Chicago Airplane Accident Lawyer

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Aviation Accident Attorney in Chicago

Passengers of airplane accidents have many rights. An Airplane Accident Attorney knows the full extent of these rights. Most people probably don’t read the fine print on their tickets or email confirmations. However, all ticket holders are entitled to many basic protections. U.S. federal law forbids law firms from contacting any potential clients for up to 45 days following an airplane crash. Notably, that does not keep victims from contacting a lawyer immediately.

This is fortunate for clients. Seeking an airplane crash attorney early in the process can help secure the best possible outcome for your case later on. The aviation accident lawyers at Curcio Law Offices have a wide range of experience in aviation litigation. We handle not only commercial airplane crash cases, but also any litigation involving private airplanes, helicopters, corporate jets, and small airplanes.

We protect your interests at all stages of your case. It does not matter if you are a survivor of an aviation accident, or if you are the family member of a victim. We will fight for justice for you and your family. Your best interests will always come first.

Yes. According to U.S. law and international treaties, all victims of plane crash accidents are entitled to sue airlines for crashing.

Aviation attorneys work with aviation law. They are also referred to as airplane accident lawyers, plane crash lawyers, and airplane accident attorneys. This is the type of law that deals with operation of aircrafts and ground facilities. Aviation ground facilities include airports, hangars, and air traffic control systems. Aviation attorneys represent passengers, airlines, pilots, manufacturers, flight schools and anyone involved in aviation. Some aviation attorneys prefer to work with victims of crashes. Others prefer to represent those on the aviation industry side of the business.

The Chicago Airplane Accident Lawyers at Curcio work with anyone who sustained any type of personal injury resulting from an aircraft. We also work with families of victims that have died in aviation-related accidents

In any case that involves an aircraft or the aviation industry, it is important to hire an attorney that knows the laws surrounding aviation. Building a strong case in an aviation-related accident is incredibly complex. Collecting evidence after an airplane accident is difficult. It's often more difficult than investigating a motor vehicle accident. You want an attorney that has experience investigating airplane crash cases and building strong personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Insurance companies for the aviation industry also pose a different set of challenges than those of the auto industry. Our plane crash attorneys know how to argue your case during settlement negotiation and trial. We get efficient and fair resolution for our clients’ claims.

Aviation Laws

Many clients want to know: will they be part of a class-action lawsuit, or will they bring their case individually?

Because so many people tend to be part of these accidents, they often end up in multi-district litigation. You may sometimes hear this referred to as MDL. In the event that multiple cases are pending in multiple federal courts, judgement works a bit differently. A judicial panel makes the decision on whether the cases should be consolidated into one court, or left as they are. 

 

In addition, an aviation attorney must keep current on all regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as international laws governing flight.  In order to represent victims and families of airplane crash victims from accidents that happened internationally, airplane crash attorneys must also know all applicable international laws and conventions. Read more about these below.

Human Error

The most common cause of aviation accidents are pilots. Pilot error accounts for more than half of all plane crashes. Human error can result in failure to follow proper take-off and landing procedures. Pilots sometimes make the following errors:

  • Premature descent 
  • Using excessive landing speed
  • Missing runways
  • Failing to refuel
  • Making navigation mistakes
  • Miscalculating distances or weather conditions

However, pilots are not always the only entities that get sued following plane crashes.

Mechanical defects

Mechanical defects that might cause plane crashes include:

  • Inadequate repairs
  • Worn out parts
  • Defective equipment replacements 

Considering the very complex systems required to fly large passenger airplanes, a small defect or failure in just one minor part can cause serious consequences. If a mechanical defect caused a plane crash, your aviation accident lawyer can help you hold the airplane manufacturer responsible.

Air traffic controllers

Air traffic controllers play an important role in safe air travel. They must coordinate the paths of many different aircrafts at once. They also need to factor in weather and fuel when the schedule take-off and landings. Small errors by air traffic controllers can result in catastrophic damages. 

Weather conditions

Poor weather conditions also factor strongly into airplane accidents. The law categorizes this type of factor as an “Act of God.” Of course, no person or entity can be held responsible for causing bad weather. However, a pilot, air traffic controller, or aviation company could be held liable in the event of bad weather. This could be because they have the duty to diligently check weather reports and react accordingly. They must reasonably estimate dangers and follow proper procedures during storms or fog. 

Miscellaneous 

Finally, other possible causes of airplane accidents include:

  • Terrorist activity
  • Passenger malicious intent or negligence
  • In-flight fires
    • These can sometimes be due to faulty fire detection equipment, or other mechanical failures
  • Careless cargo loading
  • Preventable runway obstructions
  • Ground crew misconduct

Regardless of what caused an airplane accident, it was certainly a tragedy. It should not have happened, considering how safe air travel has become. Know your rights. The Chicago Airplane Accident Lawyers at Curcio Law Offices will be able to build your personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Commercial planes crash very rarely. The leading aviation consulting firm, To70, reported a fatal accident rate of only .18 in 2019. This means that for every 5.58 million flights, there was one fatal accident. Plane crash lawyers work with victims and family members of plane crash victims from both commercial plane crashes and private airplane crashes.

Yes. Commercial airlines are considered common carriers. They  must maintain a strict standard of care towards passengers. Private pilots, according to federal law, are not held to the same high standard, but rather, the “common negligence standard.” 

 

Private pilots must use “due diligence” as well as “reasonable care” in order to prevent injuries or accidents of all passengers. This does not mean that private pilots are not expected to possess similar skills to commercial pilots.

 

Under the law, private pilots must possess the same skills and knowledge as commercial pilots. If you or a loved one were involved in a private plane crash, speak to an airplane accident lawyer. He or she will be able to determine whether or not the private plane pilot operated like a “reasonable” pilot under the same circumstances. According to “vicarious liability,” if a private pilot causes an accident, injured parties may sue the aircraft owner as well. In some cases, it might also be possible that the airplane manufacturer is also at fault.

Yes. Airplane accidents that occur in the United States involving U.S. based airlines may be subject to lawsuits in United States courts. If you are a surviving victim, or a family member of a deceased victim, you may recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income.

 

According to the Warsaw Convention, airplane accidents that occur internationally are also subject to lawsuits. The Warsaw Convention is an international treaty. It established that airline companies are liable for any damages to passengers and their belongings. It protected airlines from damages that passengers cause themselves.  Also, the Warsaw Convention established a standard of insurance that airline companies must meet.

 

The Montreal Convention, which happened in 1999, modified the Warsaw Convention. It provides for unlimited liability. Under this unlimited liability, airlines must provide:

  • Advance payments
  • The ability for passengers to sue from their personal place of residence
  • Sufficient insurance

Airlines may be held strictly liable for a certain number of things. Strictly liable means liability without needing to show fault. The injured passenger must still prove “willful misconduct” by the air carrier. Strict liability under the Montreal Convention may be up to 113,100 for proven damages. This figure is a mix of currency values established by the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. This equates to roughly $170,000 per United States passenger.

 

According to current precedent there is no limitation on the amount of recovery a victim can receive from an airline. The only exception is if an airline can prove that it took every necessary precaution in order to avoid an accident. This makes it easier for innocent victims and their families to recover if only a fraction of what they lost in an accident. This puts the burden on airlines.

This depends on where the accident occurred. It’s important to speak with an airline accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. He or she will be best equipped to advise you on the statute of limitations for airplane accidents. If you delay too long, you may lose the right to fair compensation.

Call the Chicago Airplane Accident Lawyers at Curcio Law Offices

If you or someone you love was injured in an airplane accident, enlist Curcio Law Offices to recover compensation. Call 312-321-1111 or contact our Chicago law firm online to schedule a consultation. We’ve recovered millions for our clients.