What should I do if I am injured in an airplane or aviation accident?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you have been injured in an aviation or airplane accident, whether you were a passenger on an aircraft at the time of the accident or you were injured after the aircraft made it to the ground, the first thing you should do is to get adequate medical attention. Taking photos of your injury can be a good idea and you should also make sure to keep documented records of any and all medical treatment, as well as results of any tests and medical bills that you subsequently incur. This documentation is important in case you have to prove damages sustained in the aviation accident later.

After receiving medical attention, the next key step is consult a reputable aviation accident lawyer. You may very well be solicited by a number of lawyers, but in most cases you won’t want anything to do with their services. Finding a reputable aviation accident attorney that has dealt with both the airline industry as well as the Federal Aviation Administration will be greatly beneficial to your case. 

Finding a good lawyer is essential because there are a number of different people that could be held responsible:

           (1) The FAA may be liable for your injury if the accident you were injured in occurred in midair and involved another aircraft. The FAA may be liable because they are responsible for all flight paths and aircraft mapping. Because suing the government or any governmental agency can be tricky under the Federal Tort Claims Act, if you hope to hold the government responsible you’ll definitely need a lawyer.

            (2) In most other instances, however, the airline or the aircraft manufacturer may be the right party to hold liable for your injuries. Because there might be multiple possible defendants and several locations where you can sue, you are going to need a lawyer to help you decide what your best course of action is.

In any case, obtaining a consultation with an experienced aviation accident attorney is your best bet if you hope to have your damages recovered through litigation. 

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