Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accident Lawyers
The east coast of Florida has long been a hive of aviation activity, with the Fort Lauderdale area one of its busiest hubs. The city has two airports within its limits—Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)—as well as an in-town heliport (DT1). Tourists do like to take helicopter tours for aerial views of the Atlantic Coast.
Two other nearby general aviation airports in Broward County—Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP) and North Perry Airport (HWO)—also contribute to the substantial amount of traffic in the skies above Fort Lauderdale, as do numerous commercial, general, and military airfields to the north and south.
With all the aviation activity in the Fort Lauderdale area, accidents can happen. Victims of those accidents and the families left behind by those who perish in them deserve compensation for their injuries and losses. The Levin Firm in Fort Lauderdale can help them get it.
Contact our law firm’s team of Fort Lauderdale aviation accident lawyers today, or call our Fort Lauderdale office for a free consultation to learn about your rights.
About Our Aviation Accident Law Practice
The award-winning trial attorneys at The Levin Firm spend their careers making sure that people who suffer injuries and tragedies because of someone else’s mistakes receive the compensation they deserve. From offices in the mid-Atlantic and Fort Lauderdale, we have gotten results in even the toughest cases for clients who have suffered devastating injuries and losses in a wide range of preventable accidents.
Representing victims of aviation accidents constitutes an important part of our law practice. It takes time to handle the intricacies and challenges of aviation accident cases. Our team has an understanding of aviation laws and regulations that influence those cases, and a detailed familiarity with navigating official accident investigations that may affect our clients’ rights. We cannot guarantee results in aviation accident cases we handle, but we can give our clients the confidence that comes from having a lawyer by your side who puts your interests first and who does the hard work needed to secure you maximum compensation during a difficult time.
Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accidents Overview
Aviation accidents happen in the Fort Lauderdale area more frequently than you might imagine. Although major crashes receive coverage on the nightly news, numerous accidents and incidents that cause only injuries or property damage go largely unreported, except to aviation authorities.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates aviation and other transportation-related accidents, maintains a database of reported aviation accidents in the United States. Over a recent ten-year period, the NTSB investigated 35 separate aviation accidents at or around Fort Lauderdale-area airports. Seven of those resulted in fatalities. Five others led to serious injuries. They involved aircraft of all types, from Cessnas flown by private pilots to Air Buses operated by major commercial airlines.
Although they differed widely in their specific circumstances, a majority of the Fort Lauderdale aviation accidents reported and investigated by the NTSB shared a common trait: they happened because of a preventable human error. In some cases, a pilot committed the error in responding to an in-flight emergency or through miscommunication with a co-pilot or ground controller. In others, the error occurred before the aircraft took to the air, such as when maintenance crews failed to install parts correctly or did not spot fatigued or damaged aircraft components that should have grounded the plane until they could be replaced.
Seeking Compensation for Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accident Injuries and Losses
If you got hurt in an aviation accident in Fort Lauderdale, or if your loved one tragically perished in one, then you may have a legal right to receive substantial compensation for your injuries and losses. The aviation accident injury lawyers at The Levin Firm in Fort Lauderdale have the knowledge and experience to identify the parties at fault for the accident and to take legal action against them seeking the compensation you deserve.
Liability for Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accidents
In contrast to many types of accidents that cause harm to Fort Lauderdale residents, workers, and visitors, every reported aviation accident in Fort Lauderdale resulting in an injury or fatality gets independently investigated by personnel from the NTSB, sometimes in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and/or federal or state law enforcement agencies (depending on each accident’s specific circumstances).
NTSB investigations principally aim to identify the causes of aviation accidents, so that the agency can make recommendations to the FAA and others that promote aviation safety nationwide. In effect, however, the NTSB’s findings also serve as an important source of information for aviation attorneys to use in identifying the parties who may owe damages to aviation accident victims. (They are not, however, necessarily the final word on the subject—see the FAQ below.)
Every aviation accident in Fort Lauderdale has unique facts.
In general, however, NTSB and other investigations may reveal that the parties owing compensation to injured victims and grieving families in an aviation accident include:
- Owners and operators of aircraft involved in accidents;
- Pilots whose errors cause aviation accidents and, when applicable, their employers;
- Aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturers, when their defective products fail and cause aviation accidents;
- Aircraft maintenance businesses and personnel responsible for repairing aircraft and ensuring their airworthiness; and
- Airport operators, most of which are government or quasi-governmental entities.
This is not a complete list. To learn more about who may owe you compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered in connection with a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident, contact The Levin Firm today.
Damages for Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accidents
A Fort Lauderdale aviation accident can cause widespread devastation that affects many lives. Pilots and passengers in an aircraft, and individuals on the ground, may sustain severe and fatal injuries in an accident, which may also cause significant property damage.
Aviation accident lawyers like the team at The Levin Firm have the job of evaluating the harm caused by an aviation accident and then taking legal action seeking an appropriate amount of financial compensation.
Every case differs, but in general, those damages may include payment for:
- Medical care to treat an aviation accident-related injury;
- Lost wages and income resulting from an inability to work because of those injuries;
- Repair and replacement of property damaged or destroyed in an aviation accident;
- The victims’ physical pain, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life; and
- In some cases, punitive damages to punish the party at fault for causing the accident.
The Levin Firm’s team of aviation lawyers cannot guarantee that our clients will receive compensation in a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident case. We can, however, help ensure that we leave no fact uninvestigated in tabulating and pursuing maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fort Lauderdale Aviation Accident Cases
Confronting the aftermath of an aviation accident in Fort Lauderdale that left you or a loved one injured, or worse, can feel overwhelming. You have lots of questions about your rights, and you may feel uncertain about where to turn for answers.
Below we respond to some frequently asked questions about Fort Lauderdale aviation accident cases. For answers to your specific questions, do not hesitate to contact The Levin Firm to speak with an aviation accident attorney free-of-charge.
Do I have to wait for an NTSB investigation to end to seek compensation for a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident?
No. Your rights do not hinge on the completion of an NTSB investigation of the accident that left you or a loved one injured. In fact, waiting for an investigation to end could harm your rights.
As we mentioned above, official investigations can help inform the choices you and your lawyer make about whom to pursue for compensation. However, the findings of the NTSB investigation do not necessarily serve as the last or only word on the cause of an accident or who is to blame for it. An NTSB accident report’s conclusions about the probable cause of an aviation accident are usually not admissible in a trial, for example.
Also, NTSB investigations can take years to complete. In contrast, your valuable rights to compensation may depend on you taking legal action much sooner.
For that reason, the team at The Levin Firm encourages anyone harmed by a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident to contact us as soon as possible, and not to wait for investigations to end.
My loved one died in a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident caused by a mechanical defect in an older aircraft. What are my rights?
You may have the right to sue for substantial damages. Contact the team at The Levin Firm in Fort Lauderdale to learn more.
A federal law called the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) limits the rights of victims of aviation accidents in certain cases involving older general aviation aircraft (those with seating for 20 or fewer passengers, not operated in regularly-scheduled passenger flights).
In a nutshell, GARA bars victims from suing an airplane manufacturer, or the manufacturer of any airplane part, for an aviation accident caused by a mechanical defect if the defective plane or plane part that caused the crash was more than 18 years old at the time of the accident.
However, even older aircraft routinely get upgraded with newer parts. So, you may have the ability to sue a manufacturer if one of those newer parts failed and caused the accident.
In addition, you may have the right to seek compensation from mechanics and other aviation service providers who worked on the aircraft, if they unreasonably failed to spot mechanical defects that made the plane dangerous to fly.
Can I sue if a Fort Lauderdale aviation accident that took the life of my loved one happened over international waters?
Yes. In that case, a federal law called the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) gives your family the right to seek compensation for your pecuniary losses. It is a law that was originally written to address the death of sailors on ships at sea, but that courts have interpreted to apply as well to aviation accidents in international waters.
Can I seek compensation if I suffered injuries in a rough landing on my commercial flight into FLL?
Possibly. It depends upon the causes of the rough landing.
Numerous circumstances can lead to a hard touchdown for a commercial jetliner. One particularly common cause is the weather, which may not, on its own, support a claim for damages. Airlines commonly limit their liability for weather-related incidents in the fine print you agree to when you buy a ticket.
However, airlines generally cannot escape liability for injuries caused by their own gross negligence or reckless misconduct. That may include making dangerous decisions about landing planes in unfavorable conditions, or ignoring warning signs from ground radars and other meteorological equipment. It may also include trying to cover-up a mechanical failure or pilot error by blaming a rough landing on weather conditions.
Speak with an attorney from The Levin Firm in Fort Lauderdale today about the injuries you suffered and the explanations (or lack thereof) that the airline gave you for what happened. You may have the right to compensation.
Do you handle cases involving injuries suffered getting on or off a plane?
Yes. The Levin Firm handles a wide variety of cases involving personal injuries related to aviation, even those that have nothing to do with a plane crashing or experiencing a malfunction.
- Accidental falls and other injuries while boarding or exiting an aircraft;
- Having hot drinks spilled on you mid-flight;
- Food poisoning from airline food; and
- Assaults and other harmful conduct committed by airline personnel or fellow passengers.
No matter how your injury occurred, if it involved aviation in the Fort Lauderdale area, then our team invites you to contact us to learn about your rights and options for seeking compensation.
Aviation Accident Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
Aviation accidents can inflict devastating harm on victims and their families. Compensation for that harm will not erase the past, but it can help provide much-needed financial support during a difficult time.