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Aviation Accidents FAQs

by Robert Tom
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Alaska has an astronomically high rate of aircraft accidents compared to the other states. According to different studies, this state leads when it comes to deadly plane crashes in the U.S. Why? Flying is the main mode of transportation in Alaska because over 80% of rural communities are inaccessible by road. Alaskans depend on air transport for commercial purposes, such as transporting people and delivering mail.

As expected, over-dependence on air transport contributes to a high rate of air crashes in Alaska. Unlike the other types of personal injury claims, aircraft accident claims can be complicated. However, you should be compensated for loss resulting from an aircraft accident–that’s why most people contact an aircraft accident attorney in Alaska to help them get the justice they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Aircraft Crashes in Alaska

The likelihood of being involved in an air accident in Alaska is higher than in the other states. Having said that, it’s important to answer the frequently asked questions about air accidents, including:

  1. What are Your Legal Rights after an Air Crash?

Answer:

Aircraft carriers have an implied duty of care towards their clients (passenger and cargo clients). Clients expect to arrive at their destinations safely and any loss incurred in transit should be indemnified by the carrier, according to law. In other words, an affected person can sue a carrier and recover damages for loss resulting from an air crash. The parties that may be held responsible for an airplane crash can include:

  • A carrier’s staff, such as pilots and cabin crew;
  • The airline or the aircraft owner;
  • The aircraft manufacturer;
  • The aircraft maintenance crew;
  • The government air for traffic control issues;
  • Airport or air traffic operators.
  1. Who can file an Air Accident Claim?

Answer:

All air crashes are not the same and hence, filing an air crash claim is case-based. Depending on the facts of the case, the people who can file legal action and recover damages can include:

  • Primary casualties (people injured in the air crash):
  • Spouses of the injured;
  • Legal guardians of injured passengers;
  • Personal representatives of a deceased’s estate;
  • Next of kin to a deceased passenger; or
  • Any other person impacted by the accident.

Based on the facts of your case, an aviation attorney can determine who can sue and be compensated by the faulting parties. The decedent’s surviving spouse(s), children, or parents – in that priority/order, can file a wrongful death claim against a carrier after an air crash. Recoverable damages can vary by state– some states only consider economic losses while others only consider noneconomic losses while awarding damages in a wrongful death claim.

  1. What Financial Awards are Available in Aviation Accident Claims?

Answer:

Every state has laws about financial damages recoverable in airplane crashes. However, air crash victims in all states should be compensated for:

  • Past and future medical costs;
  • Past and future lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Disability or disfigurement related to an air crash;
  • Damages for wrongful death.

While the decedent’s estate can recover damages for lost earnings, medical costs, funeral/burial expenses, and pain & suffering, the decedent’s next of kin can only be compensated for the wrongful death of their loved one.

  1. How Much is an Air Crash Claim Worth?

Answer:

Plaintiffs are entitled to financial compensation for the total loss incurred. The defendant should pay for the plaintiff’s medical care if they suffered bodily injuries, lost earnings, and damages for pain and suffering. In addition, spouses are entitled to damages for loss of consortium.

Injury claims prioritize economic loss associated with the wrongful death of the deceased person through an air crash. However, additional damages, such as loss of inheritance, loss of companionship, pain & suffering, and emotional distress can be awarded in most jurisdictions.

  1. Should I Hire an Airplane Accident Attorney Immediately?

Answer:

Although pursuing an injury claim after an air accident is important, your primary focus should be on recovery. In other words, you should not be pressured to pursue compensation for your loss. However, always ensure filing the claim does not violate the timeline allowed in your state (statute of limitations). The Montreal treaty is applicable when the applicable statute of limitations is not clear.

Accident claims should be filed within two years from the date of an accident, according to the Montreal Treaty. With that in mind, it’s important to consult an aviation lawyer after an accident to understand how the statute of limitations in your state impacts your case. You should also remember that lawsuits against the government or government authorities typically have short deadlines, less than one year sometimes.

There are more frequently asked questions besides the above-discussed. You can get more advice from reputable resources, such as the NTSA website and others. Alternatively, advice from a legal professional specializing in aircraft accidents can be invaluable.Top of Form

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