wrongful death survivors on many previous occasions.
How Kenny Habetz Injury Law Can Help You Win Your Lafayette, Louisiana Personal Injury Claim
Aviation accidents can be incredibly complex. In many cases, only an extensive investigation can tell you who to file your claim against. Winning your claim can require considerable technical expertise, together with the testimony of expert witnesses. Meanwhile, the opposing party will fight back with everything it has, as aviation accident claims are expensive.
Here are some of the ways our Lafayette personal injury lawyers can help you win:
- Fight for your rights in negotiations with airlines and insurance companies. We won’t fall for any of their tricks.
- Examine relevant airline industry regulations and standard practices to identify any violations that might constitute negligence.
- Retain aviation safety experts to help us interpret technical data from flight recorders and collect other electronic evidence in your favor.
- Communicate with government aviation safety agencies such as the NTSB and FAA to give voice to your concerns.
- Examine the maintenance and service records of the aircraft involved in the accident.
- File lawsuits against aviation companies and manufacturers to hold them accountable for their actions, inaction, or defective and unreasonably dangerous products.
- Interpret complex international law and treaties (such as the Montreal Convention) if your accident involved a foreign airline or occurred overseas.
- Examine aviation insurance policies to obtain the maximum compensation available.
- Provide emotional support and legal guidance throughout the process.
- Use forensic analysis to reconstruct the accident.
Our Lafayette aviation and airplane accident attorneys can support you in various ways following a Lafayette, LA accident.
How Common are Aviation Accidents?
Commercial aviation accidents are rare. Yes, they generate a lot of attention when they happen, but they don’t happen often. Commercial airline safety has improved dramatically over the past 50 years.
Private aviation accidents are, unfortunately, far more common. Even so, various factors come into play, including the degree of care exercised by the pilot.
What are the Most Common Causes of Aviation Accidents?
There are many common causes of aviation accidents, including the following:
- Pilot error, especially ignoring dangerous weather conditions
- Engine failure
- Faulty equipment
- Flying with missing equipment
- Violation of FAA regulations
- Structural problems with an aircraft
- Air traffic controller negligence
- Negligence in fueling the aircraft
- Electronics/avionics failure
- Maintenance and repair negligence
Frequently, an accident results from a combination of factors (a “perfect storm”). The complexity of so many aviation accidents sometimes makes it challenging to identify a single defendant.
What Legal Rights Do I Have After an Aviation Accident?
If you were injured in an aviation accident, and your injuries were someone else’s fault or responsibility, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. If you are a close family member of someone who died in an aviation accident, you might qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Can Be Held Responsible to the Injured Parties in an Aviation Accident?
The parties that could be liable for an aviation accident depend on the circumstances of the individual case.
Possible liable parties include:
- The pilot
- The airline
- The owner of the aircraft
- The aircraft maintenance company
- The manufacturer of defective aircraft parts
- The government (as the employer of air traffic controllers)
- The administrator of an airport
You might need to conduct an investigation to identify the appropriate defendant.
How Do You Establish Negligence After an Aviation Accident?
To win a negligence claim for an aviation accident, you must prove the following elements:
- Duty of care: The airline, in particular, owes a high duty of care to its passengers. Other actors, such as aircraft maintenance crew, also owe a heightened duty of care.
- Breach of duty of care: The defendant must have breached their duty of care. Violating an airline regulation is one way to breach a duty of care.
- Damages: The death of or injury to a passenger certainly generates damages. Damages in aviation accidents tend to be high.
- Factual causation: The defendant’s breach of duty must have been the cause of the damages you suffered.
- Proximate cause: The damages you suffered must have been foreseeable to a reasonable person, given the nature of the defendant’s breach of duty.
You must prove every one of these elements on a “more likely than not” basis to win your aviation accident claim.
Are There Time Limits for Bringing a Plane Crash Lawsuit?
Yes, there are time limits on how long you have to file an aviation accident lawsuit. You typically have one year to bring a personal injury claim in Louisiana. However, aviation accidents often don’t respect neat jurisdictional lines. The determination of time limits can be a complex matter. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine how long you have to bring your claim based on the specific facts of your case.
What are My Options if I Suffered an Injury in an Aviation Accident Abroad or Over the Ocean?
Things can get complicated if you are injured outside the United States. The situation can get even murkier if the accident occurred in international airspace. However, things are not necessarily complicated in every case. If the compensation amount you claim falls within certain limits, you might qualify to file your claim under the Montreal Convention. This can greatly streamlines the process.
What Should You Do if You Are Injured at an Airport?
If you are injured at an airport, you should seek emergency assistance immediately. Gather any evidence you can under the circumstances and start preparing your premises liability claim. Under premises liability law, the owner or operator of premises owes a duty of care to guests on the property, including you.
Can I Sue the AIrline for an Aviation Accident?
Yes, you can sue the airline if you can establish their liability. As common carriers, airlines owe passengers an elevated duty of care. If you can prove that the airline failed to meet its duty of care, you might be entitled to significant compensation. One encouraging reality about suing airlines is that they often have the resources to pay a claim.
How Are Airlines Regulated and Investigated
The NTSB is the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB investigates aviation accidents to determine their cause and to recommend measures to prevent further accidents. An NTSB investigation could help you prove liability in your aviation accident.
The FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration under the US Department of Transportation. The FAA establishes regulations governing civil aviation. If you can find a potential defendant whose violation of an FAA regulation caused the aviation accident, you can sue the defendant for negligence,
GARA is the General Aviation Revitalization Act. This law makes it difficult to sue the manufacturer of small aircraft (carrying fewer than 20 passengers) or aircraft parts for product liability once the products reach 18 years of age.
What Monetary Compensation Is Available for Aviation Accident Victims?
Many forms of compensation are available to victims of aviation accidents, including compensation for:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You might even qualify for punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior was outrageous enough.
Contact a Lafayette Aviation Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The Lafayette airplane accident lawyers at Kenny Habetz Injury Law will represent you on a contingency basis if you have a strong claim. That means you pay nothing up front, and your legal fees equal a certain percentage of whatever amount you win. We are here to help you pursue compensation after your Lafayette, LA aviation accident.
Contact our Lafayette airplane attorney online or call us at (337) 399-9000 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. Our Lafayette aviation accident attorneys look forward to hearing from you.