Recently one of the largest ever air crash disaster verdicts was awarded to a doctor and his fiancé who were the survivors of a plane crash that left both permanently injured.
The $11.35 million verdict was awarded to the couple as compensation for their injuries and for the woman’s future loss of income; she had been a professional pilot, but can no longer fly because the lasting injuries preclude her from passing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) medical examination.
The judgment was against Winner Aviation, an American corporation that was responsible for maintaining the plane; the jury found that the plane had not been properly maintained prior to the crash, which was a principle cause of the accident. When a corporation voluntarily takes responsibility for ensuring the condition of equipment, and a failure on the part of the company to do so results in injuries to others, that company may be held legally liable for damages resulting from those injuries. In situations like these, Illinois personal injury lawsuits may arise.
The female victim piloted the twin-engine Cessna Skymaster airplane, which was owned by her fiancé. Shortly after take-off, the aircraft developed engine problems, and ultimately crashed; the woman was knocked unconscious, but was revived by the man, whose legs were crushed. Devastatingly, as the pair were trying to escape the plane, a wing exploded which engulfed the plane in fire. Both suffered respiratory injuries from breathing smoke and fuel, as well as severe third-degree burns.
The lawsuit alleged that post-accident investigations showed that Winner Aviation failed to repair the plane’s rear engine, and that the front engine was scheduled for an overhaul that never happened.
When someone is determined to be legally responsible for injuring someone else, they are liable for the harm caused and may be made to pay the injured person compensatory damages; this is also the case when the responsibility arises from a negligent failure to take required actions – such as in this case. Compensatory damages attempt to put an injured person back in the position he or she was in before being injured. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded, which are damages that are intended to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from harming others.
Our Chicago airplane accident attorneys represent clients in the Chicago, Illinois area who have suffered personal injuries or lost loved ones in aviation accidents. There may be many different factors surrounding an airplane accident that can contribute to its cause. Some of these factors include:
• Faulty Equipment • FAA Regulation Violations • Pilot Errors • Problems in the Design or Structure of an Aircraft • Flight Service Station Employee Negligence • Negligence in a Third Party Selection of a Carrier • Federal Air Traffic Controller Negligence
Our Illinois personal injury lawyers have extensive experience with the unique challenges and complexities of aviation law, which has enabled them to achieve many multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients, including a $2.33 million settlement for the family of a pilot whose Cessna plane crashed due to a defective carburetor part.