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Home > Personal Injury Attorney

Aviation Accident Attorney Information
For Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, & Beaufort South Carolina (SC) Area
Aviation accident law includes major air carriers as well as non-commercial aircraft (general aviator) accidents.  This includes small planes, large business jets, pleasure crafts, helicopters, charter flights and hang gliders.  Most commonly, the causes of both major carrier and non-commercial aircraft are as follows:

  • Pilot error
  • Faulty equipment
  • Federal Aviation Administration regulations violations
  • Structural or design problems
  • Negligence of Flight Service Station employees
  • Negligence of Federal Air Traffic Controllers
  • Negligence in a third party's selection of a carrier

While the conditions vary with each aviation accident, claims for personal injury or death resulting from an aviation accident are common and are dictated by the theories of negligence, product liability, or some combination of the two. Moreover, air travel is regulated by two federal agencies, therefore, the federal rules and regulations may influence a personal injury claim or the standards of care owed to the victim of an aviation accident.

Negligence is the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances, in order to safeguard others from foreseeable risks of harm. When an aviation accident occurs, pilots, airline maintenance providers, and major airlines are subjected to negligence claims.

Product Liability: 
"Product liability" references the legal responsibility placed on manufacturers and merchants of defective products. It must be proven that a defective product contributed to an aviation accident for product liability to provide recovery.

Liability - Owner or Operator
:  Aircraft owners and operators are normally held to higher standards when it comes to the legal doctrine, "duty of care" owed to others.  Carelessness or recklessness must be proven for the owner to be held liable for the damages suffered by injured parties.  This includes passengers, people on the ground, and even the pilot.

Common Carriers
:  Commercial airlines are legally classified as a "common carrier," due to the fact that they willingly carry all passengers who buy a ticket. Common air carriers are held to different standards than are private carriers and the FAA is the federal agency responsible for regulating air carriers.  The FAA imposes uniform standards and operating procedures, and monitors a carrier's internal standards.

Liability – Manufacturer
:  The manufacturer of an aircraft can be held liable if the victim of an accident can prove that a defect in the product or a part of the product, under a legal theory known as "strict liability".

Liability of Owner/Operator and Manufacturer - Comparative Fault
:  In many cases, both the pilot and the manufacturer may be held liable for an aviation accident called "comparative fault."   This means that the judge or jury must determine the percentage of liability attributable to each of the defendants.

Liability of the Federal Government: Primarily, the responsibility of the federal government is to control all air traffic in which the FAA is largely responsible. If an aviation accident involves a collision or other avoidable navigation error, an essential question is whether or not the FAA and air traffic controllers properly did their jobs.


The typical categories of recoverable damages in a personal injury claim arising from an aviation accident include:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and, lost earning capacity
  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Loss of consortium/association (usually available to married couples only); and
  • Punitive damages.

An experienced aviation attorney from Kiker Law Firm can assist you with deciding the best jurisdiction and present your damages properly to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Consider hiring an attorney.
Aviation litigation is complex, and numerous theories of liability under state, federal, and international law. There are several possible defendants to choose from, and many different courts in which a trial may take place. In order to hold someone legally responsible for an aviation accident, the injured person must prove that the defendant failed to meet an industry standard related to operation of the aircraft, engineering, or certain regulatory issues. An understanding of complex FAA rules and regulations is necessary in order to be successful in bringing forth an aviation accident claim.

For comprehensive legal representation and personal client service in aviation accident cases, you can rely on the Kiker Law Firm.  Making the decision of who should represent you is one of the most significant decisions that you may ever make and the Kiker Law Firm have skilled attorneys who will assist you through every step providing a clear explanation of your rights and help you make the best decision regarding your case. Aviation accidents can transpire almost anywhere when you least expect it.  Suffering with injuries as a result of another’s negligence can be an uphill battle.  If your life or the life of a loved one has suffered from burn injuries, a highly experienced lawyer from Kiker Law Firm can help.

Dedicated to the Client
Aviation accidents are highly technical and specialized fields.  The attorneys at Kiker Law Firm have extensive experience in pursuing these cases.  We understand what you're up against and also know that many damages do not appear serious at first but that they may, in fact, plague someone for life.  It’s important to speak with an aviation accident lawyer at Kiker Law Firm who can inform you of your rights.
We offer a free consultation and evaluation of your case. Simply complete a free consultation form online or call us at 843-842-7200. We'd be happy to meet with you and help you make an informed decision regarding your accident and injury claim.



Kiker Law Firm
2 Corpus Christie Place
(Professional Building ~ Suite 200)
Hilton Head Island

(843) 842-7300

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5303
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938