Airplane Crash Lawyers
The aviation attorneys of Passen & Powell are experienced at representing the victims of aviation accidents – from light and sport aircraft to commercial carriers. Whether the victim takes the form of a passenger, pilot, or property owner where the crash occurred, we understand the dynamics of aviation cases and know how to get results. For a free consultation with a top Chicago aviation accident attorney, call us at (312) 527-4500.
Aviation law, and aviation cases, can be extremely legally and factually complex. Legally, aviation cases sit at the crossroads where federal, state, and international law meet. Factually, aviation cases can involve forensic investigation and reconstruction, scientific and technical evaluations, and delving into the details of recent maintenance and repair. Our aviation attorneys are able to navigate this complex landscape to determine what actually occurred to cause an aviation accident, to explain it to a judge and jury, and to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Why are Aviation Cases Different?
Aviation cases can involve state, federal, and, in certain cases, international law. It can even stray into that most arcane and misunderstood of areas: admiralty law. But while the U.S. federal government generally controls U.S. aviation, this authority is not expressly granted, as it is in more classic admiralty cases. Thus, the states still exercise control to a certain extent.
And many different agencies’ rules can govern in aviation cases: from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates such things as airplane manufacturing and maintenance, as well as in-flight operations, and the the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates aviation accidents and issues and recommends changes, to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, which regulates and governs international aspects of aviation law. Our aviation attorneys know how to interact with each of these agencies to get results.
The sheer volume of laws governing aviation is staggering. At the U.S. federal level alone, there is the 1926 Air Commerce Act, the 1938 Civil Aeronautics Act, the 1958 Federal Aviation Act, the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001. To navigate these many laws – as well as the governing state alws – you need an experienced and knowledgeable aviation attorney. Our aviation attorneys have that experience and knowledge.
When an aviation accident occurs, it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands aviation issues. In many cases, but especially in aviation cases, prompt action after the accident is important to the long-term success or failure of the victim’s claims. The experienced aviation law attorneys at Passen & Powell know how to approach aviation cases, both in the short and long term. When investigating an aviation accident, our aviation attorneys will:
- Take steps to preserve the wreckage for analysis and evidence;
- Gather and preserve the relevant radar information and data;
- Take steps to preserve any and all recordings of the flight from the various air traffic control centers involved in the particular flight;
- Safeguard our clients’ interests and rights during interactions and initial contact with local, state, federal, and even international authorities;
- Find and interview any witnesses;
- Work with industry, scientific and technical experts to determine what occurred and why;
- Identify and analyze any jurisdictional issues, to ensure that the case is properly filed;
- Evaluate the liability of each individual or organization who may share fault for the crash, from manufacturers to mechanics, from pilots and in-flight staff to air traffic controllers and others; and
- Shepherd any legal action through the necessary administrative agencies and courts.
Each of these steps is important to the ultimate outcome of an aviation accident case, and each requires knowledge and careful handling. Our aviation accident lawyers know how to perform each of these key tasks to maximize our clients’ chances of getting the recovery they deserve.
Products Liability and Aviation
Aviation accident cases can be particularly wrinkled where the crash was caused, in whole or in part, by a defective aircraft or aircraft part. These cases can be complicated due to the technical and scientific evidence needed. This added complexity may be rewarded, however, by the availability of strict liability for the manufacturer of the defective equipment.
Illinois, like about half of U.S. states, allows for strict liability for defective and “unreasonably dangerous” products. If an airplane or airplane part, like many other products, does not perform as it should, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable for the accident and the harm it causes. These cases are not always straightforward, however – at times, the interaction of a defective part and a pilot error can complicate things, such as when a defective part malfunctions, and the pilot does not react optimally or appropriately, leading to further damage. Our experienced aviation law attorneys know how to analyze, evaluate, and communicate these mixed cases, so that the complexity does not prevent recovery for our clients.
Contact a Top Chicago Aviation Lawyer
The aviation attorneys of Passen & Powell are determined to see that our clients – the victims of aviation accidents and their families – receive informed counsel and get the recovery they deserve. Each of our Chicago aviation lawyers have the know-how, the experience, and the commitment to help you in your aviation accident claim.
For a free consultation, contact a top Chicago aviation attorney at (312) 527-4500 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation.