Millions of people across the globe rely on airplanes and other forms of air transport. You can go virtually anywhere in an aircraft. Through commercial, private, or chartered flights, you can travel to locations thousands of miles away within a short amount of time. Like all other modes of transportation, however, air travel involves some risks. The aircraft faces many dangers while traveling at incredible heights and speeds, so safety is always an issue. Aviation lawyers and other legal professionals make sure to keep an eye on aircraft safety because of these risks.
Air Travel Regulations
There are many laws and regulations in place to help ensure safety in air travel. The Convention on International Civil Aviation, created in 1944, contains all of these laws. It also established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which makes sure the different members of the United Nations abide by these regulations. The ICAO also updates the Convention to keep up with the changes and advancements in aviation. Over the past 62 years, the ICAO updated the Convention over eight times.
Everything related to aviation accidents and accident investigations are in Annex 13 of the Convention. This annex defines air accidents, provides guidelines for accident investigations, and outlines the aircraft passengers’ rights.
Most people are unfamiliar with these aviation laws, and only take the time to learn about them when an accident occurs. You should familiarize yourself with these laws even if you, or your loved ones, have never been in an aviation accident. These laws do not just cover accidents; they also cover aircraft operation guidelines and other relevant business regulations. If you have difficulty understanding all these laws on your own, asking a reliable aviation injury lawyer to explain them to you may help.
Defining an Aviation Accident
The first thing that comes to your mind when discussing aviation accidents are probably those huge, commercial aircraft crashes you often see on TV or in movies. These crashes may be the most popular and most discussed type of aircraft accidents, but the Convention includes other mishaps in their definition of aviation accidents. These may involve private planes, commuter planes, or even helicopters.
The Convention defines an aviation accident as an in-flight accident that involves one or more of the following:
1. The aircraft becoming inaccessible or going missing
2. An individual or a group of individuals sustaining serious or fatal injuries directly caused by being in contact with or riding in the aircraft
3. The aircraft suffering from structural damage or system failure
Why You Need a Lawyer
Looking for an aviation lawyer or injury lawyer is important if one of your loved ones was involved in an aircraft accident, especially if they die or end up with permanent handicaps because of the accident.
In-flight accidents usually occur because of a company’s or a person’s negligence. An aircraft may malfunction if its crewmembers failed to abide by safety guidelines. An aircraft could be a defective product overlooked by its manufacturer. Identifying whose fault the accident was is a major task for your aviation lawyer. Once the culprit is identified, your injury lawyer can build your case and make sure the negligent party is punished appropriately.