Aviation Accidents and Passenger Rights

Air travel is a joy for many Americans every day. For others, it’s also a career. In cities like Boston, hundreds of flights depart and arrive daily. However, with air travel comes the risk of serious injury or, sadly, wrongful death. In the event you or a loved one were involved in an aviation accident, you may be eligible to file a claim if it is determined negligence was a cause. Other factors include where the accident happened and the type of aircraft.

Potential types of aircraft include both public and private entities such as commercial airliners, charter planes, medical planes, corporates planes, jets and more. Although licensed pilots operate aircraft, accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. When an aircraft crash occurs, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are two of the main organizations that’ll be heavily involved in the investigation. Determining the cause of a crash is always a priority so that aircraft operators and manufacturers can learn how to prevent these accidents from happening again. These investigations also help determine the legitimacy of injury claims as a result of the accident. Some common causes of aircraft accidents include:

  • Air traffic controller error
  • Bird strikes
  • Cabin fire
  • Design flaws
  • Failure of or poor equipment
  • Fuel problems
  • Inclement weather
  • Pilot incapacitation
  • Pilot/co-pilot error
  • Poor aircraft maintenance

When it is determined that a pilot, air traffic controller, manufacturer or other responsible party acted negligently or carelessly, individuals or families affected by a plane crash may seek compensation for damages. Class actions or MDLs (multi-district litigation) are also common if the crash involved a commercial airline. If you or a loved one was involved in an aircraft accident in the state of Massachusetts, contact the Law Office of Frank Fernandez immediately. It’s important for you to understand your rights as you consider filing a claim.

Passenger Rights

As a passenger on an aircraft, you have certain rights as outlined by the Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. These rights cover aviation crashes, lost baggage, flight delays, safety procedures and more.

Passengers are owed proper safety procedures whether on a commercial flight or a private plane or jet. If procedures and policies are not in place, and an accident or injury happens as a result, you may have a right to file a claim. Was your flight overbooked? Did the airline not get you to your destination in a reasonable amount of time after a delay or overbooking? Did you lose your luggage? These are some scenarios where you may be eligible to file a claim. The governing body in charge of your claim and potential compensation is determined based on the type of aircraft and flight on which the incident occurred. For example, on international flights, the Montreal Convention is the governing body who will rule a passenger’s case.

Boston personal injury lawyer Frank Fernandez has extensive experience in aviation accidents and passenger rights. If you or a family member has been involved in a plane crash, immediately contact us here or call 617-393-0250.