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While air travel can be a fast and convenient way to travel long distances, airplane crashes can result in catastrophic injuries. Compared to car accidents, airplane accidents tend to involve more people and can leave victims with catastrophic injuries.
Unfortunately, airplane accidents can happen for many reasons such as pilot error, improper maintenance, or engine failure. However, assigning liability in airplane accident cases can be much more complicated than it may appear upon an initial investigation. Our legal team routinely collaborate with investigators and aircraft experts to determine whether negligence played a role in a specific plane crash. Regardless of the reason, our lawyers have the skills and experience to prove the elements of a negligence claim.
At Mesriani Law Firm, we represent victims of airplane crashes in Los Angeles and throughout California. Our experienced airplane accident lawyers understand the complex aviation laws that guide these types of cases. If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in an airplane accident, we can help you identify the responsible parties and help get you the justice you deserve.
Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- Aviation Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
- How Mesriani Can Help Your Airplane Accident Claim
- Why Choose Mesriani Law Group Aviation Accident Lawyers?
- Airplane Accidents in California
- What Do You Do After an Airplane Accident?
- Types of Aviation Accidents
- Common Causes of Aviation Accidents
- Airplane Accident Injuries
- Who Can Sue After Airplane Accident?
- Damages from an Aviation Accident
- Who Can Be Liable in an Aviation Accident?
- How to Determine Liability in Airplane Accidents
- Why Aviation Accident Claims are Complex
- Statute of Limitations for Aviation Accident Claims
- Call a Mesriani Airplane Accident Lawyer Today
- Aviation Accident Lawyer FAQ
How Mesriani Law Group Can Help Your Airplane Accident Claim
At Mesriani Law Firm, we’ve handled airplane accident claims for over 20 years. From our experience, we know that insurance and airline companies often attempt to lowball victims and their loved ones to settle for much less compensation than they deserve. If you’ve been hurt or injured in an aviation disaster, never agree to a settlement before speaking with our experienced aviation accident lawyer. If you have lost a loved one, we can also file a wrongful death claim to seek justice and compensation for your loss.
We can help you with your airplane accident claim by explaining your rights, negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf, and diligently handling each step of the accident claims process. We understand that the these are challenging times and an airplane crash can add additional unexpected financial burdens. We handle airplane accident claims on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay any fees unless we successfully obtain compensation for you.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group Aviation Accident Lawyers?
No Win No Fee Policy
Mesriani Law Group offers a No Win No Fee guarantee to all our clients, meaning if we don’t win your case you don’t have to pay us anything.
Proven Track Record
Since its establishment in 1996, Mesriani Law Group continues to be among California’s most trusted law firms. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients whose lives have been impacted by an aviation accident.
Experienced Aviation Accident Attorneys
Rodney Mesriani and his team of dedicated lawyers have over two decades of experience and outstanding expertise in aviation accident injury claims.
Mesriani Law Group represents clients from different parts of Southern California and has received the highest ratings by our clients as seen in Yelp, Avvo, and Google.
Our diverse team of attorneys and paralegals also speak Farsi, Spanish, and Tagalog. Effective communication is a big part of the exceptional customer service we provide our clients.
We are available 24/7 for a phone consultation and if you are not able to visit our office, we are amenable to meet you at your convenience.
Our Los Angeles aviation accident attorneys will fight aggressively to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact our offices today for your free consultation.
Airplane Accidents in California
Generally, traveling by commercial airplane is relatively safe. However, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there was a total of 1,301 U.S. civil aviation accidents in 2019. Of those accidents, 248 were fatal accidents which resulted in 452 fatalities.
California is home to LAX airport– one of the busiest airports in the world. Each month, more than 2.4 million passengers go through this international airport for various travel reasons. In 2020, the airport served more than 14 million passengers. As of February 2022, there was a total of 41,119 flights and 608 routes used at LAX. Airline passengers flew to 43 different countries on 98 airlines.
In addition to this major airport, there are also several other large and smaller airports that operate throughout California. Other aircrafts fly through the skies including private business helicopters, transportation helicopters, and sightseeing tour aircrafts. With traffic in the sky almost as busy as it is on the ground, plane crashes can leave victims with catastrophic injuries. Although major commercial airline plane crashes are relatively uncommon, most aviation accidents that occur in California involve smaller, privately-owned aircrafts.
What Do You Do After an Airplane Accident?
If you were involved in an airplane accident, taking the appropriate steps is essential to your health, safety, and potential aviation accident claim. Here are important tips on what you should do after an airplane accident:
- Seek medical attention – After a plane crash, make sure you seek prompt medical attention. Some aviation accidents can leave victims with serious injuries that if left untreated, can be life-threatening. Sometimes, you may not feel symptoms from the accident right away, but it may show up days, weeks, or months later. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention and have a medical professional give you a full diagnosis following an accident.
- Collect as much information as possible – Gather information such as names and contact information (name, phone number, email) from any witnesses or passengers who witness the accident.
- Keep a journal – Document the date, time of day, and any other details you can document about the accident. Write down these details as soon as possible because as time passes, your memory of the aviation accident may start to fade and it will be more difficult to remember what happened that day. Additionally, be sure to keep a journal of your medical treatment and conditions after the accident.
- Do not speak with insurance companies – Never speak with anyone from the airline’s insurance company before you speak with an experienced aviation accident lawyer. They may ask you questions you’re not prepared to answer and try to understate any injuries you may have sustained to avoid taking responsibilities for the accident.
- Contact an aviation accident lawyer – As soon as possible, contact an experienced Los Angeles aviation accident lawyer. There are numerous legalities when dealing with airplane accident cases and any mishap may negatively affect your possible personal injury claim. Additionally, statutes of limitations restrict the amount of time you have to file your claim. Once the statute of limitation runs outs, it’s unlikely that you will be able to take any legal action. As an airplane crash victim, you may be entitled to damages and hiring an experienced lawyer will significantly increase your chances of obtaining the maximum compensation.
Types of Aviation Accidents
Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience helping victims who have been in various types of aviation accidents including:
- Commercial plane accidents
- International plane accidents
- Private jet accidents
- Charter plane accidents
- Commuter plane accidents
- Helicopter accidents
- Runway accidents
- Small plane accidents
- Airplane boarding and exiting accidents
Common Causes of Aviation Accidents
Several factors can contribute to aviation accidents. Some of the most common ones include:
Flying an aircraft is an extremely important job. As part of their duties, pilots are trained to perform maintenance checks and ensure that the aircraft its safe for departure. Every pilot should have the necessary skills, experience, license, and training to safely operate the specific aircraft they are flying. Unfortunately, like other types of transportation accidents, human error can lead to serious injuries. Pilot errors are the reason for roughly half of all fatal plane crashes.
While there are numerous types of operational errors that can occur, some of the most common ones include:
- Inadequate safety inspection, maintenance, or repairs
- Faulty operational manuals or procedures
- Improper audits or supervision of flight personnel and procedures
- Negligent hiring of operators who are not qualified
- Failure to follow all safety rules and regulations regarding aircraft operation
- Operating an aircraft while under the influence, impaired, or fatigued
- Navigation errors such as failure to properly plan or map out a flight
- Operating an aircraft in unsafe environmental or weather conditions such as heavy rain or severe winds
- Failure to fly an aircraft within its operational limits
- Missing the runway
- Excessive landing speeds
Other common of operational errors include premature descent, midair collisions, and fuel starvation.
When a critical part of an aircraft malfunctions, it can cause the plane to crash. In some circumstances, even the best trained pilot could not be able to successfully keep a malfunctioning aircraft from crashing.
Common forms of negligence that can lead to aircraft mechanical malfunctions include:
- Inadequate lubrication or cooling
- Inadequate maintenance or inspection
- Improper qualify control measures
- Improper use
- Inadequate testing of an aircraft part
- Defective assembly or installation
- Defective manufacture
- Defective design
- Engine failure
- Equipment failure
- Structural failure
Additionally, some operations on aircraft are automated by using in-flight computers. Errors in the software which monitors and control certain functions such as speed, flap position, and angle can cause the aircraft to make sudden, intense corrections that can also cause the plane to crash.
Aircraft operators should know that there are certain weather conditions that are dangerous to fly in. During bad weather conditions, flights will often get delayed to ensure the safety of everyone that would be on board. However, weather can be very unpredictable so operations should also be properly trained to fly in various conditions. At times, a pilot can avoid bad weather situations by taking a different route, turning around, or flying below or above the weather system. Unfortunately, even while taking precautions, aviation accidents still occur. Some examples of aviation accidents caused by weather conditions include:
- Heavy rain
- Extreme winds
- Extreme turbulence
- Foggy conditions
- Mountain waves
- Wind shear (rapidly changing wind conditions)
Although there have been major advances in meteorology regarding the kind of weather information that is available for pilots, catastrophic weather-related aviation accidents still happen. According to a study by NTSB, more than two-thirds of all weather-related general aviation accidents have been fatal.
Airplane Accident Injuries
Due to the size and weight of airplanes, any type of airplane crash can leave victims with catastrophic injuries. Injured victims can sustain various types of injuries including:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Partial or total paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Survivors of aviation crashes can also suffer from emotional trauma such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If a loved one was killed in an aviation accident, surviving family members can also suffer from loss of consortium. An experienced Los Angeles aviation attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for any airplane related injuries.
Who Can Sue After Airplane Accident?
Airplane accidents can cause widespread damage to property and people. In the event of an accident, there are several categories of victims who can sue including:
- Passengers who suffered an aircraft accident injury
- Employees who suffered an aircraft accident injury
- Injury victims who were on the ground at the time of the airplane crash
- Family members of injury victims who were killed in an airplane crash
Damages from an Aviation Accident
Aviation accidents can leave victims with significant losses. After an airplane accident, victims may seek compensation for their losses. In California, personal injury victims may be entitled recover damages for the expenses and other losses suffered from the accident. The two types of damages that a victim may obtain are economic and non-economic damages.Economic Damages
These are financial losses that are can be easily calculated because of a personal injury. Common examples include:
- Medical bills
- Medications and medical supplies
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses including medical insurance co-pays
- Re-education or retraining for job placement
- Other calculable expenses or lost opportunities as a result of the airplane accident
Victims may also suffer injuries which may not necessarily have a direct financial impact on their lives. Although these injuries are more difficult to calculate, it doesn’t mean that they’re less painful. Non-economic damages are awarded to victims to compensate for subjective and non-monetary losses. Common examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support or love
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
- Other mental health illnesses
- Other non-economic loss suffered as a result of the airplane accident
Who Can Be Liable in an Aviation Accident?
When an aviation accident happens, several parties can be liable. Common defendants in aviation cases include:
- The pilot
- The pilot’s employer or operating company
- Aircraft manufacturers, sellers, or designers
- Flight schools or instructors
- Aircraft owner
- Air traffic controllers
- Party that leased the aircraft
- Aircraft crew members
- Aircraft maintenance workers
- Air traffic control staff and operators
- Publishers of operational or maintenance manuals
- Operator or owner of the airfield or helipad
- Owners of hazardous buildings such as dangerous cell towers
There may be other parties who can be responsible for aircraft accidents. Our law firm handles every step of an aviation investigation for our clients and make sure all liable parties are held accountable for their actions. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to help our clients recover the maximum compensation they deserve.
How to Determine Liability in Airplane Accidents
California is considered a comparative negligence state. In the event of an airplane accident, the fault can be determined based on percentages. For example, both parties can be found legally liable for damages related to an airplane accident. The amount of liability assigned to the accident case is usually based on the negligence, which is the failure to exercise a duty of care toward others as a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.
A person’s negligence can lead to an airplane accident in various ways. For example, a pilot could be negligent when he or she fails to follow proper procedures that lead to an accident. An air traffic operator could insist on flying an aircraft even knowing that they are dangerous weather conditions and put passengers at risk. Aircraft maintenance workers could be negligent if they fail to properly check and maintain the aircraft according to safety procedures.
Each aviation accident case is unique and requires thorough investigation of the circumstances around the plane crash. It’s important for airplane victims to work with an experience aviation accident lawyer who can identify the responsible parties and the amount of liability for each party.
Why Aviation Accident Claims are Complex
While any accident claim can be complicated, aviation accidents claims come with a unique set of challenges. Airplane accidents usually involve multiple agencies including the NTSB and can take months or even years to resolve. Another issue that makes aviation accident claims complex is determining the correct party or parties at-fault.
Potential defendants can include but are not limited to the following:
- The owner or operator
- Ground crews
- Maintenance companies
- Manufacturer or designer the aircraft
- Flight instructors or schools
Additionally, airplane accident claims are subject to complicated aviation laws which governs the operation of an aircraft and the maintenance of aviation facilities. Both state and federal governments have enacted statutes and created agencies to regulate air traffic. Although agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigates airplane and helicopter crashes, an independent investigation can sometimes reveal causes that the FAA might have missed.
Conducting a thorough investigation is essential to proving liability, which is critical to determining whether you will receive compensation for your injuries. If you were involved in an airplane crash, get the justice you deserve by working with an experienced aviation accident lawyer.
Statute of Limitations for Aviation Accident Claims
Just like with other personal injury accidents, there is a statute of limitations for aviation accident claims. Statute of limitations refers to the deadline for bringing certain types of legal action. In California, the statute of limitation for bringing an aviation accident claim is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are special circumstances that may affect the statute of limitations. The deadline may be paused or tolled when these special circumstances exist. The statute of limitations can be paused when:
- The victim is under the age of 18.
- The defendant is incarcerated or cannot be found.
- The accident-related injury wasn’t discovered until much later.
Keep in mind that if you are filing a claim against a government agency or employee to recover damages, the statute of limitations is only six months. Once your statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the right to seek damages for your injuries. If you have been injured in an airplane crash, it’s important that you speak with an airplane accident attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing any filing deadlines.
Call a Mesriani Airplane Accident Lawyer Today
Airplane accidents often leave victims with injuries and significant financial losses. With serious accidents, victims often sustain long-lasting or permanent injuries. However, California law allows for airplane victims to obtain compensation and justice for their injuries. Our highly skilled and experienced Los Angeles aviation accident attorneys at Mesriani Law Group knows how to help airplane victims during these challenging times. We are dedicated to helping our clients with their legal claims so they can focus on their recovery.
We have represented personal injury victims throughout California and have successfully recovered over $100 millions in total damages. If you’ve been hurt in an airplane accident, contact our law firm today at (866) 500-7070 for a free consultation. We accept clients on a contingency basis and if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything.
Aviation Accident Lawyer FAQ
Can you sue for a plane crash?
If a person was hurt, injured, or killed in a plane crash, a lawsuit may be brought to recover damages from the parties responsible for causing the accident. In California, plane crash victims can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover economic and non-economic damages for their injuries. In the event of a death, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation when someone else’s actions caused the death of their loved one.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost in California?
In California, personal injury lawyers will typically charge a contingency fee for their services. With a contingency fee lawyer, you will not get charged unless your case is won or a settlement has been reached. Typically, your lawyer will charge you a percentage of the settlement obtained or verdict awarded in court.
Who is liable in a plane crash?
Each accident is unique and the liable parties depend on the specific circumstances. Possible responsible parties can include the pilot, the pilot’s employer or operating company, aircraft manufacturers, sellers, or designers, flight schools or instructors, aircraft owner, air traffic controllers, party that leased the aircraft, aircraft crew members, aircraft maintenance workers, air traffic control staff and operators. Publishers of operational or maintenance manuals, operator or owner of the airfield or helipad, and owners of hazardous buildings such as dangerous cell towers can also be held liable in an airplane accident.
What are the most common injuries in a plane crash?
Airplane crash victims can sustain various types of injuries but the most common ones include amputations, back injuries, broken bones and fractures, burns, partial or total paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Victims can also suffer from emotional trauma such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the most serious cases, injuries can result in death.