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Learning From Aviation Disasters

Sep 3, 2008
Air travel has become an everyday occurrence and air travel is rarely thought of as a risk. That said, latest figures suggest that, on average, one thousand people per year die worldwide through aviation disasters. Add to this the one and a half thousand people that die in light aircraft, business jets and helicopters and the risk is propelled into the arena a little more forcefully. Of course, this does have to be balanced in some proportion to the fact that hundreds of flights with thousands of passengers take place every single day of the year.

Although just about everyone travelling with an airline will have taken out some sort of insurance, in the event of an accident or incident, they or their families are still entitled to claim compensation also. In nearly all cases the compensation secured will amount to considerably more than the insurance pay out, particularly if it is secured by a specialist aviation lawyer that has in depth knowledge of the international laws surrounding air disasters.

General injury lawyers can, in no way, possess the ability to deal with such complex issues such as air disasters. There is an international framework of laws specific to aviation accidents and they become very complex when you consider how many aspects there are to deal with from piloting to navigation from maintenance to manufacturing and design.

When an accident or major incidence occurs in the UK, the Air Accident Investigation Branch, who are part of the Department of Transport, will investigate in order to determine exactly what happened. This is not for the purpose of apportioning blame but to ensure that safety is improved upon to prevent repeat occurrences. The AAIB have the power to make safety recommendations as they see fit and adhering to this is bound to carry insurance implications for future flights.

Aviation insurance is a multifaceted business and totally different to every other type of insurance. Most aviation insurance is held with insurers in London and large aircraft manufacturers will take out around $2 billion cover to insure against each accident. These insurers will appoint specialist aviation defence lawyers to represent their clients and protect their income.

That said, how could your average injury lawyer possible take on companies that have the latest inside knowledge on aviation laws as well as foreign laws? How could they possibly have the right contacts to deal with air disasters and to secure the best compensation for their victims and their families when up against this sort of knowledge?

That is why the best plan for compensation claims from air disasters is an aviation lawyer. These lawyers are adept and dealing with these types of cases only and therefore can apply everything they know to the case in question. Aviation lawyers will often be instructed to act on behalf of all the passengers and passenger's families that are affected by an individual plane crash.

A single individual barely stands a chance of gaining compensation from the global companies involved in aviation without the assistance of an aviation lawyer. There are often language barriers to overcome as well as understanding foreign laws if the accident occurred overseas and also the understanding of the way aviation insurance, insurers and their lawyers operate.

With an aviation lawyer the case will still be complex and often drawn out but the end result will be that something positive came out of something terrible. Compensation will have been gained for those entitled and measures will be put in place to prevent a repeat of the accident.
About the Author
Legal expert Catherine Harvey looks at how aviation disasters require specialist aviation lawyers to extract compensation from those responsible.
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