When you and your family choose to fly, you trust in the safety of the plane and the skills of the crew to get you safely to your destination. Aviation accidents can occur on private or commercial planes, hang gliders, while skydiving, in hot air balloons, or in helicopters.
The increased safety and technology of the aviation industry have resulted in far fewer crashes and injuries over the last decade. However, accidents still occur. While some aviation accidents are a result of faulty equipment, others are determined to be a result of pilot error. Tragically, many of these accidents lead to fatal injuries and the loss of a loved one.
If you or your loved one was injured while on an airplane or another form of aviation in Chicago, our experienced team of aviation accident attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact a Chicago aviation accident lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates online or call (800) 985-1819 as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Steps to take after an aviation accident
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of an aviation accident will have a major impact on not only your health but also your case. Try to keep the following in mind:
1. Get medical attention
Aviation accidents can result in severe injuries leading to permanent debilitation. But if you can see a doctor immediately, that could help you achieve a full recovery. Follow your doctor’s recommendations in the letter.
2. Get photos
If your physical condition allows, take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. Take photos of your injuries as well. All of these photos could prove to be powerful evidence.
3. Keep all of your records
Don’t throw away a single receipt pertaining to your accident. Keep all of your medical bills, for example, and also keep any paperwork relating to the flight, such as your ticket and itinerary, if applicable.
4. Speak with an attorney
You should immediately start considering Chicago personal injury attorneys to help you obtain compensation for your injury. The reason time is of the essence is that your lawyer will need to investigate the accident as soon as possible before key evidence fades away or disappears completely.
Types of aviation accidents
There are many different kinds of accidents involving aircraft, such as the following:
- Flight maneuver accidents.
- Accidents that occur during descent or landing.
- Accidents before or during takeoff.
Causes of aviation accidents in Chicago
Due to the nature of aviation itself, accidents often lead to death. Aviation accidents may be the result of various contributing factors, including:
Negligence of air traffic control
Ground crews are in place at each airport to ensure a safe landing for all vehicles landing at that airport. A failure of air traffic control may have led to the accident.
Airplanes are complicated vehicles. It only takes one piece of equipment, whether digital, hydraulic, electric, or jet engine to bring a plane down. If improper maintenance or faulty manufacturing is identified as the cause of the accident, the equipment manufacturer or those maintaining the plane may be responsible.
FAA regulation violations
Failure to comply with FAA regulations by the airline, pilot, or air traffic controller could lead to an aviation accident. In these cases, those in violation of those regulations can be sued to seek compensation for injuries, deaths, or other damages.
Pilots make decisions every day that affect the lives of hundreds of individuals. Errors in judgment, incorrect use of equipment, navigational errors, and miscalculation of the speed and altitude are just some of the factors that can contribute to an airline crash.
If it is found that errors are made due to negligence, a lawsuit can be filed against all responsible parties. Responsible parties may include the pilot and the airline company.
Common aviation accident injuries
Any sort of aviation accident can result in severe injuries. These are some of the more common examples seen by our Chicago aviation accident lawyers:
An occupant of an aircraft can suffer severe brain injuries when their head strikes the window or some other hard surface, such as an overhead compartment door.
An aircraft passenger can suffer severely broken bones even in a so-called “minor” incident.
Aircraft contain highly combustible fuels. When those fuels ignite, the resulting fire can cause horrific burn injuries. Victims will often need excruciating skin grafts as well as reconstructive surgery. They may also suffer permanent disfigurement.
Make sure you file a claim on time
The statute of limitations in Illinois is two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t take legal action before the statute runs out, you won’t be able to pursue compensation from those whose negligence led to your injury.
Possible damages you can claim
There are two main forms of damages (the legal word for accident-related losses) you can try to recover through an aviation accident lawsuit. The following is a brief explanation of each.
The economic damages you suffer are your tangible economic losses. They’re tangible because they’re easily proven through documentation. For example, your medical bills prove the extent of your injuries. Your pay stubs show how much money you’re losing because you can’t work.
On the other hand, it takes an experienced Chicago aviation accident lawyer to prove non-economic damages. The reason is they’re subjective. You might, for example, be suffering from severe emotional trauma due to what you’ve gone through. But while this can be just as bad as experiencing a serious physical injury, you can’t produce a piece of paper to prove it.
However, a skilled attorney with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will know how to prove your emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and any other non-economic damages that may apply to your case.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
As stated earlier, there could be several parties that played a role in causing the accident. Here’s another look at some of them.
If you suffered an injury while traveling as a passenger on a flight, you may be able to obtain compensation from the airline.
The person piloting the aircraft could have committed negligence in one of several ways. For instance, they may have failed to perform the necessary pre-flight checks of the aircraft, failed to properly monitor the speed and altitude, or failed to accurately evaluate the weather at the time of the accident.
The owner of the aircraft
The owner could face liability if they didn’t properly maintain the aircraft, or chose not to fix a potentially dangerous mechanical issue that they were aware of.
How our Chicago attorneys prove negligence
A Chicago aviation accident lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can gain access to pieces of evidence that might be out of the reach of non-attorneys. For example, we can get pilot logs and maintenance records, both of which could contain critical information that can help improve your chances of obtaining compensation. We can also get the footage of any surveillance cameras that might have captured the accident.
Cost of hiring an aviation accident attorney
Hiring our firm won’t cost you anything upfront. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we don’t receive any money unless we achieve a successful outcome on behalf of our clients.
Why you should visit a doctor as soon as possible
We mentioned earlier that you need to get medical help immediately to protect your health. But it’s also important for your chances of getting the money you deserve. The insurance company could claim your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim, or that you’re not hurt at all. Seeing a doctor will establish that you were hurt due to the accident and that you’re accumulating medical bills.
Benefits of hiring an aviation accident attorney
The biggest reason to hire a lawyer is that you’ll be going up against formidable opposition. The insurance companies representing the liable parties will do whatever they can to deny you the money you have coming. A skilled attorney will be able to gather the proof it takes to defeat whatever claims the other side will make.
Why hire Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
Our Chicago aviation accident lawyers are prepared to work with you to seek justice and compensation for all damages. We have extensive experience in this area of the law, and we won’t stop until we’ve done everything we can to help you obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Our Chicago aviation accident attorneys are ready to help
If your loved one was the victim of a catastrophic airline or aviation injury, you should seek legal assistance at once. Contact us and let the experienced Chicago airplane accident attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates help you seek the maximum possible in compensation. We are Chicago personal injury lawyers with deep experience in complex cases. Call now for a free case consultation.