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In the event of an interstate aviation accident, which state’s laws apply?

Aviation Accident FAQs

If an airplane takes off from one state and then crashes in a different state, sometimes there can be questions as to which state’s law is going to apply to a civil action brought in court on behalf of the injured party.

And really the answer to that question is it depends. It depends on a lot of different factors and a lot of different variables.  Sometimes there can be issues as to where the negligence was committed that actually caused the crash, so if a mechanic is in the state where the airplane took off, and then did something wrong that contributed to the crash, then that would be an argument that the state’s law where the airplane took off would be the state’ slaw that controls.

If there is a air traffic controller that is sitting in another state that gives bad advice to the pilot, that can be an issue as well.  So there are a lot of factors and a lot of variables, and it’s important for you to think through those, and then also it’s helpful to have an attorney who is also a pilot who has probably dealt with those kinds of issues before because they’re very common in aviation cases.

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