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Airplane Accidents

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New York Airplane Accident Lawyers

Airplane accidents are some of the most devastating kinds of accidents. Not only do these accidents have a high risk of causing fatalities for airplane occupants, but a crashing aircraft can also injure innocent people on the ground and cause significant damage to property. Due to the complexity of aircraft, investigating airplane accidents often requires extensive effort and experience. If you have suffered injury or property damage from an aircraft accident, turn to the New York personal injury lawyers of Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law. We can provide the legal assistance you need to pursue financial recovery for your injuries and losses.

Since 1996, our firm has worked hard to earn the respect of our clients and our peers in the legal community.We represent clients in state and federal courts in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and throughout the New York area.

 We strive to live up to our values of excellence, ethics, and compassion, pursuing the goal of resolving our clients’ claims as quickly as possible while obtaining fair and full compensation for them. It’s our aim that you be able to quickly move on following a devastating airplane accident and resume your normal life.

Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to take on the complex details of airplane accidents and to recover outsized compensation, even if you have incurred or will incur millions or tens of millions of dollars in expenses and losses. 

When you have been injured or have lost a family member because of an airplane accident, you deserve justice and financial recovery for your losses. Reach out to Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law today for a free initial case review. We can discuss your legal options for securing compensation following an airplane or aviation accident.

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airplane accident

Why Choose Burns & Harris After an Airplane Accident?

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an airplane accident, you may incur significant financial and personal loss. You need a law firm with the resources and experience to pursue full financial recovery for you. Choose Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law for help with your airplane accident case because of our:

Extensive legal experience: our attorneys possess more than 80 years of combined experience advocating for the interests of clients

Recognition among our peers for our attorneys’ accomplishments on behalf of our clients: several of our attorneys have been honored as Super Lawyers and as Super Lawyers "Rising Stars," and some were named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which chooses members based on their skill and experience in obtaining million-dollar and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements

Proven track record of results: we’ve recovered millions of dollars over the years for clients, as well as having some of the top verdicts on annual lists of New York verdicts

Dedication to guiding you through the entire claims process: we’ll be with you from your initial consultation all the way to obtaining compensation in a settlement or at trial

Airplane Accident Statistics

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in one recent year, there was a total of 1,085 general aviation accidents nationwide, which resulted in 187 serious injuries and 332 fatalities. This resulted in a rate of 5.57 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. In that same year, major airlines had a total of 11 accidents during scheduled service, while commuter airlines had five accidents, one of which was fatal, and air taxi services had 40 accidents, six of which were fatal. 

Types of Airplane Accident Cases We Handle

At Burns & Harris, we represent airplane accident victims or the families of those killed by airplane accidents in claims involving:

Commercial airline crashes

If you have been injured while riding as a passenger in a commercial airliner, or if you have been hurt or suffered property damage on the ground by an aircraft crash, we can help. You might be entitled to compensation from the airline, aircraft operator, or aircraft owner for your injuries or property damage. We also represent families who have lost loved ones in aviation disasters, demanding accountability and justice when the negligence of airlines or aircraft operators causes the wrongful death of innocent victims.

Charter plane crashes

We can also help you pursue financial compensation if you have been injured while riding in a charter plane. Let us thoroughly investigate the causes of the crash and advocate on your behalf to hold the charter operator, maintenance company or fixed-base operator, or aircraft pilot accountable. We will pursue justice on your behalf even if charter operators try to avoid liability by shutting down operations or declaring bankruptcy. 

Helicopter crashes

Our firm also represents injured victims of helicopter crashes. Whether you were injured while riding as a passenger in a charter or tour helicopter, or you were hurt on the ground by a helicopter crash, we will fight to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. 

airplane accident

Who Can Be Held Liable for an Airplane Accident?

Aircraft such as airplanes and helicopters are complex pieces of machinery consisting of tens or hundreds of thousands to millions of parts, often produced by numerous component manufacturers from all over the world. If a component fails or a mistake is made during the assembly, maintenance, or operation of an aircraft, an accident can easily result. Liability for an airplane accident may rest upon one or more parties, including:

The pilot

Under FAA regulations, a pilot in command of an aircraft has final authority and ultimate responsibility for the safe operation of the craft. If the pilot in command or any other crewmembers under their command commits negligence during aircraft operations, the pilot in command may have liability for a resulting crash.

The aircraft operator

Aircraft operators can include commercial passenger airlines, cargo companies, charter companies, air taxi companies, touring operators, and private aircraft operators. Aircraft operators often bear liability for an aircraft accident that results in injuries to passengers or innocent people on the ground.

The maintenance companies

In many cases, aircraft maintenance is outsourced to third-party companies, such as fixed base operators. Third-party mechanics who perform work on aircraft may have liability for an accident that results from negligently performed or deferred maintenance work on aircraft.

The aircraft manufacturer

Aircraft manufacturers can have liability for accidents that result from design defects of an aircraft. For example, Boeing has faced legal scrutiny due to alleged design defects with its newly launched 737-MAX aircraft. Design features of the aircraft include placement of the engines, aircraft sensors, and avionics software believed to have caused several airliner accidents over the past few years.

Parts manufacturers

In some cases, aircraft defects involve a component that is manufactured by a company that supplies the parts to the aircraft manufacturer. When a defective part causes an aircraft crash, the part manufacturer can also have liability to those injured by the accident.

Common Causes of Airplane Accidents

Today, most aircraft have robust designs that prevent mechanical failure, along with computers and autopilot systems to help reduce workloads for pilots. As a result, most airplane accidents are attributed to pilot error rather than a mechanical cause or external factors such as weather. Some of the most frequently occurring examples of pilot error that lead to accidents include:

In addition to pilot error, air traffic controller error is another frequent cause of airplane accidents. Like pilots, air traffic controllers may also become fatigued and make mistakes, such as giving the wrong instructions to an aircraft, misidentifying aircraft so that instructions are not received, or failing to maintain clearances and separations that could prevent aircraft collisions.

The Statute of Limitations

When you have a claim for compensation following an airplane accident, you need to act quickly in pursuing your legal rights. Under New York State’s statute of limitations, you must file a lawsuit in your airplane accident case before a certain deadline. If you are pursuing compensation for injuries that you have suffered in an airplane accident, the statute of limitations gives you three years from the date of the accident to file suit. If you have lost a loved one in an aviation accident, you have only two years from the accident to file a lawsuit against liable parties.

If you wait until after the statute of limitations has passed on your airplane accident claim to file a lawsuit, your case will likely be permanently dismissed by the trial court. That means you’ll lose the right to demand compensation from those at fault for the accident through the court system. This makes it important to speak to an airplane accident attorney from Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law as soon as possible so they can get started on investigating your claims and preparing a case for compensation on your behalf.

How an Attorney Can Help You After an Airplane Accident

When you have suffered injury or loss from an airplane accident, you should not try to pursue financial compensation from at-fault parties on your own. Airplane accidents typically involve complex investigations that are usually performed by a federal government agency known as the National Transportation Safety Board, in conjunction with other federal agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration. You need legal representation that will look out for your interests during the process of investigating the aircraft accident that has led to your claim. 

An attorney can help you seek accountability and justice following an airplane accident by:

Investigating the accident, including gathering materials and reports from official government investigations into the accident.

Retaining industry-leading aviation, engineering, and accident reconstruction experts to review the evidence and provide persuasive opinion testimony that explains how the accident occurred and identifies who bears liability for the harm and loss that you have suffered.

Documenting your past and ongoing expenses and losses and working with medical, vocational, and financial experts to calculate future expenses and other accident-related needs you are likely to have.

Explaining your legal rights to you and going over what to expect throughout the process of your case so that you are empowered to make decisions regarding your claim.

Filing insurance and legal claims against the party or parties at fault for the accident or representing your interests in consolidated or class action cases that may occur in large-scale aviation disasters.

Aggressively pursuing full financial recovery for you through a settlement with the responsible parties or by advocating for you in court or at trial if your case goes to litigation.

Compensation You May Be Entitled to After an Airplane Accident

After an aircraft accident, you may be able to recover compensation for expenses and losses that you have incurred due to the accident, such as:

Property damage, if an accident involves an aircraft crashing into your property, or if you lost property that you were traveling with when your aircraft crashed.

Medical expenses to treat and rehabilitate injuries you suffered in an airplane accident.

Long-term expenses for care for permanent disabilities that are caused by your injuries.

Loss of income or wages when you miss work while recovering from injuries sustained in the accident.

Loss of future earning potential or other employment benefits if you become permanently disabled from working.

Physical pain and emotional trauma or distress, including PTSD.

Permanent disfigurement or scarring.

In addition, if your family lost someone in an airplane or aircraft accident, you may be entitled to pursue a financial recovery for:

Funeral and burial expenses.

Health care expenses incurred (if any) to treat fatal injuries from an airplane accident.

Any conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to their death.

Loss of the decedent’s financial support.

Loss of the growth in value of the decedent’s estate.

The value of the decedent’s services to the household.

Loss of the decedent’s care and guidance.

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Contact Us to Learn More about Your Rights Following an Airplane Accident

If you were injured by an airplane crash or if your family has lost a loved one due to an aviation accident, don’t wait to get started pursuing compensation and justice. Call Burns & Harris Attorneys At Law at 800-724-6529 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You’ll get to talk with a New York airplane accident attorney about how our firm can help guide you through the complex process of an airplane accident case. Let us help you get the money you deserve. You can also fill out our intake form and a member of our team will call you.