Aviation Accident Settlements & Lawsuits
Passengers, pilots, crew members, airline and airport staff, and people on the ground suffer injury or death each year due to plane crashes that could have been avoided if safety, security, and maintenance guidelines and procedures had been followed.
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers sometimes cut corners in an effort to minimize costs and increase profits. The aviation industry's first priority is to make money. Sometimes providing safety and security measures can be more costly to the aviation industry than dealing with the aftermath of incidents that occur due to safety or security lapses.
Serious injuries from airplane and helicopter accidents can be life-threatening and life-altering for those who are fortunate enough to survive. The lives of family members that have lost a loved one in an aviation accident will never be the same.
Aviation accident victims and their families have questions about their legal rights and how to make sure that they receive fair and reasonable compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Your Questions Answered, Your Legal Options Explained
If you or a loved one has been injured in an airplane, helicopter or other type of aviation-related accident in Washington State, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney. Davis Law Group has been named Best Injury Law Firm in Washington State by AI Legal Awards and Best Personal Injury Law Firm in Washington State by AI Dispute Resolution Awards.
Our legal staff is here to help you better understand your legal rights so you can start your journey to justice. Call Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 or use the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation.
Aviation Accident Statistics
Serious injuries and fatalities from aviation-related accidents are generally a rarity in the United States, and this is particularly true in the Seattle area where helicopters and small planes are commonly utilized by news agencies and travel organizations across the entire state of Washington.
The odds of dying in an aviation accident in the U.S. (over a lifetime) are about 1 in 7,178, while the odds of dying in a car crash are 1 in 98. According to a report by OAG Aviation and PlaneCrashInfo.com, the odds of being killed during a single airline flight on one of the top 78 major world airlines is one in 4.7 million.
According to an investigative report published by local news station KIRO 7 in 2014, the fatal helicopter crash that occurred near the Space Needle on March 18, 2014 was the first fatal aviation-related crash in the city of Seattle since 1974, when two police officers were killed after the helicopter they were flying crashed into a small plane as they attempted to track down a stolen car.
Common Causes of Aviation Accidents / Injuries
- Pilot Error
- Mechanical Error
- Engine Problems
- Taxiing Accidents
- Cabin Decompression
- Fuel Loss
- Errant Bird Strikes
- Air Traffic Control Mistakes
Aviation Accident Litigation
As you might imagine, establishing fault and determining liability for damages resulting from a plane or helicopter accident can be much more difficult than in a standard motor vehicle collision. More experts need to be consulted with and evidence needs to be examined in order to determine whether or not an accident victim may pursue a personal injury claim to recover their losses.
In addition, insurance companies know that there is typically a lot more at stake in these types of complex accidents and they are prepared to defend themselves from being held responsible for the damages suffered by accident victims. They will often bring in a team of aggressive lawyers to defend their best interests, and going to battle with them on your own could harm the overall value of your case.
Legal Rights of Airplane Accident and Helicopter Crash Victims
An aviation accident victim does have legal rights. Although laws are different from state-to-state and legal rights may vary slightly by jurisdiction, helicopter crash and airplane accident victims can generally make a claim for damages against a negligent person or company to recover financial compensation for medical treatment, medical bills, lost wages, other economic damages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. In many, but not all, cases, litigation may necessary and thus victims must file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Settlement Value of an Aviation Accident Claim
Based upon the cause of the aviation accident and the specific nature of the victim's injuries, the settlements and jury verdicts in these types of cases are often significant. The following are just of a few of the factors that may be considered when determining fair and reasonable compensation in aviation cases.
- The type, extent, and severity of injuries;
- Past, present and future medical costs;
- Pain and suffering damages;
- The possibility or impossibility of totally recovery from injuries;
- Vocational / career limitations due to the injuries;