In 2007, there were 136 airplane crashes worldwide, resulting in 965 deaths, according to the Aircraft Crashes Record Office (ACRO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Most airplane crashes in the United States are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). NTSB investigations are time consuming and often leave loved ones searching for answers and unaware of their legal rights. At Levenbaum Trachtenberg, we understand the devastating impact that aviation accidents can have on families of victims. We have the experience and specialized knowledge to help in this time of great uncertainty. At Levenbaum Trachtenberg, we know that no amount of money can make up for the loss of someone you love, but we will help you prepare for the future both emotionally and monetarily.
The nature of air travel—the sheer mass of the airplane and the rapid speeds and high altitudes of flights—makes surviving a crash unlikely. Therefore, many of the lawsuits that are filed after a plane crash are wrongful death suits. These claims are brought by the family members of loved ones who have died in a plane crash that occurred as the result of negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. If someone you love has been killed in a plane crash, the following guide will provide advice on the steps you should take to help ensure a successful claim:
- Collect Information: Collect as much information as possible about the accident. You should keep a record of the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of all witnesses to the accident.
- Don’t Talk to Insurance Agents: Only discuss the details of the accident with law enforcement or your attorney. Any statements that you make to insurance company representatives may make it more difficult to settle your claim.
- Don’t Sign Anything: Do not sign anything, particularly a release form, without having your lawyer look it over first. A release form is a document that releases the insurance company or other responsible party from liability for the death of your loved one. When you sign a release, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to invalidate the document later.
- File a Timely Suit: If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you will lose the right to sue forever. Statutes of limitations restrict the length of time you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a mass disaster.
Be aware that a lawsuit cannot be initiated until the NTSB determines the official cause of the crash. The status of NTSB investigations can be monitored at www.ntsb.gov.
Practicing in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT, Levenbaum Trachtenberg is the southwest’s oldest and most experienced personal injury law firm. Call us today at 602-271-0183 for a no-risk consultation on your airplane accident case.