National and International Commercial Airline Crash and Accident Attorneys
Advances in airplane design, automation, and crew resource management have made commercial air travel much safer than it was at its US inception in 1914. Today, a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be in a commercial plane crash. Unfortunately, design and product defects; negligent maintenance; avionics and automation malfunctions; engine and flight control failures; pilot error; air traffic control errors, and several other hazards do cause commercial airplanes to crash. When a commercial flight does crash, the resulting injuries and deaths can be in the hundreds and affect families in countries all over the world. In 1996, Congress passed the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act which requires Airlines to help crash victims and their families. However, these Commercial Air Carriers and commercial aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus will retain big firms to defend themselves. Napoli Shkolnik has experienced aviation attorneys, an in-house appellate section, and offices in New York City and Long Island, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago and Metro St. Louis, Illinois; Wilmington, Delaware; Miami, Florida; New Jersey; and Texas. Hunter Shkolnik has been appointed chair on plaintiffs’ steering committees when a disaster requires multi-district litigation. We have taken on big corporations and their big laws firms and won. It would be our honor to serve you.
International Airline Accidents
American and foreign citizens can often bring lawsuits against air carriers and product manufacturers in the United States. International law; the Montreal or Warsaw Convention; admiralty law; US state or federal law; or foreign law could apply. Napoli Shkolnik aviation attorneys skillfully litigate international air accident cases to bring legal actions in the best jurisdiction, venue, and law, while opposing defendant’s attempts to transfer cases to foreign jurisdictions or to have foreign law apply.
US Major Airline Accidents
Major Airline domestic flights are operated under Federal Aviation Regulation/14 CFR Part 121. The Part 121 certification process is rigorous, and the mishap rate of Part 121 operators is the lowest in US aviation. Most major airline passengers will never be involved in a crash or accident. When a crash does happen, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and aircraft and component product manufacturers (as party representatives) assume immediate control of the investigation. Surviving passengers and family members of those persons killed in the crash are left in the dark for answers to why the plane crashed. At this early stage it is critical to retain an aviation attorney who understands the investigative process, protects victims’ interests, gets to the "why"s, and most importantly gets timely and full compensation for victims.
US Regional Carrier or Commuter Accidents
Depending on the number of passengers, the payload capacity of the aircraft, and whether the flight is scheduled or on demand, regional or commuter flights could be operated under either Federal Aviation Regulation/14 CFR Part 125 or 135, 125 being the more demanding regulation. Regional carriers and commuters often fly to remote locations and smaller airports. These pilots typically have less flight hours than Major Airline pilots yet they tend to fly in more adverse weather conditions, to airports with few precision instrument approaches, and in airplanes with less automation. As a result, commuters and regional carriers crash more frequently than US major Airlines do. Napoli Shkolnik has an aviation attorney who is also a commercially-rated pilot and crash investigator. We don’t just know the law, we know firsthand the hazards that cause commercial airplanes to crash.
In-flight injuries on Commercial Flights
Turbulence and severe weather are not the only causes of injuries to passengers and crew members in-flight. Negligent maintenance; defectively designed or manufactured aircraft, components or passenger and crew restraint systems; malfunctions in the flight control or automation systems; pilot error; and other hazards can cause serious injuries even in clear blue sky. When these types of commercial aviation accidents occur in-flight and the pilots make an uneventful landing, governmental agencies will likely devote fewer resources to an investigation that is completed. In this situation, injured passengers and crew should consult attorneys who have investigation and aviation experience. Contact Napoli Shkolnik for a case evaluation.