The Estate of Douglas Bourn recently settled three lawsuits by the families of former Tesla Motors employees who died while on board Mr. Bourn’s aircraft. The cases date back to February 2010 when Mr. Bourn took off with three employees aboard his Cessna 310R despite a heavy fog that had descended.  Officials warned Mr. Bourn that he was taking off at his own risk. But he chose to do so anyway.

Soon after takeoff, Mr. Bourn’s aircraft hit power lines and went down, killing all those aboard. The pilot’s family claimed that the Tesla employees were not entitled to further compensation because their workers compensation insurance covered the claim. The court rejected that argument.

In Georgia, aviation accidents are not nearly as uncommon as some people may think. For example, recently an aircraft made an emergency landing on a stretch of highway. In another accident, a police helicopter crashed, killing the two officers aboard.

If you or a family member suffered an injury in an aviation accident, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to discuss the case with a qualified professional who knows aviation law and understands the issues in aviation accidents. A knowledgeable aviation lawyer can identify issues such as the qualifications and competency of the pilot, or whether a maintenance or design flaw in the aircraft contributed to the crash. As a general rule, attorneys who handle such cases will work on contingency. This means that they will not receive a fee unless you receive compensation. If you or a family member suffered an injury in an accident involving an aircraft, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.