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Mexican Singer Dead After Plane Crashes, Investigation Ongoing

Jenni Rivera, a popular Spanish-language singer, was killed in a plane crash over the weekend.

Known as the "Diva de la Banda," Rivera has sold over 15 million records, and was also a mother of five and a grandmother. Her plane crashed in the rugged terrain in northern Mexico, killing all seven passengers early on Saturday morning. Although her body was not recovered in the wreckage, her license was found at the scene.

The cause of the plane crash is unknown.

The plane Rivera was traveling in, along with her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and flight crew, was identified as a Learjet 25, registered to Starwood Management in Las Vegas. The plane, which was built in 1969, was involved in a previous incident in 2005 where the plane experienced a fuel system imbalance, causing one wing to weigh more than the other. The plane was also piloted by 75-year-old Miguel Perez.

The crash rate involving private planes has increased 20 percent since 2000. The most common causes of private plane crashes include human error and bad weather, with the largest category of accidents involved the pilot losing control during the flight. Private-flight crashes were 12 times higher than the average rate for other types of general-aviation flying, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

This is not the first incident involving the Learjet, a passenger aircraft popular with CEOS, entertainers and government officials. In 1999, pro-golfer Payne Stewart died after the plane he was on lost cabin pressure. Former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker was also injured in a plane crash involving a Learjet in 2008, which killed four other people.

Aviation law is complex and involves both state and federal law. In addition, commercial, military, private plane crashes are each covered by different rules and regulations. If you have lost a loved one in a plane crash, or if you are a plane crash survivor, you will probably be contacted shortly after the accident by someone from the airlines insurance company. Before you accept any offers or sign any documents, it's important to talk to an experienced attorney. Otherwise, you could be signing away your rights for filing a future claim against the airline insurer, the airline, the plane manufacturer, or the company responsible for maintaining the airplane.

We have handled several cases involving plane crashes, in and out of the United States. We reached a settlement for the parents of a young woman whose plane crashed in South America, and a $3.1 million settlement for the three victims for a small plane crash in Bolivia.

For more information regarding plane crashes, please contact us.

Source: TIME, "NTSB Confirms Singer Jenni Rivera, 43, Dead in Mexico Plane Crash," Dec. 9, 2012.

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