An international airline crash occurs when a plane crashes outside the borders of the United States. Because of a foreign country’s laws and different regulations, many complexities can arise out of these types of cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in an international airline crash, it’s important to understand your rights under international law. The Montreal Convention, which amended provisions of the Warsaw Convention, governs how and under what circumstances travelers may file a suit against airlines or other liable parties. Local laws and even United States laws may apply in certain incidences.
Why Choose Us?
- We have decades of experience specifically handling airline crash and aviation disaster claims. Our attorneys have experience in both national and international airline crash law.
- We have won many high-profile cases around the globe. Reputable legal organizations and fellow trial attorneys have recognized and awarded us for our excellence in the craft.
- We commit 100% to you and your case after accepting it at our firm. We will listen carefully to your story. Then, we will dedicate our full resources and strength to your international airline crash case.
- We make legal representation affordable. Our attorneys offer free consultations and no fees upfront for legal services. You will only pay for your lawyer if he or she wins your case.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Dealing with an international airline accident can be difficult to impossible without help from an attorney with experience. You may not understand the complex laws related to these accidents, or how to navigate the legal system on your own. Dealing with settlement negotiations with the airline alone could set you up for disaster. The insurance company could take advantage of you or trick you into accepting far less than your damages are actually worth.
Hiring an airline crash lawyer from Panish Shea & Boyle LLP can give your injury claim the strength it needs to succeed. Your lawyer will take care of communications and negotiations with the airline and its insurer. Your lawyer will also handle confusing legal paperwork on your behalf, filing your injury claim with the correct courts before the applicable deadline. You can have peace of mind that someone with years of experience is taking care of your claim while you focus on healing. An attorney is a critical resource during an international airline accident case.
Can an LA Attorney Handle International Airline Accident Cases?
You do not need an attorney overseas to take care of your international airline accident. In fact, trying to hire a lawyer from the foreign country you were flying from or to at the time of your accident could present further complications. The Los Angeles attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP are more than capable of handling international airline accident cases of any caliber. We have proven our ability to obtain exceptional case results for some of the largest international aviation accident lawsuits in history.
Many airlines have headquarters in Los Angeles and the surrounding region, making it advantageous to hire a local law firm for international airline accident claims. Our LA accident lawyers have experience dealing with many major international airlines and are well versed in the unique laws related to these cases. We understand most plaintiffs can bring lawsuits in their home countries or the airline’s home country, as well as in the country where they purchased the ticket. We can help you protect your rights..
The Montreal Convention
Formally known as the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, the Montreal Convention is an international treaty that was adopted in 1999. It set the framework for an international airline passenger’s rights and ability to receive financial compensation in the event of an accident or injury. Under this convention, airlines are strictly liable for damages under 100,000 SDR if a passenger’s injury occurred on board the aircraft or while embarking or disembarking. If damages exceed 113,100 SDR, then the burden of proof shifts to the airline to prove that they did not behave negligently. Most importantly, the Montreal Convention carries a two-year statute of limitations, meaning that a suit cannot be filed outside this time frame.
The Warsaw Convention
The Warsaw Convention was another important law related to international aviation accidents. The Warsaw Convention was an agreement across international airlines that established parameters for how to carry passengers, cargo and luggage. It made the carrier liable for losses, injuries or deaths due to international airline accidents in certain conditions. It also listed the procedures for how to file a claim and receive compensation as a victim. The Montreal Convention replaced the Warsaw Convention, but many of its rules still apply to international aviation cases. The Warsaw Convention created a precedent for holding airlines liable for the safety of its passengers.
What Is Strict Liability?
The strict liability of an airline under the Montreal Convention is the airline’s financial responsibility to injured victims regardless of the question of negligence. During a typical airline crash claim, the victim will have to prove that the airline or other defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused the accident. Under the rules of the Montreal Convention, however, an international airline passenger does not have to prove negligence to qualify for damages.
The airline will be strictly liable for damages under $100,000 special drawing rights (SDR) if the injury occurred onboard the aircraft. In a case involving over $113,100 SDR, the case will involve a burden of proof – but not on the victim. Instead, it will be up to the airline to demonstrate that it did not, in fact, act negligently according to transportation industry standards. The Montreal Convention helps injured international airline passengers by relieving their burden of proof in personal injury claims.
International Airline Crashes (2010-2016)
According to the data, 2016 was one of the safest years in aviation history. Indeed, airline safety has steadily improved over the years (for example, 1972 saw 2,373 deaths from 72 fatal accidents), but that does not mean that crashes do not occur.
Why Do International Airline Accidents Happen?
The most recent year available, data shows 19 airline accidents and 325 related fatalities. This is a marked improvement from several years ago. However, hundreds of people still lost their lives (and thousands of others suffered non-fatal injuries) in preventable aviation accidents. Learning the most common causes of international airline accidents could help you understand who may be legally responsible for yours.
- Lax safety rules and protocols. Federal safety administrations do not have jurisdiction over international airlines. This can mean lower safety standards in operations. While this is not always the case, it could be a contributing factor in an international airline accident. Lack of safety protocols can put passengers at risk of injury.
- Pilot error or incompetence. The most common cause of airline crashes everywhere is pilot error. Despite being in charge of hundreds of lives, international airline pilots may be guilty of negligence, recklessness, or incompetence in the cockpit. This can lead to mistakes that cause serious accidents.
- Mechanical malfunction. International airlines should inspect their planes before every flight. Airlines must keep up with proper aircraft maintenance and repairs. Failure to do so could result in malfunctions and problems during takeoff, flight, or landing. Mechanical malfunctions could also stem from defective parts.
- Ground handling issues. Air traffic controllers are in charge of guiding international aircraft to safe landings, using radar images and other technologies. They give clearance for takeoff and guidance during bad weather. Air traffic controller negligence could lead to an aviation accident.
- Sabotage or acts of terrorism. Terrorist activities on international flights could cause gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and other passenger injuries, as well as serious injuries if the aircraft crashes or makes an emergency landing. Sabotage is one of the least common causes of international airline accidents, but it does occur.
Identifying the cause of your international airline accident is a necessary step if you wish to recover compensation. The at-fault party will be the one responsible for paying your damages. It will become the defendant in your personal injury or wrongful death claim following an aviation accident.
What Is a Catastrophic Injury?
An international airline crash is often catastrophic, meaning it causes injuries that will permanently impact victims. Catastrophic injuries may cause lifelong disabilities, including permanent scars, disfigurement or loss of limb. They may also cause cognitive damages, such as brain damage or memory loss. Catastrophic injury lawsuits are often worth greater compensation than minor accident claims.
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Significant loss of a bodily function
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Our attorneys have helped many clients with catastrophic injuries fight for the compensation awards we believe they deserved. We have the knowledge and resources to take catastrophic aviation accident claims to trial in LA if that is necessary for full compensation. We will stand up against insurance companies in the pursuit of justice and hold wrongdoers accountable for losses suffered due to negligence or recklessness.
Can You Recover for Emotional Losses?
The traumatic nature of most international airline accidents leads to significant emotional damages in addition to physical and financial losses. As a passenger who survived the crash, you may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and related symptoms, such as nightmares, trouble sleeping, depression and anxiety. You may need a psychologist or another therapist’s help to work through your feelings or mental impairment.
If you lost a loved one in an aviation disaster, you may experience mental anguish, turmoil and extreme grief. You may suffer from noneconomic damages such as the loss of your loved one’s care, company, parental guidance and love. All of these intangible losses and emotional damages are compensable in a civil lawsuit. An aviation claim could include an award a jury believes matches the intangible losses you suffered because of the plane wreck.
To determine your noneconomic damage award, a jury may examine your physical injuries and how they impacted your life. If you do not have any physical injuries, the jury will instead look at how the traumatic loss of a loved one affected you and your family. The skill of your aviation lawyer in telling your story to a judge and jury can influence the amount you receive in noneconomic damages. Hiring an international airline crash lawyer from Panish Shea & Boyle LLP could help you maximize your recovery award.
How to Choose Your Plane Crash Attorney
It is important to hire an aviation lawyer you feel confident in representing you during a complex international airline accident case. Your attorney must have plenty of experience handling these types of cases to fully understand how to navigate your claim. During the search for your lawyer, research online to find a few potential options in Los Angeles. Then, narrow them down by asking the right questions.
- Do you handle international airline accident cases specifically? If the answer is no, find a different attorney. Taking on national aviation claims is not the same as international.
- How much aviation accident experience do you have? The greater the experience level, the more confidence you can have that your lawyer knows what he or she is doing.
- How much do your services cost? Many personal injury and aviation attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not pay unless you win.
Arrange free consultations with multiple attorneys to see which one fits your priorities best. Ask questions, talk about your experience and choose the lawyer that appears to care the most about your future. Our lawyers have dedicated their lives to fighting for justice for the injured. We can help you seek compensation from one or more at-fault parties.
What to Ask During a Free Consultation
On top of asking questions to choose the right lawyer, you should also ask case-specific questions to learn more about your accident claim during a free consultation. The lawyer should make you feel comfortable and free to voice any questions or concerns you have about your case. At Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, we encourage new clients to tell their stories and get the answers they have been seeking.
- Do I have grounds for a case? Give a basic description of your airline accident to the attorney during your free consultation to find out if you have a claim. The essential elements you need for a negligence-based aviation claim are duty of care, breach of duty and causation.
- How long will my case take? Each case is unique. A complex international airline accident claim could take a year or longer to resolve. Your case may not take as long if your lawyer can achieve a successful insurance settlement.
- What is my case worth? The more catastrophic your damages, the more likely it is that a judge or jury will award you significant compensation. Your case’s value will depend on the specific damages you or your family suffered, as well as the actions of the defendant.
- Who might be responsible? Although the law firm may need to investigate your case further to answer this question, basic defendants often include the airline, the aircraft manufacturer and the country’s aviation safety regulation administration.
- What is the next step? This will also depend on your specific case, but the next step after a free consultation is often retaining the firm if the lawyer accepts your claim. From there, the law firm can take over the claims process on your behalf by filing your initial demand letter against the defendant.
You can trust the answers you receive from a dependable aviation accident attorney in Los Angeles. At Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, our number one goal is client care. We take the time to meet with prospective clients one-on-one at our law office or the client’s home or hospital before taking a case. We will carefully examine all of the known facts of the accident, listen to the client’s concerns and provide counsel based on our years of practice area experience.
Filing a lawsuit after an international aviation accident is important if you wish to obtain financial recovery for your economic and noneconomic losses. If you suspect that the airline or another party caused or contributed to your accident, find out if you have grounds for a lawsuit with help from an attorney. You could recover significant damages in a successful claim.
- Past and future medical expenses. The defendant could owe you money for your outstanding medical costs and bills, including hospital stays, treatments, and surgeries.
- Pain and suffering. The physical pain and suffering or emotional distress you suffered because of the accident could have monetary value in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Lost income. If you had to miss work while recovering from your aviation accident, the airline could owe you for your missed wages or last capacity to earn because of an injury.
- Lost quality of life. Suffering a temporary or permanent disability in an airline accident could lead to the right to pain and suffering damages for lost quality or enjoyment of life.
- Out-of-pocket costs. Legal fees, court costs, hotel room stays, transportation expenses, and the recovery of damaged property could all be losses you appoint to the defendant.
Find out what your claim is worth during a free consultation with our aviation disaster lawyers. Our headquarters is in California, but we accept cases involving aviation accidents in all countries and international waters. We can review the facts of your case and let you know its potential financial value.
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL CHALLENGES
Given the immense legal challenges and logistical questions that typically arise after an international airline crash, victims should arm themselves with excellent legal assistance. Fortunately, the plane crash attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP can provide you a free, zero-obligation consultation about your matter.
Our firm has won numerous landmark aviation accident case matters, and we’ve obtained multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for many of our clients. Our aggressive and thorough approach has earned us top honors. For instance, the National Law Journal recently named Panish Shea & Boyle LLP as one of America’s Elite Trial Lawyers. Get the help you need now by contacting us today.
Call (877) 800-1700 Today
We want to help you get your life back after a serious and traumatic international aviation accident. Our lawyers will work closely with your family to identify your goals, create a personalized legal strategy and fight for fair compensation for your damages. Start your case with a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers. Schedule your meeting today at (877) 800-1700 or using our online contact form.