When a large airplane crashes, the damage and loss of human life can capture the attention of the entire world. Commercial airline crashes are devastating and usually the death toll is significant. The news media often treats large plane crashes the same way they treat natural disasters. We see images of wreckage and interviews with grieving family members, and some of us probably vow to avoid air travel as much as is possible even though large plane crashes are relatively rare.
What doesn’t often get covered in the news are the much more frequent instances when small private airplanes or helicopters crash. While large plane crashes often leave no survivors, pilots and passengers can live through small-scale aviation accidents — but often with serious injuries.
Commercial Airline Crashes
When a commercial passenger airliner crashes, survivors or the families of the people killed in the crash may not know what to do. First the government safety officials step in to investigate the cause of the crash, and survivors or victims’ families may think pursuit of the truth is out of their hands.
Survivors and families probably are contacted almost immediately by airline representatives whose goal is to minimize exposure to liability for the crash. Victims’ families may think they have no recourse but to accept whatever the airline offers. It is, after all, a large and powerful corporation.
But families who lost loved ones in a commercial plane crash have the right to be represented by a personal injury lawyer who will act to help them understand what’s happening and preserve their potential claims.
If it turns out the crash was caused by negligence on the part of the airline or its employees, which can include actions such as pilot error or improper maintenance, then families of the people lost in the crash may have claims for compensation under federal and Illinois law.
Private Aircraft Accidents
Private airplane and helicopter accidents happen far more often than large commercial jet crashes. These accidents could be caused by human error, mechanical failures, or manufacturing or design defects. These types of aircraft often operate out of smaller airports and airfields where there may be less control and oversight than would exist someplace such as Chicago’s Midway or O’Hare airports where commercial jets operate.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash involving a small private aircraft or a helicopter, it may be challenging to figure out who should be responsible to take care of your medical bills and other damages. Depending upon the circumstances, you may have a claim against the pilot, the owner of the aircraft, the airport or airfield, or the manufacturer of the aircraft. An experienced aviation accident attorney can help sort through the complex details of the accident to determine what happened and who bears the legal responsibility.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Regardless of the size of the aircraft, claims stemming from aviation accidents are complex and technical. They require an understanding not only of Illinois personal injury law, but federal aviation regulations, general aviation principals, and how aircraft operate — or access to the right experts who can help tell the story of the crash and support your claim for compensation. Because of the technical nature of these cases, having an experienced and qualified attorney by your side will be invaluable, especially if you’re taking on an airline or manufacturer. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today or contact us online for a free consultation.