Advocating For The Injured For More Than 45 Years

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Aviation Attorney FAQs

Q. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD MY AVIATION ATTORNEY HAVE?

A. In addition to basic professionalism and integrity, there are three: 1) extensive experience flying in Alaska and handling aviation crash cases, 2) the tenacity, willingness, and ability to go to trial if necessary, and 3) plenty of money to develop the case.

MIKE SCHNEIDER…

  • Has collected millions of dollars for his clients.
  • Has invested an average of over $100,000.00 per case in cases actually tried since 2013.
  • Is a multi-thousand-hour pilot with a commercial rating and plenty of bush flying experience. Nearly 100% of his flight hours have been flown in Alaska.
  • Has operated his own aircraft on and off airports on wheels, floats, and skis accumulating hours in all seasons of the year.
  • Has handled aviation crash cases of various types for over 40 years.
  • Has enjoyed Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV” rating (very high ethical standards, exceptional legal ability, significant experience) for over 25 years.
  • Has been listed in BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA for over 25 years.
  • Has been selected by his peers as “Anchorage Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigator of the Year” for 2010 and many years thereafter.
  • Has been a member and former president of the Alaska Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and the Alaska Association for Justice (AKAJ).
  • Has been inducted as an invited Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL).

Q. I’M NOT READY TO FORMALLY HIRE AN AVIATION ATTORNEY.  WHAT WILL IT COST FOR MICHAEL J. SCHNEIDER, P.C. TO EVALUATE MY CLAIM AND EXPLAIN MY OPTIONS?

A. Nothing.

Q. WHAT DOES IT COST TO HIRE A QUALIFIED AVIATION ATTORNEY?

A. Typically, the firm you hire should:

  • Advance the time, talent, and treasure required to protect your rights and obtain fair compensation.
  • Propose a written agreement that allows it to charge no more than an agreed percentage of what is actually recovered on your behalf, plus related expenses it has advanced to obtain the recovery.
  • Make no charge for attorney time or expenses advanced by the firm if there is no recovery or the recovery is too small to pay the fee percentage plus incurred costs.

Q. IF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS TWO YEARS, WHY HURRY TO HIRE AN AVIATION ATTORNEY?

A. Among the best reasons:

  • Your phone won’t stop ringing nor will your mailbox stop delivering mail from insurance adjusters and lawyers until you have hired a law firm to represent your interests.
  • Most importantly, your rights won’t be explained to you nor will your interests be protected until you have hired an Alaska law firm, that knows Alaska law, with the experience and resources to handle the cost and complexity of aviation crash investigation, trial preparation, and if necessary, trial of the case.
  • Good lawyers in Alaska always attempt to spare their clients the risk of filing suit by attempting to settle claims before the two-year time limit bars the claims or forces suit to be filed. This process can take months even in fairly uncomplicated cases.

REMEMBER:

  • It is wise to get good legal help ASAP after a plane crash. It is not wise to let the clock tick while evidence is lost and insurance adjusters continue to dial your number.
  • Give you and your attorney the best shot at a good outcome by putting legal resources to work as soon after the crash as possible.

Q. WHAT CRASH-RELATED HARMS AND LOSSES CAN BE RECOVERED BY WAY OF A CLAIM OR SUIT?

A. With few exceptions, all harms and losses caused by a plane crash in Alaska can be claimed during the settlement process and presented to a jury if the case fails to settle.

Examples include the reasonable value of:

  • past and future medical expenses,
  • lost past wages, lost future earnings and/or lost future earning capacity,
  • the cost of vocational retraining
  • pain and suffering,
  • loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • damage to personal property.

If the plane crash caused a death:

  • funeral and burial expenses,
  • lost value to the estate of the deceased,
  • the value of lost support the deceased would have provided to survivors,
  • the value of lost household services the deceased would have provided, and
  • virtually any other type of harm or loss that can be proved at trial.