You probably know that you can sue an auto manufacturer if your car malfunctions and results in injury. But what about the aircraft manufacturers? Can you sue the plane manufacturer if there is a mechanical failure during your flight and it causes injury to you or someone else on board?
You may not believe it at first glance, but the answer depends on where the malfunction occurs. If something happens on takeoff or landing, yes, most likely yes. However, if the problem occurs mid-flight and only affects people within a compartment of the plane, such as cabin crew or passengers directly affected by the smoke, then no, it would not be possible to sue them.
Having an experienced attorney who knows and understands the regulations can find the loopholes to hold these manufacturers accountable for any negligence that could cause injury, a plane malfunction, or worse, crash and kill the people on board.
Regulations Provide the Answers
Various federal regulations come into play if an emergency situation occurs during your time on board an aircraft. Under federal regulation 49 USC section 44718, passengers can only sue the airline if the aircraft has been put into “hazardous conditions that exist in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations.” This is because by boarding a plane, you agree to give up your right to sue the airline once you take off; this is called a disclaimer.
The most common accidents on flights are cabin depressurization and smoke inhalation, but it also happens that people are injured during accidents (but this is very rare). It may seem that depressurizing an aircraft mid-flight would be considered dangerous. Still, according to federal regulations under 14 CFR 135, section 91.89, the cabin must meet the following requirements to fly:
“The aircraft cabin must be designed so that it does not have harmful or dangerous effects on the occupants due to any sudden changes in pressure that may occur.”
This means that because the planes are built with high-quality technology that ensures a safe landing, even if it results in depressurization, the courts will most likely rule against passengers being able to sue the plane manufacturers for damages. The only time you could sue is if your injuries were directly related to smoke inhalation. This may also fall under federal regulation 14 CFR 135 section 91.87, which states: “No person may operate an aircraft unless there are at least two exits available for use by each occupant when the aircraft is in its normal parked condition.” This means that if you were on a flight and the only exit available to you was blocked by smoke, you could sue for damages.
This is also why it is essential to read all of the fine print disclaimers that come with your airline ticket before you hand it over to the gate. If the disclaimer is too short to read, they have to give it to you word for word, or else it doesn’t hold up in court. Another great reason not to use one of those popular seat selection websites that charge exorbitant fees for their services! Most people don’t even know about airline regulations, so they feel more confident selecting their seats from the comfort of their own home. But most people don’t realize that they are essentially giving up their legal rights by purchasing these “seat selection services.”
Do not get into a situation where you could be seriously injured or even killed due to your negligence. You can always contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases, but if you find yourself in the midst of an emergency situation while traveling by plane, don’t let it slip that under federal regulation 49 USC section 40119, you cannot sue aircraft manufacturers for any malfunctions (even fatal ones) that occur during normal use.
How a lawyer can help if you can sue the manufacturers
Aircraft are made to provide passengers with safe flights and protection in an emergency situation where conditions require life-sustaining assistance. Assume that the mechanical malfunction was so severe that it could have caused injury or death. In that case, you may be able to claim damages from the aircraft manufacturer if it was responsible for the defective product. Although airplanes are built with safety in mind, many complications can arise when maintenance fails or something goes wrong mid-flight. These problems range from minor glitches like hydraulic leaks, which cause the wiper fluid to not work properly, to more complicated issues like engine failure. If you are unfortunate enough to be stuck on a plane with a serious equipment malfunction, it would be wise to retain an attorney who can help you through this difficult time.
The first step your lawyer will take is to determine if the manufacturers are at fault for your situation. Aircraft are made up of thousands of components that need regular inspections and maintenance to ensure nothing goes wrong in flight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires certain checks to be performed prior to takeoff, but the manufacturer bears full responsibility for its products after that time.
While these companies must exercise care when manufacturing aircraft, you could still have a case if they fail to show proper care or supervision when creating or maintaining your aircraft. Once your lawyer confirms that the manufacturers are at fault, they will move forward to help you collect as much evidence as possible. You can also get your react js training in Bangalore. This would involve inspecting the plane to find out what went wrong and collecting records of previous flights or problems. They may also need to speak with mechanics or workers who dealt with their specific aircraft before determining if any issues could have caused a mid-flight malfunction.
It can be quite challenging if you end up making a case against these companies, as they have plenty of resources available for advanced legal battles. Your lawyer would need all the help he can get in collecting enough evidence of negligence on your part to make sure he emerges victorious once all is said and done. Experience makes a big difference when you’re up against big organizations like this, and your attorney will want to do everything they can to win.
What kind of evidence proves negligence?
In civil cases such as aircraft product liability claims, the party bringing the case to court must prove that there was willful action or negligence on the part of the defendant. When suing an airline for damages arising from in-flight mechanical failure, it can be difficult to prove deliberate action due to the nature of air travel and the frequency with which aircraft are required to malfunction and make emergency landings. This difficulty in proving negligence can lead both insurers and airlines to substantiate their side of the argument with detailed evidence based on logical assumptions rather than facts. On this topic, an experienced Portland personal injury lawyer will tell you that compelling evidence includes:
Direct Evidence: Information such as eyewitness accounts and photographs/videos that, in this case, would be evidence of a mechanical failure.
Circumstantial Evidence: Evidence that requires the court to make a logical assumption based on facts, such as an aircraft malfunction during takeoff or faulty equipment/mechanical error preceding an incident.
How can I prove negligence?
To prove negligence by Boeing or any other manufacturer, you must provide enough direct and circumstantial evidence that is substantial enough for the judge and jury to conclude that it was not an accident. In most product liability cases due to aircraft malfunctions during flight, most plaintiffs cannot file a lawsuit until they can show that both parties were negligent. Since most manufacturers require airlines to follow strict safety protocols and inspections before allowing planes to carry passengers across the country or the world, it would be difficult to determine that both parties were negligent.
Many plaintiffs attempt to show that while Boeing or another manufacturer was not necessarily negligent in the production of their planes, they should have known about specific design flaws and prevented them from being passed on to airlines despite the potential safety risks. However, testing this can also prove difficult due to the nature of aircraft failures during flight; many faults are mechanical errors that cannot be easily traced back to a specific engineering or manufacturing error, as things like faulty wiring or improper installation could cause similar problems with aircraft.
Aircraft manufacturers may be liable for claims outside of in-flight aircraft malfunction
While suing an airline for damages resulting from in-air problems with an aircraft is an obvious hardship for most passengers, it’s important to remember that aircraft manufacturers could also be liable for other forms of negligence that affect your travel experience. If you have been injured by poor design or low-quality materials on an aircraft, the manufacturer may be liable.
In one particular case, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation found that several Boeing 787 planes made at its South Carolina plant were missing crucial pieces of sheet material that kept pilots flowing with oxygen in the cockpit. As a result, the FAA issued a public safety advisory and required all 787s to undergo inspections before they were cleared to fly again.
In another case, a lawsuit proposed that Boeing’s aging fleets of 737s made flights more dangerous for passengers even though the same models passed FAA inspections with flying colors. The lawsuit claimed that critical pieces of equipment were becoming loose mid-flight and endangering everyone on board.