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Who is responsible for the losses sustained in a plane crash?

Even though traveling by plane is considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation, aviation accidents are fairly common in Alaska. This could be, in part, due to the dangerous weather conditions that often affect the state, but these incidents may also be the result of various other issues. When a plane crash occurs, victims or -- in the event of fatality -- surviving family members will want to know who may be held responsible for their losses and what actions can be taken to seek compensation.

Aviation accidents are taken very seriously by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). When these incidents occur, thorough investigations are conducted in order to determine the cause. This, unfortunately, can take time because, unlike the scene of a car accident, debris from a plane crash can be fairly wide spread.

There are various reasons as to why a plane crash might occur, including pilot error or negligence, equipment failure, manufacturing error, negligence of airport staff -- among various others. Both the FAA and NTSB are both very good at identifying an official cause. However, this does not mean that pursing legal claims against those believed responsible will be easy.

When it comes to a plane crash, there are various parties that may be held accountable for the damages sustained by the victims or their surviving family members -- namely owners, operators, manufacturers, common carriers and numerous others. So there are several different types of legal claims that may possibly be filed in an effort to seek compensation for damages -- such as personal injury, wrongful death and even product liability claims. Regardless, victims may seek to recover any economic and non-economic losses sustained as a result of a plane crash. If litigation is successful, a civil court in Alaska may grant a monetary judgment for all damages that are deemed legally recoverable.

Source: FindLaw, "Aviation Accidents -- Overview", Accessed on Dec. 23, 2015

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