1615 Forum Pl #4
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Florida Airplane Accident Attorneys
Were you involved in an airplane accident? Did it cause your injuries? Did the accident happen because of someone else’s negligent actions? If so, contact the Florida personal injury lawyers of Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. today. You might be entitled to financial compensation. We can review the circumstances of the incident and advise you about the available legal options.
Airplanes are relatively safe and arrive at their destinations without much trouble. However, systems can malfunction and lead to a catastrophic crash. In 2019, there were 1,302 aviation accidents and 452 onboard fatalities. Many plane crashes are due to human error in which the pilot makes a careless mistake at the controls, or a maintenance worker forgets to inspect a part for damage.
At Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., our Florida airplane accident lawyers understand the devastation of suffering injuries or losing a loved one in an airplane accident. The cost of resulting medical bills and other expenses can cause financial strain and put you in debt. You might worry about how you’re going to recover from such a tragic situation and afford the treatment you need to heal.
Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. is ready to help you hold the negligent party liable and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us for a free consultation at 561.689.8180 right now.
Differences Between General and Commercial Aviation
General aviation involves private or recreational aircraft, while commercial aviation is open to the public.
A private plane is much smaller than a commercial plane. General aviation involves nonscheduled flights that commercial airlines don’t operate. The term “general aircraft” includes more than airplanes as it can refer to helicopters as well.
The most common types of aircraft used in general aviation include:
- Small planes
- Offshore helicopters
- Personal and business jets
- Tour planes and helicopters
- Charter flights
- Non-commercial aircraft
- Emergency service planes and helicopters
Commercial flights are for transporting cargo and passengers. These planes take off and land at large airports. You most likely have taken a commercial flight at least once in your life for business or to travel with your family.
Common Causes of Airplane Accidents
Accidents involving an aircraft can occur for many reasons. Some scenarios have nothing to do with the plane crashing, such as an overhead bin with a faulty latch opening during turbulence and spilling luggage onto the passengers below. Another incident may involve someone slipping on a hazard left in the middle of the aisle on their way to the lavatory. Anything could happen and cause severe injuries.
The most common causes of airplane accidents are:
- Air traffic control errors
- Defective equipment
- Poorly maintained aircraft or parts
- Adverse weather
- Violating safety or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations
- Pilot error
- Low fuel
- Inadequate preflight inspections
- Mechanical issues
- Bad communication between the pilot, crew, air traffic control, and other parties
Regardless of what caused the accident, you deserve the opportunity to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. Do not hesitate to call Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. immediately following the accident to learn about the services we provide and the rights you have as an injured victim or surviving family member.
Common Injuries Suffered in Airplane Accidents
People can get hurt if an accident happens during takeoff, landing, taxiing, or while the aircraft is in the sky. No matter what type of accident occurs, various injuries can result. The most common include:
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Burns and cuts
- Spinal cord damage or back injury
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of limb
- Internal bleeding
- Sprained ankles
- Soft tissue injuries
Unfortunately, airplane collisions typically cause fatalities. Most people don’t survive when an aircraft drops quickly to the ground. The body can’t handle the violent force of a plane crashing into a body of water, building, or land. Anyone who survives often struggles with ongoing issues, such as physical or mental disability, chronic pain, and mental illness.
Determining Liability in an Airplane Accident
The pilot isn’t the only person responsible for the safe operation of an airplane. Multiple parties must ensure the aircraft is in good working condition and doesn’t contain damage or defects that could cause malfunctions.
Common parties held liable for airplane accidents are:
- Private plane companies and operators
- Flight crew members
- Air traffic controllers
- Maintenance workers
- Aircraft and parts manufacturers
- Commercial airline companies
- Servicing companies
If any of these or another individual or company were responsible for the accident, you could pursue compensation from them. Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. knows how to investigate these cases to determine who caused your injury and how to hold them accountable for what they have done.
When we perform the investigation, we will use our resources to obtain all of the available evidence. This will help us to establish who was at fault for the accident. The circumstances of the incident will determine the type of evidence we need, such as:
- Documentation for recalled or damaged parts
- The black box in the plane
- Pilot’s employment history, experience, and qualifications
- Photos of unrepaired damage to the plane
- Maintenance and repair logs for the aircraft
- Reports from the FAA and other investigations
- Pictures from the crash site
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Copies of your medical records and medical bills
- Video surveillance of the accident
The evidence we find could prove that the airline, pilot, or other party should be financially liable for the injured victim’s losses. The costs you incur should not be your responsibility if your actions did not contribute to your injury in any way.
Compensation Available in an Airplane Accident Case
You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for compensation for the losses you suffered. These losses might include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Damage to personal property
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
You could also pursue punitive damages. Instead of compensating your losses, an award of this type aims to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. A jury might award these damages to you if you can provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
If your loved one died in an airplane accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, only the personal representative of the estate is allowed to initiate this type of case in court. If you are a surviving family member, such as a spouse or child, you could receive compensation. The compensation you receive could cover various losses, such as:
- Funeral and medical costs you or another surviving relative paid
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of services and support provided by the deceased
- Loss of protection and companionship
- Lost instruction, companionship, or guidance from a parent
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you must initiate your case by the deadline set forth by the Florida statute of limitations. Wrongful death cases require you to file within two years of your loved one’s death. If you survived the accident and want to seek compensation for your losses, you must file within four years of the accident.
Steps to Take Following an Airplane Accident
There are things you should do immediately after getting hurt in an airplane accident. First, you need to seek medical treatment. Evidence is necessary to prove you were injured under these circumstances rather than a previous accident or preexisting medical condition.
The emergency room physician should evaluate your injuries and recommend a treatment plan. Follow their orders and continue attending your doctor’s appointments regularly. It is critical to show up for every recommended physical therapy appointment, imaging test, and surgical procedure. If you decide to stop treatment before you heal or without your medical provider’s consent, it could hurt your case.
Consult one of the Florida airplane accident lawyers from Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.. This is another important step you should not wait to complete. Handling an aviation accident case is time-consuming and complicated. It’s particularly challenging if you attempt to take on the negligent individual or company alone.
Many pilots, airlines, and other parties hire experienced defense attorneys that won’t go easy on you just because you are in pain and struggling to recover. If you do not have a dedicated legal team by your side, you could potentially lose your case or walk away with less compensation than you deserve.
It would be best to maintain every record you receive during the ongoing case. If a medical facility mails you a bill for their services, you pay for a prescribed medication, or your doctor writes a referral for follow-up care, keep a copy. Although Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. can collect all the evidence we need, reviewing the documents our client brings us is helpful. Airplane accident victims often require many months or years of treatment and forget about seeing a particular doctor or undergoing an X-ray. If we find that information among the documentation our client brings in, we can ensure we have complete records.
Contact the Trusted Legal Team at Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A.
Our Florida airplane accident lawyers have over 40 years of experience representing clients like you. We know what’s at stake and always work hard towards a favorable outcome. You will be our top priority while investigating the accident, collecting crucial evidence, and aggressively pursuing the compensation you deserve. We have extensive trial experience and never back down from a courtroom battle. You can count on our team to do whatever it takes to try to meet your needs and achieve your desired result.
If you were involved in an airplane accident due to another person’s negligence, call Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. at 561.689.8180 for your free consultation. We are available 24/7 to speak with you about your matter and offer the legal advice necessary to make an informed decision about what to do next.