If you were injured in a Florida aviation accident, you may not know where to turn for help. You may find yourself facing a long, uphill battle trying to recover from your injuries, and insurance companies may begin pressuring you to sign a quick settlement. Inured Florida aviation accident victims deserve justice. They deserve to have someone on their side who is looking out for them. Aviation companies have large legal teams on their side that are dedicated to protecting their interests. You deserve to have the same.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our Florida aviation attorneys are here to help you obtain the compensation you need after a devastating aviation accident. Whether you were injured on the runway, in the air, or in the airport, you deserve justice.
If you or a loved one has suffered from an aviation accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Florida Aviation Accident Lawyer at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to discuss your potential legal options.
Choosing the Best Florida Aviation Accident Attorney Near You
Why Choose Us?
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our Florida aviation injury attorneys have considerable experience representing injured accident victims, as well as families left behind after tragedy. We know how devastating aviation accidents can be. That’s why we work tirelessly for our clients from the moment they step into our office.
From Miami to New Port Richey and beyond, our Florida aviation attorneys are here to serve you and your family after an airplane or airport accident. Aviation accidents are disastrous and require a law firm with the skills, experience, and resources necessary to tackle these complex cases. You need a law firm that knows how to investigate these accidents, gather the appropriate evidence, and build a case to collect maximum compensation.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, we have considerable experience representing victims of aviation accidents in Florida. From commercial airline crashes to helicopter accidents, our law firm can help victims and families through this difficult time.
To better serve you, we have offices located across the state of Florida, and we offer free initial consultations and reviews. We know that you have many choices when it comes to selecting the best Florida aviation attorney near you. Let us show you why so many Florida families choose us to represent them in their darkest hours. Call us or come into our office for a free evaluation. We can even meet with you virtually during this time to make it easier. We want to hear your story and get to know you and your family. Our lawyers will give you honest feedback about your case and work with you to help you understand all your legal options.
Please call us at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online today to get started. You deserve to have someone on your side fighting for you and your rights after a serious airplane or aviation accident. We want to be the first – and only – call you need to make.
How Dangerous Are Airplanes?
Injuries and Fatalities in the Skies
Many people—particularly anxious fliers—have heard the statement that flying in a large commercial airplane is safer than driving in a car. It refers to the relatively small number of accidents and deaths occurring in large commercial flights compared to the number of accidents and deaths on the nation’s highways.
In 2017, for example, 346 people were killed in commercial aviation accidents and 330 were killed in noncommercial aviation accidents, according to the Insurance Information Institute. But far more, over 32,000, were killed in vehicle accidents on the nation’s roads. That makes the odds of dying in a car wreck 1 in 107 according to the National Safety Council. What are the odds of dying in a plane crash? Your chances of dying in an airplane accident are just 1 in 11 million.
Yet in spite of these odds, when an aviation or airplane accident does occur, they are often tragic. Even minor Florida aviation accidents, such as those that occur on the runway or while boarding, can still result in significant injury and devastation.
But while vehicle accidents routinely cause more fatalities and injuries than aviation accidents, that fact certainly doesn’t mean the skies are completely safe. Far from it.
Nationwide, 1,316 civil aviation accidents occurred and 1,233 general aviation (noncommercial) accidents occurred in 2017. Accidents in some types of craft are rising. Air taxi accidents, for instance, rose to 43 in 2017 from 30 in 2016, with 15 deaths that year. There is also evidence that some types of crafts are more dangerous than others. Amateur-built and experimental aircraft, for example, cause 25 percent of accidents, while only constituting 5 percent of overall fleet hours, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Ownership of other types of aircraft is growing rapidly, as well. Drone ownership, for example, is estimated to rise to 2.4 million by 2022, more than double the 1.1 million owned in 2017. Commercial drone registration is forecast to rise to 451,800 in 2022, quadruple the 110,604 registered in 2017. As the number of aircraft rises, it is reasonable to assume that the number of accidents associated with them will climb as well (Drones over a certain weight must be registered with the FAA).
Types of Aircraft Involved in Florida Aviation Accidents
Florida’s usually clear skies attract a high number of aircraft. Our Florida aviation accident lawyers have considerable experience representing individuals who suffered an injury in a variety of aircraft accidents, including:
- Commercial aircraft
- Private jets
- Private airplanes
- Air taxis
- Hang gliders
- Hot air balloons
- Experimental aircraft
We also represent families who have lost loved ones after a serious Florida aviation accident. We know that no amount of compensation could ever right the wrongs that were done to you and your family. However, we believe that you deserve justice, and your family should not have to suffer financially because of another person’s negligence. Commercial airlines, airplane manufacturers, and other aircraft personnel should be held accountable for the harm they’ve caused others.
How do Florida Aviation Accidents Occur?
Causes of Airplane & Aircraft Accidents
Florida sees a relatively high number of accidents every month in aircraft of various types. Recent months showed small-craft aviation accidents throughout Florida, some with serious injuries. Any type of accident that takes place in aircraft, from inflight incidents to aborted take-offs or bumpy landings, can cause severe injury.
Sadly, when an aviation crash occurs, it is often catastrophic, killing or injuring everyone on board. Even accidents in take-off and landing can be very serious, because the craft is airborne or on its way upward. Second, many people suffer injury in or around commercial aircraft every year in ways unrelated to crashes. Aviation accidents can occur in-flight, on the ground around the airplane, or while boarding. Passengers may slip and fall in the aircraft, cargo can fall on passengers, or an assault or altercation can occur with an unruly passenger. These can all result in serious injuries. Passengers can even suffer injury by malfunctioning luggage compartments and even by malfunctioning airbags.
Aviation accidents in Florida can be caused by:
- Pilot error
- Defective equipment
- Improperly maintained planes or component parts
- Errors in air traffic control
- Mechanical airplane defects
- Violations of FAA regulations
- Violations of commercial flight safety
- Issues in aircraft engineering
- Poor weather conditions
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
The causes of aviation accidents can be very complex. The National Safety Transportation Board (NSTB), for example, investigates aviation accidents to see what caused them. Proper compensation might require the results of NTSB reports or other investigations to see that justice is served. Our Florida aviation accident lawyers know how to gather appropriate evidence, such as the NTSB reports to establish liability and win maximum compensation for your case.
Why Do Pilot Errors Occur?
One of the biggest causes of aviation accidents in Florida is pilot error. When pilots act negligently, they can cause serious and fatal accidents. Some of the reasons pilot errors occur include:
- Inadequate preflight inspection or planning
- Failure to use the safety checklist
- Failure to perform the I’M SAFE checklist
- Running out of fuel
- Mismanagement of aviation technology
- Controlled Flight Into Terrain
- Poor communication
- Low-level maneuvering
Who is to Blame For Your Florida Aviation Accident?
While pilot errors may get the most attention, other crew members or safety personnel can bear responsibility for Florida aviation accidents. In fact, multiple parties may share liability for the accident and for the injuries you suffered.
Multiple entities involved in aviation have a legal obligation—duty of care—to make sure their passengers are safe when they fly. Duty of care includes ensuring the safety of passengers in purchasing and maintaining aircraft, educating and training personnel, ensuring safe operation, ensuring safe on-ground communication, and conforming with all applicable rules and regulations.
Some of the parties that may share liability for your accident include:
- Private plane operators
- Flight crew members
- Maintenance crews
- Manufacturers, of both aircraft and component parts
- Air traffic control
- Commercial airline companies
- Private plane companies
- Service companies
- Fixed base operators (FBOs)
- Aviation companies who operate types of aircraft other than planes
- Tour companies using recreational aircraft, like hang-gliders and hot-air balloons
- Other passengers
If the responsible entities violate their duty of care in a negligent fashion, they are liable for any injuries that occurred as a result of the negligence.
Filing a Florida Aviation Accident Lawsuit
How Can Our Florida Aviation Accident Lawyers Help?
In Florida, people who suffered an injury by the negligence of another can bring a legal suit for compensation for damages. To do this, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Florida aviation accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys will work on your case quickly and begin gathering valuable evidence to establish liability.
A personal injury attorney at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Florida can help those injured in aviation accidents in several ways.
- We will gather materials. Our Florida aviation accident attorneys can gather materials compiled by federal and state investigators.
- We can work with private investigators. Investigating the case often takes time and skills. We will use our resources to investigate the accident closely and determine the true cause of the accident.
- We can interview witnesses. Eyewitness testimony is an important part of building a case.
- Our lawyers can help you gather data. This includes information on the cost of your damages, both economic and non-economic.
- We can negotiate a settlement. If the case goes to an insurance company, personal injury attorneys are skilled and experienced in negotiating a just and fair settlement. Insurance companies will often try to offer the minimum acceptable compensation—or try to deny claims on technical or inadequate grounds. It’s important to know the law to gain truly adequate compensation for injuries and pain and suffering.
- Our lawyers can litigate your case in court. If the case isn’t covered through insurance companies, a personal injury lawyer can prepare a case for trial and litigate. Many personal injury cases in Florida are settled out of court, but it is still imperative to be prepared to mount a clear statement of fault and liability in a court of law.
Why? All too many defendants in a personal injury case will try to blame the injured for their own injuries. If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall while on a commercial airline, for example, the company may try to argue that the accident stemmed from your own carelessness or inattention, rather than unsafe conditions or failure to clean and maintain the floor properly.
If they are successful in arguing that you are at fault, your case could be unsuccessful. Even if they convince the court that you are partly at fault, your compensation for damages could be reduced. Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence rule, which means damages are reduced by the percentage the court finds the defendant at fault. If you are judged even 10 percent responsible for your injuries, your compensation for damages will be decreased by 10 percent. An attorney can defend you from allegations of fault, and place the responsibility where it lies.
How Much is My Florida Aviation Accident Case Worth?
Every aviation accident is different and each accident victim suffers unique injuries. These injuries affect their lives in many ways. It is our job to determine how your injuries will affect your life and your future. To do this, we work closely with your medical team and other experts. We want to know if your injuries will result in a permanent disability or if they will affect your ability to work and provide for your family.
Our lawyers will then use this information to build a case that is designed to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and for the damages you suffered. This includes economic damages, such as medical bills, wages for time lost from work, and compensation for damaged property. You can also bring a suit for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
In both personal injury and wrongful death cases, damages awarded are compensatory, meaning they are intended to compensate the victims or their families for damages. A court may also award punitive damages to injured people or surviving family members in some cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish defendants for certain behavior(s). For example, the courts may assess punitive damages when a company has shown a pattern of behavior in ignoring repeated safety concerns. Punitive damages are designed to discourage reckless, intentional, or malicious behavior from parties that caused harm.
We Help Injured Florida Aviation Accident Victims Like You
Our Florida aviation accident lawyers know how devastating these types of accidents can be. Injuries suffered in both crashes and in-flight incidents can range from traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage to fractured bones, deep cuts, and severe bruises. They can be catastrophic, permanently affecting a person’s ability to conduct the activities of daily life by themselves and to work.
A large range of injuries can occur in aviation accidents, including:
- Severe lacerations
- Severe bruising
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries, such as nerve damage
- Head injuries
- Loss of limb
- Damage to soft tissue
We help injured Florida aviation accident victims like you. Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm immediately if you suffered an injury in an aircraft accident. We can help you through this difficult time and ensure that you have the money you need to fully recover and put your life back together again.
What If My Loved One Was Killed in a Florida Aviation Accident?
Personal injury claims can be brought if a person has been injured, or their property damaged, by the actions of another party who owed them a duty of care. But what if someone dies?
A party who owes someone a duty of care, and whose actions cause death rather than injury, can be the recipient of a type of lawsuit called “wrongful death.” Wrongful death alleges that the negligence of another party was a wrongful act that caused death. The conduct involved must have entitled the person, if injured, to take action and recover damages if death had not occurred.
While a personal injury suit can be brought by an injured party, the Florida Wrongful Death Act allows a personal representative of the deceased person to file a suit. The personal representative is often named in a will or other, similar plan pertaining to a person’s estate. If the deceased person did not leave a will or other estate plan, a personal representative is often appointed by the court.
Wrongful death suits are usually filed on behalf of surviving family members and the estate. In Florida, a deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, dependent blood relatives, and child(ren) born out of wedlock are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim (The latter need to establish that the father assumed support). All of these parties are entitled to recover damages, as well. If a loved one has died in an aviation accident in Florida, a suit must be filed within four years. That is referred to as the statute of limitations.
Many wrongful death claims settle before trial. If that occurs, and minor children are involved, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. A special court hearing is sometimes held to approve any settlement on behalf of minor children. If such a hearing is held, parties that represent the plaintiff and defendant and the guardian ad litem attend it.
In personal injury cases, the injured can recover compensation related to medical treatment, lost wages from work due to the injury, and pain and suffering. In wrongful death claims, the parties who can recover are entitled to related damages, plus others related specifically to death. They can receive compensation for medical expenses related to any injury or illness pertaining to the accident. They can also be compensated for funeral expenses. The estate can also receive compensation for these if the estate paid for them.
The deceased person’s estate can sue for damages for lost wages, benefits related to a job that was unable to be performed, and the potential for future earnings. The estate can also bring suit for the value the estate could reasonably have been expected to receive had the decedent lived.
Family members who survive the deceased person can sue for damages for the value of support and services the deceased person provided to the family member when alive. They can also sue for loss of companionship and loss of guidance to a family member. They can sue for mental and emotional pain and suffering if the deceased person is a child. Parents of adult children, however, can not usually bring a suit for emotional pain and suffering.
Other claims depend on the litigant’s relationship with the deceased person. Spouses, for example, can claim damages for lost companionship and emotional suffering connected with death. Children who are minors can bring suit for lost benefits of the parental relationship, such as support and comfort.
What To Do After a Florida Aviation Accident?
While aviation accidents are statistically rare, they are nonetheless a real and constant threat to air passengers. If you need further information or assistance in a Florida aviation accident, our aviation accident attorneys can help you understand the law, as well as your options.
There are steps you can take after an aviation accident to help your case succeed.
- Seek medical help
- Report your accident to the airlines or airport
- Contact our law firm
- Avoid social media
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan
- Attend all therapy sessions and fill all medications
- Keep copies of all receipts and medical bills
- Do not go back to work too soon
Call Our Florida Aviation Accident Lawyers for More Information
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756