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Aviation Accidents

Aviation Accidents


According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial air travel should double over the next 20 years. This will likely lead to an increase in the number of airplane accidents. While air travel is generally a safe means of transportation, accidents do occur and often result in fatalities.

Aviation law is complex and involves various federal agencies, including the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The goal of these agencies is to promote aviation safety and prevent aircraft accidents.

What Happens After and Accident?

After an airplane accident, the NTSB is called to the scene and begins an investigation. The goal of the NTSB is not necessarily to determine civil fault for the accident, but to understand the cause of the crash and to issue safety recommendations as appropriate. The FAA participates in the NTSB investigation as well. These government agencies usually maintain possession of the aircraft wreckage until their investigation is concluded, which can be many months after a crash.

What To Do After An Accident…

After an aviation accident you must do what is necessary to protect yourself and your legal rights. We suggest the following:

  • Call the police and paramedics if necessary.
  • Obtain the names and addresses of all witnesses right away. They may need to leave the scene and go about their business.
  • Retain an attorney right away. An attorney will take the necessary steps to ensure that the evidence is preserved and can interact with the various governmental agencies involved.
  • Make a notation for your records of how the incident occurred, the date and time of the incident, location of the incident, names of all witnesses, the owner of the aircraft or airline, and weather conditions. Keep any clothing or other evidence of the crash.
  • If you were a passenger on a commercial airline, report any complaints to the appropriate personnel. Also, keep your airline ticket and receipt.

If You Are Injured…

If you have any physical complaints after the accident, you should seek medical attention right away. Any delay in seeking medical care can negatively effect your case. An emergency room can provide an immediate evaluation and diagnostic tests such as x-rays. Alternatively, see your family doctor. Either way, be sure to tell any medical personnel allof the physical complaints you are having. Don’t leave any complaints unmentioned, even if they are minor! Also be sure to photograph any visible injuries immediately, such as bruises, scrapes, broken bones, etc. Always remember that a picture is worth a thousand words!

Remember That Time Is Of The Essence…

You should not delay in speaking with a lawyer after an accident, no matter how minor the accident may be. A successful case must be investigated immediately. Evidence must be preserved. Additionally, the law provides certain time limitations in which action must be taken. If the required action is not taken within that time, your case will be lost forever!

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