Plane crashes are rare, but they’re catastrophic when they happen. And they do still happen…
When you or a family member are injured or killed in a plane crash, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You may have the right to financial compensation, but numerous obstacles might stand in your way — from the aircraft company trying to sweep the crash under the rug to simply coping with your grief and loss.
Florida law allows for accident compensation when a plane crash or mishap is the result of another party’s negligent behavior. This falls under personal injury law, and our aviation accident attorneys can help your navigate this complex legal process to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries and loss.
Plane crash statistics
Despite a decline in plane crashes in the last 10 years, there are still dozens of plane crashes in Florida each year. While it’s true that car accidents are much more common than plane crashes, accidents involving planes do tend to be more deadly and catastrophic in general.
Here are some recent plane crash statistics:
- According to the Aviation Safety Network, there were 500 plane crash deaths worldwide in 2018.
- There were 13 aviation-related deaths in 2017.
- The survival rate for plane crashes, even in the most serious accidents, is about 77 percent.
- For every 3 million commercial flights, there’s a crash with at least 1 fatality. (By comparison, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports 37,133 motor vehicle deaths in the United States in 2017.)
Infamous plane crashes in Florida
Lake Okeechobee, March 2019
In March 2019, 5 people lost their lives when a plane crashed 400 yards from the shore of Lake Okeechobee. Those killed ranged in age from 36-73 years old. The plane took off from Tampa International Airport. It was a twin-engine plane, trying to reach Pahokee at the time of the crash.
Payne Stewart, October 25, 1999
Golfer Payne Stewart and other professional golfers died when their Learjet 35 lost cabin pressure on a flight from Orlando to Dallas. All those on board died from a lack of oxygen. The plane flew on autopilot for 4 hours before crashing into a field in South Dakota.
Randy Rhoads, March 19, 1982
While on tour in Florida, band members for Ozzy Osbourne attempted to fly a plane near the tour bus. Although successful on the first 2 attempts, on the third pass the plane clipped the tour bus. The crash sent the plane into a spiral. It eventually crashed into a garage and burst into flames. Guitarist Randy Rhoads lost his life in the crash.
Compensation for Florida plane crash survivors (and their families)
Florida law allows for flight accident compensation when the crash occurs because of the carelessness of someone involved. A plane crash victim may receive compensation for their physical, mental and emotional suffering.
In cases where a death occurs, the victim’s next of kin may claim loss of life on behalf of the victim in addition to the loss of relationship with their loved one. This is known as a wrongful death claim.
Liability for a plane crash in Florida
The individual, company or party who is legally liable for a plane crash in Florida is the defendant whose actions directly or indirectly caused the crash. There are many possible responsible parties in a plane crash lawsuit, including the:
- Owner of the aircraft
- Aircraft manufacturer
- Air traffic controllers
- Personnel responsible for fueling
- Personnel responsible for directing traffic on the ground at the airport
- Personnel responsible for aircraft maintenance
To determine who’s legally liable for a plane crash, the factors leading to the crash must be investigated. The federal government is usually involved in investigating plane crashes in Florida and throughout the country.
How to recover compensation after a Florida plane accident
The official investigation can be instrumental in helping you determine who was ultimately responsible for the crash. Your attorney can help you build on the results of the investigation in order to advance your case.
Since Florida law allows crash survivors or their family to recover compensation for an aviation accident by bringing a legal claim, compensation can be sought from the at-fault party for damages. In many cases, a plane crash lawsuit settlement can be reached without formally trying a case in court.