Miami Airplane Accidents Lawyer - Sean M. Cleary

We deliver excellent client service while pursuing recovery of the highest compensation possible under the facts of a given case.

How Can We Help?

  • We investigate and perform bench tests.
  • We determine the cause of the airplane accident.
  • We make a thorough review of pilot error or negligence.
  • We advance the, often considerable, costs for building a case.
  • We make sure that your claims benefit from proper investigation.
Sean M. Cleary

Aviation Accidents We Handle

Airplane Accidents

Each year, there are over 1K civil aviation accidents. Over 200 accidents are fatal, and around 389 deaths are recorded in these accidents. The United States ranks high in international aviation accidents, registering 788 commercial aviation accidents and 10K air crash fatalities since 1945.

These numbers do not take into account hijackings or crime-related accidents, military accidents, and corporate jet accidents. The recent years have been the safest years for commercial flights. Private plane flights, however, were not that safe. In the last 12 month period, small and private plane crashes resulted in 347 lost lives.


The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary helps passengers injured during commercial and general aviation, whether in-flight or in the course of boarding or disembarking the aircraft. We also represent the families of victims in wrongful death lawsuits.

  • Commercial aviation accidents. Commercial aviation is the part of civil aviation traditionally referring to scheduled flights operated by large airlines. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we have successfully represented individuals injured in airplane accidents, turbulence, emergency evacuations, and many other types of airport and in-flight accidents while recovering millions of dollars for our clients. We are equally comfortable in state and federal courts.
  • In-flight accidents. In-flight injuries may be caused by various events, including but not limited to: turbulence, coffee and hot liquid burns, service cart impacts, or overhead bin malfunctions. Our attorney can help passengers injured during the course of a flight.
  • Airport accidents. Yearly, tens of millions of travelers move through airports. Unfortunately, many are injured during travel due to defective and dangerous conditions caused by the airlines, transportation authorities, and their contractors. The most common causes of accidents are falls on jetways and boarding ramps, escalators and boarding staircases, and slippery floors.

Airline chance events can have serious consequences for those involved in them. These consequences can be fatal, but not always. In some cases, serious physical injury can result, or even simply severe emotional and mental trauma. Economic damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and decreased earning capacity are important for an injured airline passenger to seek out, but noneconomic damages can be equally and even more important, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Our firm has successfully represented clients in airplane accident cases, including personal injury and wrongful death claims against airlines. These companies, alongside aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, and their contractors, have a responsibility to ensure your flight is a safe one. Sean Cleary has pursued liability and damages claims against the leading manufacturers of commercial aircraft, and the smaller corporations that produce the components and instruments used in long-range passenger planes.

Small aircraft are used for different sorts of personal and commercial purposes here in the U.S. However, they are known for being more dangerous than their commercial counterparts.

Why do people even fly on a small plane? Typically, when you flying commercially you are at the mercy of the airlines and have no privacy. By using small planes you can fly to where you want when you want it. The most accident-prone small planes in general aviation tend to be the aircraft built by nonprofessionals. When it comes to maintenance and performance testing, it seems likely that amateurs built and flown aircraft might not get the attention that a commercial plane would.

Small plane accidents can seriously injure or kill passengers and others. Those who survive such accidents are typically left with serious, life-long injuries and damage. This can include:

Burn injuries are a particularly common problem due to the explosion of fuel tanks upon impact. The reality is that manufacturers often do not install crash-resistant fuel tanks in their units, despite the fact that such tanks can dramatically decrease the likelihood of death or serious burn injuries.

When you have had your life thrown into chaos as a result of injuries or fatalities from a small plane accident, there are many major needs you may have, including financial ones. One thing that can help is getting just compensation. Our firm is committed to providing the best possible representation to those who have been affected by small plane accidents.

Small planes crash usually because of an error made by the pilot. This is not surprising when you consider that small plane pilots require much less training than a commercial pilot.

Even an experienced pilot could still be involved in a crash caused by other issues. For example, small planes have fewer safety devices to assist with system failures. They can be more difficult to fly by using the instrument panel only, and engine failure is catastrophic because they are often single-engine.

In many cases, small plane accidents are the result of faulty parts or improper maintenance on the part of the aircraft's owner. Among the defects that commonly cause small plane accidents are:

  • Faulty ice-protection systems, which fail to detect or prevent dangerous ice buildup on wings.
  • Engine fires, which can down the plane, caused by leaks in airplane exhaust systems.
  • Engine failure attributable to flooding or starving of engine carburetors.
  • Problems with the fuel tanks prone to rupturing and catching fire.
  • Pilot seats which slide backward unexpectedly.

Legal claims pursuing compensation for victims of small plane crashes can present challenging litigation problems, including the following:

  • Federal law. The General Aviation Revitalization Act and other federal legislation protect aircraft manufacturers from claims based on defects in their products, once those products turn 18 years old. Most planes are older than that. Recent decisions have established that the GARA does not apply to state law liability claims. The chipping away at its precedence over state law claims means that plaintiffs may have an easier time resolving aircraft manufacturer liability cases in their favor in the future.
  • Insurance issues. In many cases, many pilots carry liability insurance that does not cover very much. On top of that, general aviation pilots might carry no liability insurance at all. Similarly, aircraft mechanics may also carry limited or no insurance or no insurance. However, liability is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Even when a pilot error is the presumptive cause of a crash, other negligence may have been a contributing factor. By discussing your case with our experienced aviation accident attorney, you may be able to widen the scope of liability.
  • The complexity of accidents. Many small planes or private aircraft accidents have multiple causes. However, our investigations can place legal responsibility among the parties involved in the accident. This can significantly improve your chances of getting fair financial compensation. Also, investigating the accident and presenting liability and damages claims can be expensive, running into six figures but we can advance these costs and recover them when we win the case.

With this in mind, it can understandably be hard to receive the compensation one needs to cover medical costs, loss of income or funeral costs. Having the representation of a skilled personal injury lawyer can be a great help in pursuing and recovering damages for injuries or fatalities in a small plane crash.

Many of today's airplanes are charters, not owned by operators. Some owners charter planes to generate income. Others operate their own charter planes and fly to the customers' destinations of choice.

Our lawyer at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary knows that the safety of corporate or charter airplane flights can vary from one operation to another. Some charter companies leave a great deal to be desired, while other private aircraft operations have outstanding safety records.

The complexity of charter ownership and the variety of arrangements add to the importance of consulting an experienced attorney when considering an aviation claim. At our Miami law firm, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, our cases have involved all types of aircraft errors.

We represent clients nationwide in a corporate jet accident or charter plane litigation. Our experience with the demands of aviation accident investigation is an important advantage for your personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Our trial aviation legal team has insight and practical knowledge into issues of aircraft operation, aviation safety, and maintenance. We consult with specialists and experts in aircraft design and operation with the goal to investigate cases thoroughly.

In charter aircraft accidents, the official investigation is often limited. That is why conduct our own investigation that can identify causes overlooked in the official investigation. This helps our attorney identify the existence of multiple causes. We also determine the apportionment of liability between the parties whose negligence played a role in the accident: an operator, a contract pilot, a manufacturer, or a maintenance contractor.


What to Expect in Your Airplane Accident Case

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Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.