Aviation Accident Attorney

Aviation accidents seem to be happening more frequently in the last few years, keeping many aviation accident lawyers busy. Six fatal crashes occurred in 2014, including the infamous Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappearance, which continues to be missing along with the 239 people on board.

Aviation accidents are complicated issues and can take years to resolve – if resolved at all. Dealing with authorities can be stressful and frustrating for those injured and for those who lost loved ones in a fatal crash. If you are in a situation where you must seek compensation for your losses, you want an aviation accident attorney by your side.  

Overview of Aviation Accidents in Miami

Before 2010, the number of fatalities in aviation accidents worldwide had been on a downward slope. However, the last few years brought the number to a staggering 4,359 from 2010 to 2020. That is almost triple the figure from 1970 to 1979.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) also paints a grim picture of the US. There were 11,083 general aviation accidents in the US, with 4,054 fatalities and 2,390 seriously injured from 2010 to 2019. While car crashes in the US might seem much worse, with 36,096 deaths in 2019 alone, people in an aviation accident are more likely to sustain more catastrophic injuries than those involved in a car crash. 

A twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 crashed in Miami in 2015, killing everyone onboard. Other devastating crashes in Florida include the 2019 Lake Okeechobee twin-engine plane crash, killing five people, and the more recent St. Augustine single-engine crash that injured three people in September 2021. For the people most closely affected by these accidents, the first thing they would want to find out from a Florida aviation accident attorney is what happened.

The Most Common Causes of Aviation Accidents

Technological advances and intensive pilot training have made air travel safer nowadays, but they are not infallible. Many things can still go wrong, leading to the need for an airplane accident lawyer in Miami. Among the most common causes of airplane accidents are the following:

Pilot Error

Most reports identify pilot error as the cause of about 50% of airplane accidents. Pilots engage actively in all aspects of a flight, so making a mistake or miscalculation is fatally easy. While many errors are minor and easily corrected, the few that are not can lead to devastating results.  

Manufacturing Defect

Failure of equipment due to manufacturing issues accounts for about 20% of catastrophic airplane accidents. With so many moving parts in an aircraft, minor defects in the equipment or design, such as a screw that breaks too easily or a part of the engine that does not work as designed, can cause the entire plane to go down despite, or sometimes because of, technological advances. An excellent example of this is the Boeing 737 software flaws.

Improper Maintenance of the Plane

The complex nature of aircraft requires meticulous maintenance to ensure all the parts are in good working condition. In fact, the engines and some component parts of modern airplanes have mandatory inspection schedules. The purpose of such inspection is to make sure that all components are genuine and that the plane is still airworthy. However, when maintenance crews neglect even the smallest thing, disaster can strike. 

Aviation Survival Tips To Remember

Aviation Mistakes To Avoid

  • After boarding, find the two closest exits and count the rows between them and your seat.
  • Wear long pants, sleeves, and close-toed shoes to help you protect from the glass, metal, and other elements.
  • If you’re with family, talk to your children about what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Pay attention to the preflight instructions.
  • In the event of fire, stay as low as you can and get out as quickly as possible.
  • Get as far away as possible as quickly as you can and tuck behind something large in case of an explosion.
  • Never attempt to take your carry-on luggage with you during an emergency exit.
  • Don’t inflate your life vest until you’re outside the cabin.

Failure of the Component Parts

An airplane has many parts that can wear out or suddenly break. When these components fail, it can lead to catastrophic results.

Extreme Weather

Most pilots will not fly in bad weather, but sometimes it can spring up while the airplane is in the air or while landing. Nevertheless, bad weather is to blame for about 10% of airplane crashes and that is exactly what happened to Southern Airways Flight 242 in 1977, which suffered hail damage and crashed on Georgia State Route 381, killing 63 people on board and nine people on the ground. 

Types of Injuries After an Aviation Accident

Airplanes travel at great speed and height, which means survivors are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries when something goes wrong. If you or a loved one suffer one or more of the following injuries in an aviation accident, you should consult an airplane accident lawyer in Miami:

  • Amputations
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Burns
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries

How an Airplane Accident Lawyer in Miami Can Help

Deciding whether lawsuits should be filed individually or as a group of passengersAn experienced airplane accident lawyer in Miami will weigh the pros and cons of pursuing an individual personal injury or a class action lawsuit. The decision will depend on the findings of the investigation and the entities liable for the accident.
Choosing who must be sued and the best option for recoveryAviation accidents often involve large corporations capable of muddying the waters in a personal injury case. Your lawyer will evaluate the case to determine whether a lawsuit or settlement might yield the best recovery for you.
Deciding the best forum for the trialDeciding on the city or state to file a personal injury lawsuit involving an aviation accident will depend on several factors. An experienced airplane accident attorney in Miami will consider the damages caps, witness location, and possible jurors’ profile. A law firm in Miami may decide to represent its clients in courts in another city if it believes it will improve the outcome.

Although aviation accidents are not common, it is important to understand the basic knowledge about liability in these cases. Contact Diamond and Diamond Miami for more information.


Pro Tip

“If you were on a commercial flight, the airline is held strictly liable, although your right to claim damages will depend on whether the flight was domestic or international. In both cases, the airline is automatically held responsible for any injuries or damages you incurred because of the accident.”

Compensation You Can Get After an Aviation Accident in Miami

When you lose a loved one or sustain injuries in a plane crash, you may face insurmountable medical and financial issues. These issues may keep you from adequately recovering. Consult an airplane accident lawyer in Miami to determine if you can get compensation for your losses. If you have a legitimate claim, damages awarded are for one or more of the following:

  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • PTSD, depression, and anxiety
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost wages and income
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation

Contact an Aviation Accident Attorney in Miami

Aviation accidents in Miami are not common, but they can lead to devastating losses to all involved when they happen. Suppose you lost a loved one or sustained severe injuries. In that case, you need a Diamond and Diamond aviation accident lawyer who will be by your side through the complexities of a personal injury claim for an airplane accident.

Aside from advocating for you, Diamond and Diamond Lawyers offer several resources on their site to help you understand the many legal and financial aspects of personal injury lawsuits in Miami. If you need a more in-depth discussion into the matter, schedule a free consultation with us.  Be aware that the statute of limitations in Florida for bringing a personal injury lawsuit for an aviation accident is four years.Each Diamond and Diamond law team member will give all clients personal and compassionate attention. Contact us online or call Diamond & Diamond now at 1-800-567-HURT as soon as possible.

FAQs for Aviation Accident Attorneys

The definition of an aircraft accident is embodied in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR § 830.2) and states thus,

“Aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.”

Suppose you are a passenger of an aircraft and you suffer personal injury in an aviation accident. In that case, the following people may owe a duty of care to you, for which they may be defendants in a lawsuit: 

  • Air traffic controller
  • Airline or private plane owner
  • Manufacturer
  • Airport
  • Maintenance crew
  • Pilot
  • Relevant government agencies

The Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention of the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for investigating all aircraft accidents in the US.

Serious injury means any injury which requires hospitalization for more than 2 days starting within the 7 days from the date the injury was sustained, results in a fracture of any bone, and causes severe hemorrhage, nerve, muscle or tendon damage.

Unmanned aircraft accident means an occurence associated with the operation of any public or civil unmanned aircraft system that takes place between the time that the system is activated with the purpose of flight and the time that the system is deactivated at the conclusion of its mission, in which any person suffers death or serious injury or the aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 300 pounds or greater and sustains substantial damage.

Yes, you can sue an airport for emotional distress especially when they are negligent in their maintenance or operation of an aircraft, putting the occupants in fear for their lives. They may compensate damages including mental health services, therapy costs, ongoing emotional distress, and more.

You may have the right to bring a lawsuit to recover damages from the parties responsible for causing the injury. For example, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the pilot(s), the airline, the manufacturer of the aircraft, the manufacturer of the engine, the owner of the aircraft and the government due to the failure of air traffic control to warn of impending danger.

Under the General Aviation Revitalization Act, the statute of repose is 18 years. This, however, should not be confused with a statute of limitations, where time limit begins from the date of the accident. A statute of repose begins at the time the airplane or component is manufactured.

Attending to injuries or mourning the death of a loved one should take precedence in the period immediately after an aviation accident. However, each country, and sometimes even each state or province within that country, imposes different deadlines by when to initiate a lawsuit. Moreover, international flights are governed by the Montreal Convention, which imposes a deadline of two years from the date of the accident. Therefore, due to the different and varying deadlines, it’s best that you get in touch with an aviation attorney as soon as possible after an aviation accident.