The personal injury attorneys at Ketterer Browne & Anderson have extensive experience handling transportation-related litigation, including wrongful death and personal injury cases arising from train, maritime, and aviation accidents. While this area of the law is highly specialized, the KBA team understands the complex legal frameworks that apply to any transportation-related litigation. Finding the right aviation and transportation safety attorneys in the aftermath of an accident is of the utmost importance for victims and their families.
Our KBA attorneys are well versed in major airline crash cases and non-catastrophic aviation litigation, as well as train and boat accident litigation. We delve more deeply into the types of cases we handle in the pages below and on our blog (eventually add links etc).
Aviation Accidents & Litigation
“Aviation law” refers to the laws and regulations applicable to causes of actions that stem from an accident or incident involving an aircraft. Our attorneys have years of combined experience in both wrongful death and non-catastrophic personal injury aviation accident cases, which can arise during domestic and/or international travel. Circumstances that may give rise to compensable claims under the umbrella of aviation law include:
- Commercial airline crashes (including domestic and foreign flights)
- Private jet or small plane crashes (also known as “general aviation”)
- Personal injuries sustained during the course of the flight, embarking or deplaning processes
- Violations of passenger rights as set forth and defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Injuries sustained by pilots, flight attendants, and other airline employees in the course of their employment
Aviation lawsuits are often complex and can encompass wrongful death, survivor claims, product liability, strict liability, class actions, jurisdictional issues, and multinational litigation. Our team at KBA works hand in hand with experts in the aviation industry to build a strong case on behalf of victims and their families. We work tirelessly to hold accountable the airlines, airports, plane maintenance companies and parts manufacturers responsible when an aviation accident occurs
International Travel and the Montreal Convention
Accidents that occur in the course of international carriage (which includes international flights and the domestic legs of longer, international trips) are governed by the Montreal Convention.
The Montreal Convention, formally titled the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, was signed on May 28, 1999, and superseded the previous Warsaw Convention and Hague Protocol. The Montreal Convention re-established uniform liability limits for the international carriage of passengers and cargo.
One of the key tenets of the Montreal Convention provides for strict liability in the event of death or injury to passengers; advance payments to meet the needs of victims’ family members, five jurisdictions in which a suit can be commenced; increased liability limits in the event of flight delay; the modernization of transport documents; the clarification of the rules on the respective liability of the contractual carrier and the actual carrier; and the obligation for air carriers to maintain adequate insurance coverage. Under the Montreal Convention, liability limits for injured passengers are set forth as “Special Drawing Rights” (SDR), which are established and set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Most notably, the Montreal Convention did away with the Warsaw Convention’s requirement of proof of willful misconduct on the part of the air carrier in order for recovery to be granted. The Montreal Convention went into effect on November 4, 2003, and is the operative Convention to this day.
The Montreal Convention, coupled with the relevant case law that defines the parameters for recovery under the Convention’s Articles, provides an important framework for determining whether a passenger’s emotional and physical injuries are compensable and viable as part of a broader aviation lawsuit. Our KBA attorneys are adept at interpreting the Articles and relevant case law to determine the likelihood of success on individual claims brought on behalf of injured passengers and their family
Sexual Assault on Airplanes
Sexual assault on an airplane is a federal crime. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), incidents of sexual assaults on airplanes are on the rise. If you are assaulted on an airplane, you should immediately notify the crew, who along with the plane’s Captain must report the incident to law enforcement personnel on the ground. FBI agents and victim specialists can conduct interviews and apprehend suspects immediately upon landing.
If you experienced a sexual assault during a flight and did not report the assault before landing, or if the crew assisting you failed to properly report the assault, you should contact your local law enforcement agency as well as retain a transportation injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at KBA can assist you in this process.
Thankfully, not all injuries that occur on airplanes are catastrophic. Less severe injuries often occur as a result of excessive and avoidable turbulence, failure to properly secure overhead bins and luggage, defects in plane parts such as passenger seats and oxygen masks, and the failure to respond to emergency medical situations.
The attorneys at KBA are able to determine the likelihood of success in pursuing compensation for minor injuries you or a loved one sustained as a passenger.
Even the most seemingly minor incident that takes place on a train can give rise to catastrophic injuries to passengers and crew alike. Studies show that train accidents and injuries are on the rise, which is largely attributed to increased rail travel on Amtrak and intra-city rail lines, increased freight transportation, and increased use of smartphones and GPS devices leading to distracted train operators.
Circumstances involving trains that may give rise to compensable claims include:
- Collisions (with other trains or with automobiles)
- Railroad crossing accidents
- Personal injuries sustained on train tracks or at train stations
Lawsuits arising from train accidents involve complicated laws and regulations that set these cases apart from automobile and other less complex transportation accidents. Our skilled team at KBA has the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle train-related matters.
If you were injured in a maritime accident, boating accident, or otherwise sustained an offshore injury, you should contact our team at KBA to discuss your legal rights. In some circumstances in which an individual cannot file a lawsuit under a federal statute, such as the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act, they may be able to bring a claim under general maritime law. For example, individuals who sustain injuries while sailing on a recreational privately owned boat might have recourse under the general principles of maritime law. General maritime law also provides for additional protection, above what is promulgated by federal statute, to offshore workers injured in the course of their employment. Circumstances that may be compensable under the umbrella of maritime law include:
- Violations of federal statutes such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (including injuries sustained by offshore crew members due to the negligent acts of maritime employers)
- Personal injuries sustained while on cruise ships, charter boats, transportation or sightseeing vessels, and privately owned boats or yachts
- Claims of unseaworthiness of a vessel that caused economic loss or personal injury
Our attorneys are experienced in the complexities of maritime law and can help guide you through the litigation process with ease. Contact KBA Attorneys to discuss your first step in pursuing justice.