General Laws, Liabilities and Litigation in Plane Accidents

by : Manuel Salvacion

If you happen to be injured in a plane accident in Los Angeles, how will you recover claims for your injuries?

First, you need to have basic knowledge of some laws and regulation governing aviation accidents. Accident laws involving private planes are different from those applied in public transportation like jet planes and special aircraft, such as those used by the military.

In general, plane accidents are governed by aviation laws. General aviation law covers all aircraft other than those operated by commercial airlines and the military. There are also state and federal laws governing air travel.

The main federal agencies concerned with aviation regulations and laws are the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The FAA is the main regulatory body for aviation safety and standards. It has enforcement powers, as well as the ability to issue and revise regulations related to all aspects of air travel safety research, manufacture, and navigation.

On the other hand, the NTSB investigates aviation accidents and offers proposals to enhance future air safety. Another duty of the Board is to function as a "court of appeals" for cases involving pilots or other aviation workers against the FAA. The NTSB has neither regulatory nor enforcement powers.

Liability in general aviation accidents vary depending on the cause of the accident.

The most common causes of aircraft accidents include:

• Pilot Errors
• Faulty Equipment- Faulty equipment or even poorly maintained equipment can fail and cause an airplane to crash.
• Violating FAA regulations- FAA laws exist to protect everyone using air travel. Violations of FAA regulations can endanger the safety of everybody in the air.
• Structural or design problems with an aircraft.
• Flight service station employee negligence
• Federal air traffic controllers' negligence
• Third party's carrier selection negligence
• Maintenance or repair of the aircraft or component negligence
• Fueling the aircraft negligence

In plane accidents not caused by human factors, LA lawyers often determine fault by these standards:

• Strict Liability - Strict liability laws in plane accidents differ from state to state. The manufacturer of an aircraft can be held liable if the victim of an accident can prove that a defect in the product (the aircraft) caused his or her injuries. This is referred to as strict liability.

• Product Liability - product liability determine whether an accident was caused by a part of the aircraft, pilot error, or a combination of both.

• 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) - It protects manufacturers of non-commercial aircraft (light aircraft and business aircraft with maximum seating of less than 20 passengers) from product liability lawsuits for defects on aircraft older than 18 years.

Plane Accident Lawyers

Aviation accident laws can be complicated and may involve state, federal or even international laws. This makes litigation involving plane accidents difficult. It is therefore necessary for plane accident victims to get the services of a skilled and experienced LA lawyer to handle matters for them.

In most plane accident cases, one will find a lawyer’s services handy in the following situations:

• Preservation of evidence in wreckage
• Collection of radar information
• Interview witnesses
• Preservation of air traffic control recordings
• Locating key witnesses
• Identifying jurisdictional issues
• Evaluate liability of the parties responsible for the crash
• Protect the client's rights during initial interviews with authorities