• Travel and Aviation Accidents
  • March 16, 2019
  • Travel and Aviation Accidents

    Although many are afraid of flying, it is generally considered much safer than driving. Statistics show that there are far more driving accidents than flying ones. Having said that, flying accidents still occur and cause devastating injuries and death.

    There are different kinds of aviation accidents, and depending on their type, companies may be held liable for the injuries individuals sustain or even death.

    Commercial Aviation

    Similar to taxi cabs, buses and trains, commercial airplanes are classified under the common carriers category. Common carriers are required to follow strict standards and regulations for the assurance of consumers’ safety and security.

    As common carriers that provides its services to the public, airplanes are governed by two regulatory bodies called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). These bodies require passenger carriers (airplanes) and cargo to exercise diligence in their work. And therefore, they are liable for any damages that can occur to passengers.

    If you sustained any type of injury from a commercial plane, you are entitled to file a lawsuit against the carrier. However, you are going to have to prove that the carrier was negligent and had failed to comply with the diligent requirements of a reasonably careful operator.

    Causes of aviation accidents

    Although air traffic is considered one of the safest means of transportation when comparing accident statistics, these accidents may occur and we must therefore understand why and how they do. The most common causes of accidents are:

    • Problems in the plane structure and design
    • Problems with the equipment
    • Pilot errors
    • Flight service station workers negligence
    • Air traffic controllers negligence

    Proving negligence in an aviation accident

    If you decide to file a lawsuit against a carrier for negligence, you will have to prove the elements of negligence. These are:

    • Duty: the carrier (the defendant in the lawsuit) owes all passengers a duty to perform with the highest standards of care and diligence.
    • Breach: the carrier (the defendant) breached this duty
    • Causation: the passenger’s injuries (plaintiff in the lawsuit) was caused as a result of the carrier's breach to their duty to protect their passengers’ duty
    • Damages: in order to prove carrier negligence, you must have been physically affected by the carrier’s breach of duty. The damages can also include emotional stress and/or loss of income.

    In these lawsuits, evidence is very important and the more you can provide, the stronger your case will be. Past plaintiffs have provided photographs, videos and eye witnesses as evidence as well as expert witness testimonials. Therefore, as a passenger who believes to have sustained an aviation injury as a result of a carrier negligence, you should make sure to provide as much evidence as you possibly can. You can also provide evidence through showing how a certain regulation was not properly followed or that the carrier failed to comply in accordance.

    Recoverable damages

    The recoverable damages for aviation related damages are similar to most recoverable damages for other injuries. They fall under the category of personal injury which includes the following recoverable damages:

    • Medical expenses: past and future
    • Loss of income, or loss of earning capacity
    • Pain and suffering and emotional distress
    • Loss of consortium
    • Punitive damages
    • Funeral expenses in the case of death