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What determines a claim following a plane crash?

While there are far more auto accidents than plane crashes, the catastrophic nature of most plane crashes draws the most media attention.

Most major airline carrier accidents can be attributed to one or more of the following:

-- Pilot error

-- Employee negligence

-- Violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations

-- Equipment failure

-- Design or structural problems

-- Air traffic control negligence

When an airplane crash occurs in this country, two federal agencies are involved. The Federal Aviation Administration sets the safety standards for the industry, while the National Transportation Safety Board is tasked with the responsibility for investigating aircraft accidents, determining their cause and making recommendations to prevent future accidents.

If you are injured in an aviation accident or lose a loved one, the determination made by the NTSB about liability in air disaster is vital to any legal claims made by you or your personal injury attorney. In some cases, there may be multiple people or entities who bear a portion of the liability, and sorting this out can establish your right to pursue a claim for damages.

The complexities of aviation laws are best handled by legal professionals, as there can be numerous theories of liability that fall under different jurisdiction's laws. At its most basic level, however, plaintiffs must be able to prove that defendant[s] failed to meet industry standards regarding the engineering or operation of the plane or applicable regulations.

Usually aviation litigation involves either product liability or negligence. Dependent upon the findings of the NTSB, your attorney can cite either or both theories when building your case against the defendant(s).

Source: Findlaw, "Aviation Accidents - Overview," accessed May 19, 2016

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