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Airplane Accident

Panter, Panter & Sampedro is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting Florida’s families. For over 30 years, our experienced trial attorneys have worked one-on-one with clients to successfully get the justice, recovery and compensation they deserve.


    Airplane Accident Lawyers

    Aviation accidents are rare compared to other kinds of accidents, but when they happen they often result in an incredible amount of damage and severe personal injuries. These accidents often take years to fully investigate, however almost all of the most common causes of aviation accidents are the result of some form of negligence. 

    Dedicated to protecting injured victims for over 20 years

    Common Causes of Airplane Accidents

    Common contributing factors in most aviation accidents include:

    • Pilot mistakes. This most common cause of aviation accidents accounts for around half of all plane crashes. Despite modern innovations that automate many features of air travel, flying a plane is still among the most complicated and difficult jobs available. Pilots are in charge of overseeing dozens of gauges and readouts throughout each flight. Pilots should not necessarily be blamed for every accident, but any slight miscalculation or misreading can result in a deadly crash.
    • Mechanical defects. Planes are a tremendous execution of engineering, with hundreds of separate systems in each. A failure or malfunction in any one of these systems can lead to a catastrophic situation. This includes defects, inadequate repairs and old or worn out parts.
    • Harsh weather conditions. Flying becomes more dangerous in bad weather just like it does with driving. Heavy rainstorms, fog and snow can lead to visibility issues, high winds and skidding during take off, which are among the most dangerous weather-related threats to aircrafts. When airplanes have difficulty maneuvering, deadly accidents are much more likely.
    • Air traffic controller mistakes. Pilots count on the information and support provided from air traffic controllers while in the air. Air traffic controllers often have to take factors such as weather and fuel into consideration when scheduling takeoffs and landings for multiple different planes. Any error made has the potential to result in an accident, potentially involving more than one plane.
    • Other causes. There are many other factors that can contribute and have contributed to aviation accidents. Some surprisingly common factors are sabotage, poor runway maintenance and birds. If a large bird collides with an airplane’s windscreen or engine, it can cause damage that could contribute to a plane crash.

    The National Transportation Safety Board

    The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is a federal investigatory board whose mandate is to ensure safe public transportation. They are responsible for investigating accidents, conducting studies and making recommendations to federal agencies and the transportation industry. The Independent Safety Board Act gave the NTSB sole responsibility for investigating airline crashes. 

    The use of NTSB reports in court, however, has been controversial. The reports are released to the public under federal law as the intention is to be used to prevent future accidents from occuring. But, they are forbidden by law to a certain extent from being used in civil lawsuits. The Civil Aeronautics Board, or CAB, stated “No part of any report or reports of the National Transportation Safety Board relating to any accident or the investigation thereof, shall be admitted as evidence or used in any suit or action for damages growing out of any matter mentioned in such report or reports.” 

    Although, courts have permitted civil litigants to use some NTSB aircraft accident report information, and some regulations have shifted in response. Only probable cause reports are firmly impermissible in civil lawsuits, and NTSB representatives are permitted only to testify to factual matters surrounding their investigations.

    Determining Cause & Liability in Aviation Accidents

    Any party whose negligent actions either caused or contributed to an aviation crash can be held legally liable for the accident. Assigning liability following a plane crash is often a difficult and drawn-out legal matter requiring lengthy and complicated investigatory processes. The NTSB’s investigations normally determine what caused the accident.

    Airlines can be held liable for an accident if investigators determine that pilot mistakes or improper maintenance led to the crash. Airlines and individual pilots have a heightened duty of care to keep their passengers safe from harm. Suing an airline for liability as common carriers can be done by proving that a breach in that duty of care occurred and caused the accident.

    What Legal Rights Do I Have After an Aviation Accident?

    You may have a right to recover monetary damages from those parties responsible for causing the accident. You have a right to bring a lawsuit for an aviation accident if you are injured as a result, the spouse of a person injured as a result, the legal guardian or a person injured as a result, the personal representative of the person injured as a result, the next of kin of a person killed as a result, or are in the “zone of danger” to experience emotional harm due to the accident. 

    Wrongful death cases arising from an airplane accident vary widely among the states, with some jurisdictions only permitting recovery for financial losses and some for noneconomic losses. The Florida law offices of Panter, Panter & Sampedro have successfully represented clients in domestic and international cases involving commercial and private airplane crashes.

    If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of an plane accident, call the experienced Panter, Panter, & Sampedro aviation accident attorneys for counsel on the specific circumstances of the incident.

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    Personal Injury

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Panter, Panter & Sampedro is among the leading personal injury law firms in South Florida. For more than 30 years, our Board Certified trial attorneys have represented individuals injured by negligent parties in cases of significant size and complexity across various practice areas.

      We are a different kind of law firm, with the legal skill and expertise needed to serve our clients, and an unwavering dedication to family values.

      We believe our success, both inside and outside the courtroom, is defined by what we care about — it’s that simple. Panter, Panter & Sampedro is an award-winning personal injury law firm — but more than that — it is a group of people that genuinely cares about protecting the rights of individuals suffering as a result of wrongdoing and negligence.

    • With a track record of success in working closely with each client, our legal team has secured millions of dollars in compensation for thousands of accident victims and their families over the course of three decades. We guide our clients through the entire legal proceedings, from filing the initial complaint to assisting with the proper distribution of funds once compensation is awarded.

      Our vast trial experience includes substantial verdicts and settlements in cases involving motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, slip-and-fall, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death and more.

      Panter, Panter & Sampedro’s proven team of civil trial lawyers are relied upon by the Miami and South Florida community to protect their rights and ensure justice is served by securing the best verdicts and recoveries possible.

      When our firm takes on a personal injury claim, we aggressively represent our clients and fight for the maximum compensation under the law. Rest assured that no matter how difficult the case, we are prepared to serve as your most ardent legal advocates and welcome the opportunity to hold the culpable parties accountable.  

      Panter, Panter & Sampedro proudly serves residents throughout South Florida — including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

    • No recovery, no fees.

      We believe that everyone, regardless of their financial status, should have access to sound legal counsel as they exercise their right to pursue justice and redress any harm or wrongdoing.

      At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, all our services are offered on a “contingency fee” basis, which means that any payment to the firm completely depends on whether our efforts result in a financial recovery for our client.

      Any lawyer’s fees for representing the client will be deducted from the final personal injury settlement in the client’s case or from the damages awarded after a favorable verdict, in the event that the client’s case goes to trial.

      In general, attorneys can receive up to one-third of the gross amount of a pre-suit settlement or 40% of the gross settlement recovery once a Defendant files an answer to a lawsuit. These rules are regulated by the Florida Bar, and the following summarizes our contingency fee policy:

      • Client enters into an agreement granting legal authority to the firm to represent the client in exchange for attorneys fees paid in the form of a percentage of the total recovery.
      • The firm assumes all up-front financial costs and risk associated with litigating the case. All of these expenses are paid by the firm, and are only repaid if a recovery is won.
      • The client pays no fees whatsoever, hourly or otherwise.
      • The firm’s contingency fee percentage varies based on the type of case, level of complexity, and the foreseeable resources required to litigate it properly.
      • Every case is unique, but the contingency fee percentage is always clearly agreed upon by both parties and documented in writing upon retaining our services.
    • We can. Call 305-662-6178 or submit a request for your FREE CONSULTATION to speak directly with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers. We will review your case at no charge. To learn more about personal injury, please read below.

      Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s act or failure to act. In a successful tort action, the one who caused the injury or harm compensates the one who suffered the losses.

      Every tort claim, regardless of its basis, whether intentional, negligence, or strict liability, has two basic issues—liability and damages. Was the defendant liable for the damages you sustained, and, if so, what is the nature and extent of your damages? If you can prove liability and damages, our system of justice will award you compensation for your loss.

      Personal injury cases can involve:

    Personal Injury

    Traffic Accidents

    Medical Malpractice

    Premises Liability

    Product Liability

    Catastrophic Injuries

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