Plane Accidents and Aviation Law
Aviation law refers to the set of laws governing aircraft operation and aircraft facilities. Aviation law is primarily exercised under federal jurisdiction through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA oversees the manufacture, operation, and maintenance of all aircraft to make sure that appropriate safety standards are met, while the NTSB investigates accidents and other incidents in order to improve air travel safety.
Airline travel is considered one of the safest forms of transportation. However, when plane accidents occur, an aviation attorney can make sure that the wreckage and air traffic control readings are preserved, interview witnesses, and gather radar readings.
In addition, it is important to remember that aviation accidents often involve multiple jurisdictional issues. An airline accident claim may be filed outside the area where the crash occurred (in a different state or country). As a result, aviation attorneys often work with local attorneys who are familiar with that state or country's legal procedures.
Aviation Product Liability
Aviation product liability refers to a group of laws that determine whether an aviation accident was caused by a defective part on an airplane, by pilot error, or by a combination of both. In most cases, the manufacturer and the pilot are both held liable. For instance, a defective gauge may cause the pilot to overreact and make unnecessary maneuvers that result in injuries to the passengers and crew. In such cases, a jury may hold the manufacturer liable for the defective pressure gauge and the pilot liable for making unnecessary changes to the flight plan.
There are several actions for which a pilot, airline, or others can be held criminally liable, including:
- The transportation of controlled substances
- The transportation of hazardous materials
- Piloting an aircraft while under the influence
- Bringing a concealed weapon into an airport or onto an airplane
Up until 1997, U.S. citizens injured on international flights were limited to a finite amount of compensation (through the Warsaw Convention Treaty). However, due to increasing pressure from U.S. citizens, airlines signed an agreement that increased the compensatory amount allowed for accidents involving domestic flights in the United States.
Consult a Plane Accident Attorney
If you are interested in learning more about aviation accidents, aviation product liability, aviation safety, aviation crime, and international aviation, you can contact an aviation law attorney for more information.