Palm Beach County attracts travelers from around the world. Many take to the air on commercial and private planes to travel, sightsee, and for other recreational or business purposes. Occasionally, one of these flights ends tragically. If you or your relative was involved in a plane crash near West Palm Beach or suffered an injury on an aircraft, the accident attorneys at Frankl Kominsky are ready to assist you.Airplane Crashes Cause Serious Harm
Planes are less likely to be involved in an accident compared to other modes of transportation. When they are involved in an accident, however, the results can be fatal. Preliminary figures from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) show 449 aviation-related deaths in 2012.
In its 2012 Administrator’s Factbook, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) attributed airplane accidents primarily to runway incursions and other surface incidents, pilot deviations, and operational errors. Other crashes were attributed to vehicle or pedestrian deviations and midair collisions.
The FAA and NTSB are responsible for regulating air travel and investigating any accidents. Federal aviation law governs most matters related to air travel, although international laws may apply in some cases. These laws set safety standards for flight operators and aircraft manufacturers, as well as qualification criteria for pilot and maintenance crews. State laws provide an airplane accident victim with the legal right to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in an accident.Taking Legal Action to Pursue Compensation
If you or your family member was involved in a West Palm Beach plane crash, you can try to pursue a claim for your injuries. You can base your lawsuit on several theories of liability, depending on the defendant and the cause of the accident.
Negligence is a common cause of airplane crashes. You can potentially hold a defendant liable if you can demonstrate that his or her failure to act with reasonable care caused you to suffer injuries and incur damages. For example, pilot and crew negligence might arise from interference with airplane controls or other crucial machinery, lack of coordination between the pilot and crew or among the crew, or failure to follow procedures. If you can prove that the pilot or crew acted negligently, you may hold them accountable for your injuries. If a lack of airplane maintenance caused the accident, you may hold the owner of the airplane liable for negligent maintenance, inspection, and repair of the aircraft.
Defects in the aircraft itself are sometimes the cause of a crash. You may file a product liability claim against the manufacturer if an aircraft design or manufacturing defect caused the accident. However, the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, or GARA, may prevent you from filing a product liability claim in some cases. GARA is a statute of repose that prohibits an airplane accident victim from filing a product liability lawsuit against an aircraft or component manufacturer if the accident occurred 18 years after the aircraft or component at issue was delivered to the purchaser. GARA generally applies to smaller planes. A knowledgeable attorney can explain what theories of liability you can use in your case and if GARA applies.
Potential damages in airplane accidents include compensation for any incurred and expected medical expenses, lost income and earning potential, pain and suffering, and more. You can file a wrongful death claim if a close family member died in a crash. This may allow you to get compensation for your relative’s lost income, medical and funeral costs, and other damages based on your relationship to the victim.Enlist a West Palm Beach Injury Attorney to Assert Your Rights
The injury lawyers at Frankl Kominsky dedicate their practice to asserting the rights of accident victims throughout Palm Beach County. We serve residents of Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, and Boca Raton, as well as other Palm Beach County locations. Call us at (561) 609-1948 or fill out our online form for a free initial consultation. Our staff is fluent in Spanish and Creole.