Aviation Accident Lawyer
Experienced Aviation Accident Lawyers Who Are Ready To Help
Aviation accidents in Louisiana and Texas can have devastating consequences. You have likely suffered catastrophic injuries or even the loss of someone you love. Perhaps pilot error caused your accident or negligent maintenance of the aircraft. Maybe instead the plane was constructed improperly or with a defective part. Whatever the cause of your plane accident, you deserve compensation from the negligent party. The right personal injury team knows how to investigate aviation accidents and determine who was at fault.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we provide high-quality representation for clients such as you who were injured in an aviation accident. Our aviation injury lawyers know what it takes to pursue financial compensation for your and your family. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case with us.
Why Choose Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers?
Aviation accidents are complicated and require the right attorney to represent you. With an aviation injury attorney at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, you know you are getting the highly experienced representation you need. We know what losing someone in a plane crash or other aviation accident is like. We also know the lengths airlines and insurance companies will go to deny your claim — even when they know they are at fault. We can fight back against their tactics and seek the compensation you deserve.
As the premier aviation accident attorneys in Texas and Louisiana, we know how to pursue the compensation you are owed. Our attorneys are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, which means we have won millions of dollars for our clients. We are a five-star rated personal injury law firm that gives you aggressive representation and a personalized approach. Our case results speak for themselves, including:
- $31,500,000 for an oil field safety violation
- $4,000,000 from a driving safety violation that resulted in back and neck injuries
- $2,750,000 in a truck accident that caused orthopedic injuries
- $2,170,477 in a car accident case
Our highly skilled lawyers recently won Louisiana's largest personal injury verdict as of March 2023. Our attorneys won $409,000,000 for the Grantham family. The Granthams lost their daughter Katie "Bug" Grantham, who was killed by an intoxicated truck driver working for an oil company. The oil company was aware of the truck driver's drug problem but chose to ignore it. With our help, they held the truck driver and his employer financially responsible for their daughter's death.
Our attorneys know how to put these skills to work for you in an aviation accident case.
What Is an Aviation Accident?
An aviation accident refers to any occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a person is injured or killed. An aviation accident can occur with many kinds of aircraft. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Passenger airliners
- Small planes
- Jets and propeller planes
- Cargo planes
- Military aircraft
These aircraft and many others may be why you were hurt in an aviation accident. When that happens, you need an attorney who understands complex aviation law.
Causes of Aviation Accidents
Numerous things may contribute to the cause of an aviation accident. These causes often lead to serious injuries, permanent disabilities, and even death for the ones you love. In many of these accidents, someone is directly responsible for the accident. Common causes of aviation accidents in Louisiana and Texas include:
Mechanical and Design Errors
Aircraft are complex machines with thousands to millions of separate parts. Each part must be properly constructed, designed, and manufactured to ensure it works properly. When parts do not work as they should, the aircraft may crash or injure passengers in other ways.
The equipment manufacturer may be responsible in a product liability case when equipment malfunctions. The manufacturer may be responsible for the equipment's negligent design or for errors in the manufacturing process. The manufacturer may also be responsible if they fail to warn of known product dangers that cause you harm.
A pilot or multiple pilots operate most aircraft. These pilots receive years of training in operating their aircraft and should always act responsibly when flying. However, pilots often make mistakes or engage in other negligent behavior that endangers others. When this occurs, the pilot's errors may be a breach of the duty of care.
A negligent pilot, and their employer, should be financially responsible for the injuries they cause. An aviation accident attorney knows how to investigate the case to determine if pilot error contributed to the aviation accident.
Aircraft use various equipment before, during, and after a flight. This equipment must work properly and be properly maintained. When it is not, it can cause serious injuries to passengers like you. Equipment malfunctions often include:
- Problems with fuel equipment
- Runway equipment errors
- Defective safety equipment aboard the plane
- Radio and communication technology errors
- Plane control malfunctions
Pilots and airlines are trained to handle bad weather, but some fail to take the proper precautions. An airline may seek to avoid cancellations and permit a flight that should not be allowed to depart in dangerous weather conditions. A pilot may choose a route through a storm rather than around one when that is the wrong choice. Runway collisions may occur when planes cannot see each other during takeoff or landing.
Bad weather like fog, rain, high winds, snow, and much more can contribute to an accident. If the airline or its employees are negligent in accounting for this bad weather, they may be financially responsible for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
Runways should be clear of obstructions that could damage the plane or cause a crash. Unfortunately, runway obstructions are a common cause of aircraft accidents in Louisiana and Texas. Obstructions can include anything on the runway that should not be there, including:
- Animals such as birds, deer, or dogs
- Large trees or other natural debris
- Planes or other motor vehicles
- Luggage carts
- People walking on the runway
Ground Crew Errors
The ground crew at an airport is a critical part of how it runs. They manage everything from plane refueling, loading, and directing traffic as planes taxi along the runway. When ground crew makes mistakes, these mistakes can become tragic aircraft accidents.
Ground crew errors can occur at any time and for several reasons. The ground crew may be improperly trained or receive inadequate training. They may make a simple one-time mistake or be a problematic employee the airline should have fired long ago. The ground crew may be intoxicated or overtired, leading to poor decisions. Whatever the cause of the ground crew error, that crew member and their employer may be liable for the airplane accident.
Improper Cargo Loading
Improper cargo loading can lead to damage to the aircraft which may cause an accident. Another possibility is that the cargo is loaded unbalanced, which can cause problems during takeoff, flight, and landing.
Passenger Negligence or Assaults
Other passengers can be just as dangerous as the airplane itself. Unreasonable people aboard a flight can present a danger to you and your loved ones. If an unruly passenger causes you harm, they should be financially responsible for the harm you suffered.
The airline may also be responsible if they permitted a dangerous situation or in some way contributed to your harm.
Investigating the Cause of an Aviation Accident
To prove negligence in your aviation lawsuit, your attorney must investigate the accident and determine its cause. Knowing the cause of the accident is a critical element of proving negligence and one that takes years of legal experience. To determine the cause of your accident, your attorney will:
- Perform Witness Interviews. Witness interviews and depositions learn from those who directly saw and know about the accident. Their testimony may also be used at trial in certain circumstances and can help prepare for trial.
- Work With Experts. Most aircraft accident cases require expert testimony. These experts may be necessary to investigate mechanical failures, pilot errors, or many of the other common causes of an accident.
- Review Photographs and Videos. Video recordings or photographs of the accident can help determine its cause. A footage review may show the accident itself or reveal the actions which led to the plane crash.
- Perform Legal Research. Aviation accidents deal with multiple areas of the law, including personal injury law and federal aviation law. A qualified attorney performs legal research in all of these areas to ensure your case is handled correctly every time.
- Utilize Accident Reconstructions. Accident reconstructions attempt to recreate the accident to determine its cause. These are often performed by sophisticated digital models or even physical demonstrations. Reconstruction experts are often used to determine how an aviation accident occurred.
Injuries in Aviation Accident Lawsuits
Injuries from plane crashes and other types of aviation accidents can lead to devastating harm for you and your family members. Injuries can range from relatively minor to deadly, along with everything in between. When your injuries result from another party's negligence, you should be compensated for those injuries.
Common physical injuries in aviation accidents include:
- Skin damage and lacerations
- Fractures and broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Severe burns
- Inhalation of toxic fumes causing lung damage
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Wrongful death
In addition to the physical injuries you face, you will likely suffer psychological harm as well. This harm may not be visible, but it can be just as harmful as your physical injuries. Common psychological injuries following an aircraft accident include:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Anxiety and flashbacks
- Nightmares and trouble sleeping
- A new fear of flying
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme grief from the death of a loved one
Compensation for Aviation Accident Injuries
An aviation accident lawsuit may entitle you to significant financial compensation. This compensation is designed to repair the damage to your life, finances, and emotional state. You are likely facing a mountain of medical bills and unable to work. The following forms of compensation are meant to help you put things back together and compensate you for everything you have been through.
Economic Damages in Aviation Accident Cases
Economic damages are those that are objectively quantifiable. This means they can be assigned a specific monetary value based on objective criteria. These amounts are proven at trial, usually through documentary evidence of whatever financial losses you suffered from the aviation accident.
Economic damages will typically include the following:
- Past and future medical costs
- Hospital bills and costs of surgery
- Costs of rehabilitation services
- Lost wages from inability to work
- Lost earning capacity if you must take a lower-paying position in the future
- Property damages sustained in the aviation accident
Non-Economic Damages in Aviation Accident Cases
Non-economic damages are those that cannot be objectively quantified. They are more subjective and are not determined by simply looking at a mathematical formula or medical bill. Instead, the value of these damages is assigned through pre-trial negotiation, the judge, or the jury depending on how your case progresses. While these damages are subjective, they are no less valuable. In fact, non-economic damages may constitute a substantial portion of your total damages award in an aviation accident lawsuit.
Non-economic damages for plane crash cases typically include the following:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Grief in wrongful death cases
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Loss of companionship and support
- Disfigurement damages
Punitive Damages in Aviation Accident Cases
Punitive damages are separate from economic and non-economic damages. These are exemplary compensation designed to punish certain defendants. It is meant to punish particularly egregious, reckless, or even intentional conduct that caused your harm. These are usually reserved for extreme cases rather than those caused by ordinary negligence.
The aviation accident attorneys at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers have won our clients millions in punitive damage compensation. We know when they are appropriate and how to pursue them in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions in Aviation Accident Lawsuits
How Long Do I Have To File My Aviation Accident Lawsuit?
The filing deadline to file your claim is called a statute of limitations. You must file your claim by the applicable statute of limitations deadline or your case could be dismissed. In Louisiana, the deadline to file your case is typically one year after the accident occurs, according to Louisiana Civil Code section 3492. This is an incredibly short time period. In fact, it is one of the shortest in the nation. In Texas, Texas Statutes § 16.003 requires that most aviation accident lawsuits be filed within two years of the date of the accident.
No matter how long you have under the law, you should try to file your claim as soon as possible with the help of a licensed attorney. When you wait, you risk the loss of critical evidence that may be necessary to prove your case.
How Much Is My Aviation Accident Claim Worth?
Each aviation injury claim is different. The value of your unique claim will depend on many factors, some of which include:
- How long it will take you to recover, if ever
- The impact on your daily life
- The pain you endured from your injuries
- Your financial costs
- The nature of the defendant's actions
- The severity of your physical and psychological injuries
Does My Case Have To Go to Trial?
Not every case will go all the way to trial. In fact, most personal injury cases settle before a trial is necessary. This is especially true when the other party knows it was at fault and the parties can negotiate a fair settlement of the claim. A settlement is a contractual agreement to drop the lawsuit in exchange for financial and other compensation.
You want a skilled negotiator to handle your settlement negotiations. You also want a battle-tested team at trial if the other party refuses to offer a fair settlement. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we have the decades of negotiation and trial experience you need for your aviation accident case.
What Should I Do After an Aviation Accident?
Following an aviation accident, you should:
- Get Medical Attention. Your health is the most important thing. Seek medical attention after an accident to get treatment for your injuries. This treatment ensures you work on getting better but also documents your injuries for a personal injury claim.
- Gather Evidence. Keep anything and everything related to your accident. Take down contact information for witnesses, take pictures of your injuries, and collect all documents related to your aviation accident.
- Do Not Agree to a Low Settlement. After an aviation accident, an insurance company or other party may try to offer you a low settlement quickly. Companies use pressure tactics to get you to agree to a low settlement amount far below what you are fairly owed.
- Speak with an Attorney. Contact an aviation accident attorney quickly after your accident. The sooner you do, the sooner the investigation can begin.
Speak With an Aviation Accident Attorney in Texas and Louisiana
Our Texas and Louisiana aviation accident lawyers are here to help you after an accident. We know the damage a plane crash or other aviation accident can do to you and your loved ones. You deserve financial compensation for all that you have been through. Our highly skilled attorneys at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can represent you and fight for your rights.
If you were hurt in an aviation accident, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.