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What kind of product liability damages can you collect?

When you board an airplane or helicopter in New York, you expect it to be airworthy and safe to ride in. You likely have heard or read the statistics that say air travel is safer than traveling in your own or someone else's vehicle. Occasionally, however, a plane can have or develop a defect that makes it unsafe and subject to a crash or other possibly catastrophic event.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, seller or owner of a plane, you can expect to recover several kinds of damages if you prevail in your suit. reports that you can collect the following types of damages: 

  • The amount of your direct financial losses, including such things as medical expenses, loss of wages if you cannot work due to your injury, property damage, etc.
  • The amount of your reasonably foreseeable financial losses, including such things as future medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, continued loss of wages, etc.
  • The amount of your direct and reasonably foreseeable intangible (noneconomic) losses, including such things as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
  • The possibility of punitive damages if you can prove that the defendant's actions, or lack thereof, were particularly egregious

Proving defect

Your burden of proof in a product liability action is that of a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that your evidence at trial must be sufficient to weigh at least 51% in your favor. Your evidence likely will include one or more of the following:

  • Provable facts about the accident or incident
  • Opinions given by your expert witnesses
  • Damaging information found in the defendant's own records
  • Information as to any changes the defendant made to the plane or to the flight procedures prior to the incident or accident
  • Evidence that the plane's owner, manufacturer, seller or pilot failed to comply with government and/or industry standards

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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