An aviation lawyer deals with legal issues pertaining to flight and air travel, and any business or legal concerns associated with them. They also deal with any legal issues regarding airlines and their regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration primarily governs flights within the United States, but due to the international nature of airline travel, often times these cases fall under the jurisdiction of the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is a specialized agency of the United Nations. The most frequent applications of an attorney in this field are to recover damages for the loss of loved ones due to a crash, or for property damage.
Aviation law has its roots in Admiralty Law, or Maritime Law, and uses many of the same maritime terms in legal documents and insurance policies. Planes are often referred to as “ships,” and many of the practices regarding international regulations borrow their language and standards from those that pertain to water vessels. Beyond these examples, it also applies to satellites, spacecraft, and even the launch facilities themselves. In a nutshell, these particular regulations apply to any craft that leaves the earth’s gravity, as well as the facilities which maintain and launch them.
If a person suffers injuries due to a flight, or has personal property damaged, they should seek the assistance of an aviation lawyer. These attorneys will work diligently to determine the fault in an aircraft accident and file any necessary paperwork to being a case for their victims, but there are other functions performed by an aviation lawyer as well.
Attorneys that specialize in this area also deal with any disputes that may arise with the FAA and help new aircraft owners navigate rules and regulations when purchasing their plane. They will also help prepare contracts for construction of fixed base operations such as hangars, and maintenance. They also frequently represent pilots who have lost either their medical certification or pilot’s license.
Who should contact an aviation lawyer? Pilots, passengers, and manufacturers can all benefit from the services of these specialized attorneys. Many of them are often are pilots themselves and have specialized knowledge of the regulations which apply to the construction of aircraft, their facilities, and the people who fly them. Virtually every aspect of this industry can be handled by this type of attorney.
The most obvious function of an aviation lawyer that the general public is more likely to use is in instances of a plane crash. In this case a person may need representation to sue an airline for the loss of a loved one, or in the event that the crash was non-fatal, for medical treatment, any necessary rehabilitation, lost wages and property damage. Pilots may retain these attorneys in the case of a crash also, to prove that it was not pilot error but maintenance, or faulty equipment that caused the crash. These specialized legal representatives can provide invaluable assistance at every stage of flight. If you or a loved one have suffered due to an airliner accident, contact an attorney that knows the rules and regulations to have the best chance of receiving fair and competent representation.