Can Plane Crash Survivors Get a Settlement?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Traveling by plane has become commonplace among many Californians for the ease and convenience of long-distance travel. Though statistics support airplane travel to be relatively safe, occasional aviation accidents do occur and raise concerns among air passengers.   

California airplane accident attorneys help airplane and helicopter crash victims navigate the legal aftermath of aviation accidents. Perhaps the most frequently asked question of airplane crash lawyers is “Do Plane Crash Survivors Get Settlement?” 

No one wants to contemplate being the victim of an airplane crash. However, there are a few things you should know about your right to settlement compensation after an aviation accident. 

What Are My Legal Rights to Compensation After an Airplane Accident?

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an airplane or helicopter crash, there may be grounds to file a lawsuit for damages against negligent parties. Domestic flight survivors’ legal rights are governed by individual states, whereas international flights and crash survivors’ rights are specified under the Montreal Convention 1999

Whether injury or loss results from a domestic or international flight crash, a passenger or passenger’s family is generally permitted legal action in the United States. An experienced aviation accident attorney will be able to explain your legal right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation after a domestic or international flight accident. 

Who Can File an Airplane Crash Lawsuit?

Those who have the legal right to file a lawsuit after an airplane crash are decided by the circumstances surrounding the accident. Generally, people who have a legal right to sue after an airplane crash are limited to:

  • parties injured in the accident
  • spouses, guardians, or next of kin of injured parties 
  • representatives of a mortally wounded victim’s estate
  • next of kin to parties killed in the crash
  • people suffering physical or emotional harm from their proximity to the accident

Who Do I Sue After an Airplane Crash?

Determining who is at fault in an aviation accident requires a thorough investigation. More than one negligent party may bear responsibility for the crash:

  • the airline
  • the airplane maintenance provider
  • airplane and parts manufacturers
  • the pilot or crew
  • air-traffic control
  • government agencies
  • a passenger or passengers

If more than one party is deemed responsible for the crash, each party will be assessed damages according to their percentage of determining liability. 

How Much Money Can I Get From an Airplane Crash Lawsuit?

The types of damages and the amount of compensation allowed in domestic and international airplane crash cases are set forth by individual states and the Montreal Convention.

Commonly, victims can seek compensation for:

  • medical expenses, past, and future
  • lost wages 
  • future income losses
  • permanent disability
  • diminished quality of life
  • lost companionship of a loved one
  • pain and suffering 
  • funeral expenses

Most courts will award full compensation for injury-related medical expenses and direct financial loss. Compensation for emotional trauma, pain, and suffering, or loss of companionship is subject to the case’s jurisdiction and the presiding jury or judge. 

It is essential you speak with a knowledgeable aviation accident attorney who understands the types of damages and award limits that pertain to your case and jurisdiction. Together, you can further strategize to win the maximum amount of compensation allowed. 

How a California Airplane Crash Attorney Can Help You

Circumstances surrounding airplane accidents can quickly complicate legal claims brought by injury victims and their families. If you or a loved one are contemplating legal action after an airplane or helicopter crash in California, you need the help of an experienced California airplane accident attorney. 

While no amount of time or money can erase the pain and loss following an aviation accident, holding negligent parties accountable can provide some solace and financial compensation as you attempt to move beyond the incident and rebuild your life. Contact our office today for a consultation and comprehensive case review with a highly qualified California airplane accident attorney.  

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.