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Who can be held liable in an airplane crash?

Airplane crashes can wreak havoc on the lives of those involved and their families. The crash often results in catastrophic or fatal injuries to crew and passengers. Property damage is often extensive. Determining what caused the crash can be difficult and take a long time. Proving fault can also be just as time-consuming.

Airplane crashes often cause head and neck injuries, organ damage, internal bleeding and broken limbs. Respiratory problems and burns can result as well. Only 20 percent of airplane crashes are fatal, but these are generally the ones that make headlines. For the families of those who lost a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit may be needed to recover compensation.

In 50 percent of crashes, pilot error is responsible. Weather is often a contributing factor, and mechanical failure is another leading cause of airplane crashes. When a crash occurs, regulators want to know what happened so they can prevent future crashes. The airlines are often liable for crashes and the injuries suffered by passengers and crew. When a plane crashes because of maintenance problems or pilot error, a lawsuit will usually target the airline's role in negligence.

Manufacturers of airplane parts may also be held liable. This is known as strict products liability, which can happen when there are design defects, manufacturing errors and failure to warn about the possible dangers.

If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an airplane crash, you will need an experienced aviation attorney to fight for your rights. He or she can help you hold the at-fault parties responsible for injuries suffered.

Source: FindLaw, "Airplane Crash Liability Overview," accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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