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Families of those who die in small plane crashes face a daunting process to ensure justice. Take these steps, and contact a qualified personal injury attorney ASAP.

On Tuesday, 07/24/07, Princess cruise ship passengers William F. Eddy and Jeanne J. Eddy of Jacksonville, Florida, and Marianne M. McManus and Paul J. McManus of Cherry Valley, Massachusetts died when the small plane they occupied crashed in southeast Alaska’s rugged terrain around Misty Fjords National Monument, south of Juneau. It remains unclear what caused the crash. From a legal perspective, here is what the families need to know…

First, be assured that there will be a thorough investigation. Whenever a plane goes down in Alaska, the authorities jump right on it. Cooperate with the authorities. Because the pilot sent out a distress signal, there was warning. It might have been pilot error – or a mechanical failure. Furthermore, because the plane was a DeHavilland Beaver (an expensive plane) it looks like Taquan Air is a reputable tour group. They likely have insurance. Visit their web site for more information. It’s impressive.

Second, get a copy of all paperwork related to each victims’ trip with Princess Cruise lines and the airplane tour operator: Taquan Air. You will need it to determine whether the decedents signed waivers that may limit or block wrongful death claims.

Third, contact an attorney, now. Your attorney will need to: (1) set up an Alaskan estate for each decedent; and (2) investigate claims against the Taquan Air and Princess cruises. Estates in Alaska are much easier than in most other states. They are relatively inexpensive and most personal injury attorneys will ensure that they are done correctly to facilitate wrongful death claims brought pursuant to Alaska Statutes AS 09.55.570 and 09.55.580. Proceeds from wrongful deaht claims will benefit: (1) whomever is named in each decedent’s will; or (2) each decedent’s family if there is no will.

Finally, remember that the Statute of Limitations for personal injury / death in Alaska is usually two years for adults. If that deadline lapses, valuable rights will be lost forever. This is hugely important. Call an attorney today.

Please do not try to handle claims of this nature without an attorney. Even most attorneys work in pairs in cases like this because there is so much at stake.

I wish the families well.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Airlines, Cruises, Buses, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.

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