A local tragedy that has recently made national news involved a plane crash in Eddyville, Kentucky on January 2, 2015. A small plane crashed killing 4 members of a family from Nashville, Illinois. The sole survivor from the accident was a 7-year-old girl who made a perilous journey through dark woods to find help. Though no legal action seems to be tied to this event, it does cause one to consider the dangers of flying.
Despite the fact that flying has been called the safest way to travel, plane crashes still happen. This is especially true for smaller aircraft. Data from the NTSB in 2007 showed that out of over 80 commercial plane crashes, nearly one-quarter of them were fatal; forty-three lives were lost. These commercial airplanes had less than 10 seats each. On the non-commercial side, crashes totaled over 1,600, killing almost 500 people.
Causes of Plane Crashes
Negligence on the part of the pilot, the manufacturer or the mechanic is usually the main cause of a plane crash. A separate criminal action can be taken against the pilot for being criminally negligent. If the pilot was drinking prior to the flight and their impaired judgment due to the alcohol consumption caused the accident, the consequences may be similar to that of a DUI.
The Law and Plane Crashes
Plane crashes are defined as an event, or several events, having to do with a plane that causes damage to property, injures a person, or causes their death. An accident can happen while the plane is still on the runway, while it is ascending, descending, or while in flight.
Victims hurt in a plane crash caused by negligence may be able to recover a settlement for their pain and lost wages. To get a settlement from a plane crash, the injured party has to prove to the insurance company that negligence was a cause of the accident. It has to be shown that someone was careless or irresponsible. In a plane crash case, the facts are usually obtained from a report from the NTSB, witness statements, expert statements, data from radar at the control tower, and data from the black box recorder.
In order to win your case, you must prove that the crash was caused by a person’s carelessness, that the crash caused injury, and that the injury caused by the crash needs to be paid for by whomever is at fault.
To prove an injury, it must be directly related to the plane crash. Crash injuries can be moderate, severe, or even fatal. These types of injuries can be similar to car accident injuries and include bruises, cuts and scrapes, neck and head injuries, a spinal cord injury, broken bones, and even burns.
Crash victims often look for a settlement for medical costs, lost wages, mental anguish, and physical pain. Insurance adjusters use a specific formula to come to the amount that they pay out. Severity of the injuries is considered.
When it’s Time to Call a Lawyer
Plane crash claims involving property damage are usually taken care of by the insurance company. When the case involves injuries, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you don’t review your case with a lawyer, you may not get the settlement that you deserve.
If you have been injured in an accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney right away.