Aviation Accident Lawsuit Basics

If you have been involved in an aviation accident, especially one involving a commercial airline, any lawsuits that follow will be complex. Aviation accidents can be caused by one of hundreds or even thousands of factors, so determining the cause, assigning fault, and obtaining compensation can be a tremendously difficult task. This means an aviation accident is quite a bit different from your run-of-the-mill car accident case, so you should know what to expect ahead of time in order to not be surprised when things wind up much different than you might have thought.

Accident Scene Investigation

When you are involved in an aviation crash, the accident will need to be investigated straight away. Crash investigators are thorough and do their best to try to determine the cause of the crash, as well as how any accidents inside the craft may have occurred. In some cases these investigators are from governmental agencies, but you and your lawyer may also wish to hire your own private consultants who can report information back to you. The cost could be well-worth it when the information they return proves key to your case and your verdict.

The investigation will primarily inspect for three factors: pilot error, mechanical failure, and external factors. Which of these is at fault may not be clear at first, however your New York City injury attorney should be able to use these preliminary results to tailor the best strategy going forward.

Timing is Everything

Aviation accidents are not quick to resolve, and for those who have been seriously injured, this can be aggravating. The first difficult hurdle to overcome is getting access to the accident scene in order to analyze and obtain evidence in your favor. The National Transportation Safety Board takes control of plane wreckage after accidents in order to perform their own investigation, and they frequently keep it for anywhere from six months to well over a year. This means you should not expect to start obtaining compensation for your losses for some time, possibly as much as two years or more after the date of the accident.

This makes obtaining the necessary evidence to file your suit before reaching your statute of limitations difficult. Having an attorney on your side can help put pressure on the appropriate sources to gain access to these important investigation findings and evidence in order to build your case for your injury.

Expert Witnesses

If you can’t gain the access that you need, your attorney will also be well-versed in other methods for obtaining evidence, including the use of expert testimony. These experts can testify on your behalf in regards to everything from how a plane should perform to how the weather may have impacted it to how the crash may have caused your injuries. Independent consultants, medical professionals, and more could all be used to help you build your case before filing it, which is important if you can’t gain access to the wreckage or crash site in enough time to build your case before surpassing the statute of limitations.

Even if you do gain the proper access, expert witnesses can still prove to be a valuable tool you can use throughout the process. Experts can help you and your attorney determine any discrepancies or irregularities, such as defects, possibly undetected pilot errors, mistakes or malfunctions in avionics or operating systems, and more. Expert witnesses may even be able to further advance your case by providing you with a visual aid, such as a digital recreation of the crash using animation. All of this together can create an extremely convincing case for your judge and jury when pursuing compensation for your injuries.

If you have been injured in an aviation accident, Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP are standing by to help! With more than $500 million in compensation recovered for clients, we are proud of our reputation as one of the leading and most successful firms in the New York City area. We have successfully tried more than 150 cases to a verdict or settlement of more than $1 million, and 400 more with more than $500,000. If you have been injured, we believe you deserve a powerful ally on your side, and we provide you with our exceptional ability and client-focused service through every step of the way. If we aren’t successful in recovering on your behalf, you don’t pay—it’s that simple.

Call Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today by dialing 646.461.4009 to request a free consultation!
Categories: Aviation Accidents