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 You in an Aviation Accident Case?

Our investigations and bench tests point to the cause of the accidents and our work results in substantial settlements from the manufacturer.

Sean M. Cleary
Airplane Accidents

Each year, there are over 1K civil aviation accidents, of which over 200 are fatal, and around 389 fatalities are recorded. The United States ranks the highest in international aviation accidents, with 10K air crash fatalities since 1945. Since that year, there have been 788 commercial aviation accidents. 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, did not enjoy such accolades. In the last 12 month period, small and private plane crashes resulted in 347 lives lost.


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 represent both international and domestic accident cases and 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. Every year, tens of millions of travelers move through our world’s and nation’s 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 domestic and international 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.

Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about the scope of our experience and our client service values in major aviation disaster litigation.

Small aircraft are used for all different sorts of commercial and personal purposes here in the United States. However, they are notorious for being more dangerous than their larger commercial counterparts.

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

Accidents involving small planes 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 an individual or family has had their lives thrown into chaos as a result of injuries or fatalities from a small plane accident, there are many major needs they may have. This includes financial needs. One thing that can help with such needs is getting just compensation. Our firm is committed to providing the best possible representation to those who have been affected by small plane accidents.

The main reason for small plane crashes is usually considered to be an error made by the pilot. This is not completely surprising when you consider small plane pilots can fly with much less training than a commercial pilot.

A pilot who, for all intents and purposes, is considered experienced, could still end up in a situation where the plane crashes because of other issues. For example, small planes also have fewer safety devices to prevent pilot mistakes or to assist with system failures. They can be more difficult to fly using the instrument panel only, and they are often single engine, so engine failure is catastrophic.

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 present some of the most challenging litigation problems, including the following:

  • Federal law. Federal legislation such as the General Aviation Revitalization Act immunizes aircraft manufacturers for defects in their products once those products turn 18 years old, and most planes in service 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 little 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 accidents attorney, you may be able to widen the scope of liability.
  • The complexity of aviation accidents. Many accidents involving small planes or private aircraft have multiple causes, and our practical ability to place legal responsibility among at-fault defendants can significantly improve your chances of full financial compensation. The investigation of the airplane accident and presentation of liability and damages claims can be expensive, generally running into six figures. Our record of success in plane crash cases allows us to advance these costs at our own risk. We only recover these expenses if 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. When trying to overcome these obstacles, having the representation of a skilled aviation accident lawyer can be a great help in pursuing and recovering damages for injuries or fatalities in a small plane crash. Contact our experienced attorney at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary.

Many airplanes flying today are charters and not owned by the operators. The owners charter their planes to make the payments or generate income. Other charter planes are operated by the owner and fly to destinations specified by the customer.

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

Because of the variety of charter arrangements and the complexity of ownership, it is important to consult an experienced aviation law attorney when considering a claim against a charter airline. At our Miami law firm, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, our cases have involved all types of charter aircraft errors.

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

As trial aviation law firm, our legal team has gained practical knowledge and insight into issues of aviation safety, aircraft operation, and maintenance. We investigate cases thoroughly, consulting with experts and specialists in aircraft design and operation.

In charter aircraft accidents, the official investigation is often limited in its scope, and our law firm conducts a parallel investigation that can determine causes that were overlooked in the official investigation. This helps our attorney identify the relationship between multiple causes and the apportionment of liability between an operator, a contract pilot, a manufacturer, a maintenance contractor or anyone else whose negligence played a role in the accident.

To speak with a Miami charter flight accident lawyer, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.

What happens when someone was injured or died in a commercial plane crash as the airplane was crossing an ocean or flying over foreign land? Whether you are an American or foreign citizen, you can benefit from having your claim litigated in the United States versus another country. Certain aspects, such as evidentiary rules, the law of damages and court procedures in the United States can be favorable for you.

As far as legal jurisdiction is concerned, there may be more possibilities than you realize. The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary has been able to move jurisdiction to the United States in many cases of international crashes. Doing so often results in a more favorable legal environment for plaintiffs and greater convenience for plaintiffs living in the U.S. Conversely, we are very knowledgeable about the international law, and can often apply it favorably, regardless of where the case is being heard.

Our attorney knows the Montreal and Warsaw Conventions, governing international air accident litigation. These conventions have specific time limits, differing from the ones governing other personal injury and wrongful death claims based on state or federal laws, as well as other distinctive provisions that can significantly affect your interests.

All these unique factors make it extremely important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the incident. While you take time to deal with your injuries or the loss of a loved one, an attorney can work diligently to protect your legal rights.


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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.