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Norfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton, Virginia

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Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

Air Travel is Generally Very Safe… but Accidents do Occur.

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Air travel security breaches and near-misses have made this a busy month!

First the debacle with three planes nearly colliding, when taking off and landing, at Reagan National Airport, in Virginia (VA), in late July. According to officials, the jets flew to close to one another – although they were never on a collision course. There were a total of 192 passengers and crew members among the three planes.

As if that near-miss wasn’t close enough, on August 10, Lufthansa Airbus A330 and a United Express commuter plane collided on a taxiway near the A gates at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia (VA). An NTSB is ongoing but there were no injuries.

In the incidents outlined above, thankfully no one was injured or killed. However, had anyone sustained injuries, it could have been handled as a personal injury claim much like those suffered in other mass transit accidents (buses, cars and trains).

Aviation Accidents

If a person is injured or killed in an airplane crash, a lawsuit may be brought to recover money damages from those that are responsible for the accident occurring. Parties that may be legally held responsible can include but are not limited to pilots; the airline(s), the manufacturer of the aircraft and more. It’s hard to speculate as to who can be held responsible, as it will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the incident.

Who Can Bring a Lawsuit Following an Airline Injury?

Circumstances of the accident will also dictate who can bring a lawsuit to recover damages and can include but is not limited to any person that sustained injuries in the accident, spouse of an injured party, the legal guardian of someone injured in the accident, among others.

State Laws: Monetary Damages

State laws vary on the type of monetary damages available to those that have sustained injuries by the negligence of others in an airplane crash.

Generally speaking, an injured party may be compensated for past and future medical expenses, earnings, suffering, disability and disfigurement caused by the plane accident. In the case of wrongful death, the decedents’ estate may be compensated for these same past and future expenses.

Seeking advice from a qualified personal injury attorney with knowledge of complex aviation law is suggested as they will be able to advise you of the specific laws in your state that will affect your claim. Knowing your rights following a plane crash is essential to preserve your right to retain full compensation for sustained injuries.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). The attorneys publish articles and edit the Legal Examiner for the Virginia Beach, NorfolkandNortheast North Carolina regions as pro bono service.