Aviation Accidents

McHenry County Attorney Experienced in Representing Plane Crash Victims

People hurt in aviation accidents may be entitled to compensation if their injuries were caused by negligence or a defective product. Litigating these claims, however, requires the skill of an experienced and knowledgeable McHenry County aviation accident lawyer who has handled similar cases before. As a licensed pilot and member of the National Transportation Safety Bar Association, plane crash lawyer Robert H. Hanaford has thorough knowledge of this industry. If you have been hurt in an aviation accident near McHenry County communities such as Algonquin, Cary, or Lake in the Hills, Mr. Hanaford can use his three decades of experience to seek the compensation you deserve.

Pursue a Claim Against Parties Responsible for Your Injuries

If a plane crash was caused by the carelessness or misconduct of another person or entity, victims may have the right to pursue damages for their personal, financial, and emotional injuries. There are several causes of action that may be appropriate in the aftermath of an aviation accident. One option that may be useful is a negligence claim against the individual or company responsible for your harm. To prove negligence, a victim must prove that:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim;
  • The defendant breached that duty;
  • This breach directly caused the accident in which the victim was hurt; and
  • The victim was forced to incur quantifiable damages.

In most situations, the defendant has a duty of ordinary care, which means acting as prudently as a reasonable person would behave given the circumstances. This duty may apply to some defendants in the aviation context, such as a private pilot. However, airlines and other businesses that transport people for profit are classified as common carriers. In Illinois, these entities must meet a higher standard. Common carriers need to use the highest degree of care that can be practically used for the type of vehicle at issue.

If the defendant violated its prescribed duty, whether ordinary care or a higher standard, and this breach caused the accident that harmed the plaintiff, the defendant likely will be liable. Examples of a breach related to an aircraft may be pilot error, unsafe takeoff and landing procedures, or failure to maintain/inspect aircraft systems and instruments.

Some aviation accidents are caused by faulty equipment. In these cases, victims may be able to sue the manufacturer of the defective component in a product liability lawsuit. An experienced McHenry County aviation accident lawyer can help craft a strong strategy to pursue compensation that is tailored to your specific circumstances.

Litigating Aircraft Cases Requires Extensive Industry Knowledge

Although the basic principles of negligence or product liability may be consistent across most types of injuries, the complexity of aviation accidents makes litigating them difficult. To prevail in a claim, an attorney might need to be familiar with the myriad Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which establish what behavior might violate the appropriate standard of care. Furthermore, many plane crashes are investigated by the FAA or National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which means that a victim’s attorney must know how to interact with these federal agencies. If you are pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim arising from an aviation accident, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney with extensive industry knowledge and experience handling these lawsuits.

Discuss Your Aviation Accident Lawsuit with a McHenry County Lawyer

If you have been involved in a plane crash, you should trust a seasoned legal professional to assert your rights. Experienced McHenry County aviation accident attorney Robert H. Hanaford provides legal counsel to the Palwaukee Airport Pilots Association and has significant experience litigating aviation accidents, including the Hallmark Jewelry airplane accident. Mr. Hanaford serves clients not only in McHenry County but across Illinois, such as in Kane County communities like Elgin, and Cook County communities like Palatine and Arlington Heights. Call 312-899-9020 in Chicago, 847-516-5297 in McHenry County, or our 24/7 line at 312-636-4807. Alternately, you can contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.