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What Should You Do After an Airplane Crash?


What Should You Do After an Airplane Crash?

In 2020, US airplane crashes resulted in over 330 fatalities and left nearly 200 people seriously injured. Compared to other types of accidents that result in fatalities and injuries, the rate of airplane crashes is fairly low. However, when airplane crashes do occur, they are extremely detrimental.

If you were recently involved in an airplane crash, whether on a large passenger jet or a small private airplane, it’s hard to know what steps to take. An aviation accident lawyer can help.

We’re here to provide you with a complete guide to the steps to take after getting injured in an airplane crash. We’ll also talk about what to expect from potential legal action.

Read on to learn everything you need to know as the victim of an airplane crash.

Documenting the Airplane Crash

If it is at all possible, try to take photos and videos of the crash after you are at a safe distance from it. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct investigations, but it is still useful to have your own evidence to draw from. If you or a loved one are in need of immediate medical attention, do not feel pressured to complete this step and instead get the help needed.

Seeking Medical Attention

Whether or not you require immediate medical attention, you should go to the hospital as soon as possible. While many common airplane crash injuries, such as lacerations or amputations, are immediately noticeable, others can go overlooked. This can include injuries like:

  • head trauma
  • internal bleeding
  • spinal damage
  • whiplash
  • organ failure

Medical care is a crucial part of the recovery process. It is also a crucial part of putting together a personal injury lawsuit. Without evidence of your current and ongoing injuries and/or resulting disabilities, you will not be able to satisfy the requirements needed to file a lawsuit.

Hiring an Attorney to Handle Your Case

As soon as possible, you should hire an experienced aviation accident attorney to take over your lawsuit. In fact, we highly recommend hiring an attorney before you file your lawsuit. The earlier an attorney is an active part of your case, the better they can serve you in fighting for the damages you deserve.

As we mentioned earlier, all airplane accidents result in an investigation. Oftentimes, the insurance company covering the responsible party will offer victims a settlement early on. However, these early settlements rarely reflect the amount of damages victims are actually due, and an experienced attorney can open up a private investigation that may result in a much higher settlement.

Knowing Who to File a Lawsuit Against After an Airplane Crash

Filing a lawsuit after an airplane crash is not a one-size-fits-all process. Just as there are many types of airplanes, there are many causes of airplane crashes. An experienced attorney will help you navigate who to file your lawsuit against based on the evidence discovered in the investigation.

When Is the Airline Held Accountable?

If you were injured in an airplane crash while flying with a major airline, it is possible that the airline will be held accountable. This is often the case when the crash was caused by neglect of airplane maintenance. This can occur if the airline failed to address an issue with the airplane, conduct routine safety checks, or follow other required protocols.

When Is the Pilot Held Accountable?

Believe it or not, half of all plane crashes result from operator error. In other words, it is not uncommon for pilots to do something (or fail to do something) that causes an accident. Oftentimes, this can still result in a lawsuit against the airline, but it is not unheard of for pilots to face lawsuits, particularly if they were flying a privately owned aircraft.

When Is the Airplane Manufacturer Held Accountable?

Some airplane crashes are the result of manufacturing errors or faulty equipment. Manufacturers are responsible for airplane crashes if they neglect to test products, issue appropriate recalls, or otherwise provide safe and trustworthy technology. If these manufacturer errors lead to a crash and/or injuries, they can be held liable.

Building the Facts of Your Airplane Accident Claim

Most victims of an aviation accident are unfamiliar with the process of filing a personal injury claim. You and your attorney will need to compile the right evidence in order to build the facts of your case and legitimize your lawsuit. Let’s take a quick look at the types of evidence you will need to provide.

Establishing Who Is At Fault

First, you will need to establish who is at fault for the airplane crash. This includes any documentation you have of the accident, the findings of the federal investigation, and the findings of your private investigation. The goal is to prove that you are filing your lawsuit with the appropriate defendant.

Establishing the Extent and Nature of Injuries

Next, you will need to provide evidence demonstrating the nature and extent of your resulting injuries. This will include medical records and photographic evidence. Your lawyer may also bring on an expert witness who can testify to the ways in which your injuries will impact your life in the long term.

Establishing Damages Owed

Finally, you will need to make a case for the damages (financial compensation) you are demanding from the defendant. This will include providing your medical bills, paystubs to establish lost income, and bills related to property damage. Your lawyer may also make a case for emotional pain and suffering, which is common in victims of plane crashes.

Call Heard Merman Trial Lawyers Today

If you are the victim of an airplane crash, we urge you to contact an accident lawyer ASAP. While you may receive an early settlement offer, it is likely that you are owed far more.

Heard Merman Trial Lawyers have decades of combined experience representing victims like you. Contact us to schedule a free case consultation today.

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