We’ve handled cases arising from virtually every type of general aviation aircraft accident. That includes accidents involving ultralights, light sport aircraft, vintage aircraft, technologically advanced aircraft such as the Cirrus, private jets, helicopters of all sorts, and even hot-air balloons.
And we’ve represented the families of various airline disasters, such as TWA Flight 800, the Crash of the Air France Concorde, Alaska Airlines Flight 261, EgyptAir Flight 990, Adam Air Flight 574, and Air Philippines Flight 541.
Our clients have included the families of some of the world’s most skilled pilots. We’ve represented the families of a 747 pilot, a Concorde SST pilot, a US Aerobatic Pilots Hall of Famer, and even a Blue Angel. We’ve been the choice of judges and lawyers, including a lawyer for the President of the United States.
We’ve been called upon to testify as experts on US aviation law before the courts of foreign countries. We’ve taken aviation cases to trial here in the US in courts from Massachusetts to Hawai’i.
After a long period of unprecedented safety, airline travel has become increasingly risky. Crew members have become overly reliant on cockpit automation. Novel aircraft designs present new failure modes. Air traffic controllers are subjected to ever-increasing workload. Perhaps most importantly, the FAA has abdicated its duty to regulate aircraft manufacturers, instead allowing them to self-certify their designs as safe even when they aren’t.
Now more than ever it falls upon the civil justice system–judges and juries–to hold the industry accountable. At Danko Meredith Trial Lawyers, we have a passion for aviation safety. If you or family member was injured in an airline accident, contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced airline accident lawyer.
We’ve represented the families of the following airline disasters whose aftermath brought about industry change:
Danko Meredith Trial Lawyers have what it takes to negotiate or litigate any airline disaster, either domestic or international, according to the clients’ unique needs.
People think “General Aviation” means “small planes.” But in fact it includes any aviation operation other than military flights or transportation for hire. General aviation accidents are always sudden, unexpected and devastating for the aircraft’s occupants and their families.
We’ve handled cases arising from virtually every type of general aviation aircraft: ultralights, light sport aircraft (LSAs), antique aircraft, technologically advanced aircraft (TAAs) such as the Cirrus, private jets, helicopters of all sorts, and even hot-air balloons.
If you would like to discuss a possible general aviation crash case, contact us for a free, confidential consultation with one of our California aviation accident lawyers.
Aircraft crash survivors frequently suffer serious injuries such as multiple fractures, burns, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, or brain damage. Our experience with these types of injuries helps us to maximize the client’s compensation.
The victim’s family is seldom in the best emotional state to make important decisions right after an airplane or helicopter accident. The stresses can be overwhelming. The last thing a family wants to do is start talking with lawyers. Experience shows, however, that for best results an aviation lawyer should be retained promptly — within two to three weeks after an accident if possible.
The attorney who the family eventually selects will want to begin right away interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and making sure that other important evidence – such as the aircraft wreckage – is preserved. The more time that passes, the harder it will be for the attorney to prepare the case properly.
The National Transportation Board investigates all aviation accidents. Sometimes, it makes sense to wait for the NTSB to finish its work before deciding whether to file suit. But most of the time, waiting for the NTSB to finish is not in the client’s best interests. Here are reasons not to wait:
It doesn’t matter how good the case is — if the statute of limitations expires and no lawsuit is on file, the victim’s rights will be lost forever. Some statutes of limitation applicable to aviation cases may expire as soon as six months after the accident. Determining which statute of limitation applies can be determined only after speaking with a qualified aviation lawyer.
Find an attorney with an excellent record of jury verdicts in aviation lawsuits. Unless the lawyer has proven that they can successfully take an aviation accident case all the way through trial and to a verdict, it’s unlikely the responsible insurance company will take the lawyer seriously when it comes time to discuss settlement.
Current experience as a helicopter or fixed-wing pilot is an invaluable asset for the aviation accident attorney, especially when interviewing witnesses or taking their depositions, sifting through evidence, and working with experts. For this reason, the manufacturers or others who are to blame for an accident often chose lawyers who are pilots to defend them. They feel that, all other things being equal, lawyers who are pilots have an advantage over those who aren’t.
But the prospective aviation attorney’s record at trial is also an important consideration. Defendants and their insurance companies will seldom pay a fair settlement to a victim represented by an attorney who has not proven that he can take an aviation case all the way to verdict. The lack of a trial record is a weakness that a defendant or the insurance company will always exploit. It’s a weakness that no amount of piloting credentials can make up for. If the aviation attorney doesn’t have a history of successful jury verdicts, that lawyer – regardless of whether he holds a pilot’s license — is a poor choice.
An aviation lawyer will cost you nothing unless and until there is a monetary recovery. The lawyer will work on a contingency fee contract and will advance all the costs of expenses of the lawsuit.
Yes, sometimes, especially if the injuries are not significant or if the insurance is limited. Before doing so, however, be sure to consult an aviation lawyer. Most will talk things over without charge and advise you whether it makes sense to settle on your own.
It varies, but in our experience most cases resolve 1 1/2 and 3 years after we file them. (Yes, we frequently resolve aviation lawsuits before the NTSB even issues its probable cause report.)
A decision to cut costs can be found in the chain of events leading to most aviation accidents. By taking the profit out of unsafe business practices, a lawsuit can sometimes be the most effective way to bring about change in the industry.
Many clients are surprised to learn that the NTSB has no power to punish sloppy operators or take away their licenses, regardless of what it concludes caused the crash. For most operators, unless there’s a lawsuit, it’s “business as usual.”
Our lawyers can discuss your unique aviation accident case with you for free during a consultation at our local Bay Area Personal Injury law firm. Schedule your meeting by calling (650) 453-3600, or send us a message to speak to an attorney.
A history of winning aviation accidents not just in California but around the globe.