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Wrongful Death in Air Accidents: Who Are Accountable?

When someone confesses to being afraid of flying, the usual rebuttal is, “flying is safer than traveling on land.” The basis for this statement is statistics: data from the National Safety Council website shows that the lifetime odds of dying due to motor vehicle accidents is 1 in 106. The odds for air and space transport accidents, meanwhile, is 1 in 11,175. Simply put, people are more likely to get into car accidents than a plane crash.

The problem is that even though plane crashes seldom happens, they are almost always catastrophic.

This is why plane crashes are always treated as major incidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) get involved and often file criminal cases and impose hefty penalties on the airline. Meanwhile, the surviving families of the victims immediately consult wrongful death attorneys to hold the airline accountable for the loss of their loved ones.

In Los Angeles, Haffner Lawyers can represent the families who seek compensation or intend to file lawsuits against the airline and individuals who failed to ensure the safety of their passengers.

Negligence Costs Lives

There are many possible causes for a commercial plane to crash:

  • Pilot error
  • Oversight of the aircrew and/or ground crew
  • Engine and equipment failure
  • Bad weather
  • Negligence of air traffic controllers
  • Non-compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations
  • Other causes (e.g., terrorism, bird strikes)

All of these can be grounds for a wrongful death claim and civil and criminal lawsuits.

Proving Accountability: Who Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in Aviation?

The NTSB and FAA, among others, hold airline companies and specific people to a high standard when it comes to delivering aviation transport services. If they fail to meet those standards, they can be held liable for the repercussions that follow.

The following people and entities may be held accountable for aviation accidents:

  • Carriers or airline companies
  • Airline owner
  • Aircraft owner (for private planes)
  • Aircraft operators
  • Pilots, stewards, and other aircrew members
  • Ground crew
  • Air traffic controllers
  • Regulatory bodies and government agencies

While these people and entities easily come up in aviation lawsuit discussions, it may take some work to prove that any of them are truly liable for the deaths of their passengers.

Like any civil and criminal case, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof in an aviation lawsuit. Plaintiffs and their wrongful death lawyers must prove that the airline or certain individuals (often the captains of the aircraft or the maintenance supervisors on the ground) had been negligent in their duties and that their oversight resulted in the untimely deaths of their passengers. They will need to conduct private investigations or work alongside the police to determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, if necessary.

Hire Experienced and Tenacious Wrongful Death Attorneys in Los Angeles

There is very little room for error in air travel. One mistake of an aircraft officer, attendant, or ground crew member can cost hundreds of lives. Should an unfortunate event happen, the surviving families may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the people or companies responsible for the incident.

Haffner Law can offer legal advice and represent you in wrongful death claims for aviation accidents. Our attorneys specialize in personal injury cases. Collectively, they have handled hundreds of cases from as early as 1997.

Whether you’re filing a claim against an airline carrier or individual, Haffner Law is steadfast in fighting for the outcome you and your family deserve.

If you need more information about how we handle wrongful death claims for aviation accidents, you can reach us at 213-514-5681 or through online inquiry. Fill out the contact form on our website today.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)


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