Aviation accidents (common carrier), can be extremely traumatic and destructive. In commercial airline accidents, many lives are lost, and countless others irreparably changed. The causes can vary: pilot error, defective parts, improper maintenance, or something else.
But no matter the cause or type of accident, an aviation attorney with the Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law Firm can help victims and surviving family members:
- Commercial airline accidents
- Private aircraft accidents
- Helicopter accidents
- Cargo airplane accidents
- Hot-air balloon accidents
Common Causes of Airplane Crashes
The most common causes of aircraft crashes, both private and commercial, include:
- Pilot error – A commercial pilot makes a decision that another reasonably responsible person of his profession would not make, either intentionally or unintentionally; e.g., a pilot failed to read or listen to directions, made a course correction error, misjudged weather conditions, or something else. And general aviation accidents which might initially point to pilot error can – upon further investigation – be attributed to other factors such as those below.
- Faulty equipment – Cockpit instruments or airframe components can suddenly fail while in flight. Improper aircraft design, manufacture, or instrument maintenance could lead to a crash, which could mean a defective product or negligent maintenance lawsuit.
- Fueling errors – Fuel mismanagement, contamination, or improper fuel has led to many airplane crashes.
- Air traffic control errors – Our crowded skies can lead to controller errors, g., spacing aircraft too close to each other; ground controllers may lose track of a taxiing plane which then collides with another.
- FAA violations – by pilot or traffic controller – Violation of aviation guidelines can cause or directly contribute to fatal air accidents.
- Negligent maintenance or repair – Maintenance records and logbooks must be diligently maintained to record an aircraft’s maintenance history. They are an important part of any post-crash investigation. Because private planes and helicopters do not typically have “black boxes,” this is especially vital in general aviation accidents.
Seasoned aviation attorneys work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators as they gather evidence, review reports and photos, and speak with expert witnesses, etc.
Liability in an Aviation Accident
Determining the cause of an aviation accident can take several months or even more than a year. Injured victims or surviving family members must wait until the cause is determined before knowing what – if any – legal action can be taken. Many parties can be liable in an aviation accident. These may include the:
- Private aviation company
- Maintenance and service operation
- Air traffic controller
- Airplane manufacturer
Common Carriers (Airlines) Have a Very High Duty to Keep their Passengers Safe
Passenger airlines offer their services to the public (like commercial buses and trains) by the FAA. In order to remain in business, common carrier airlines must exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in the safety of their passengers. So when an accident occurs, this highest degree of care creates a much lower threshold necessary to prove that injured or deceased passengers’ estates must be compensated for defendant negligence.
Many passengers assume that common carrier airlines own their planes and handlto keep their aircrafts safe and airworthy. service their aircraft
When they fail in their duty, a claim for negligent supervision can be filed against the airline or other company responsible for the employee who caused the accident. The same liabilities can apply to aircraft owners or service companies that contract third-party (sometimes offshore) maintenance personnel.
What Damages are Available to Aircraft Accident Victims?
Some of the damages that may be awarded to aviation accident plaintiffs and wrongful death survivors include:
- All medical expenses
- Lost wages, current and future income
- Physical and emotional disability
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Some family members will potentially have wrongful death claims or can bring survival actions, which allow for other damages, e.g., funeral expenses, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of support and affection for surviving children(s) are.
The Need for Effective Aviation Accident Legal Counsel
Two Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law team are licensed pilots, with more than 65 years of combined aircraft flight time and more than 14,000 logged flight hours. Both have Federal Aviation Regulation training and are cleared to fly several multi-engine Boeing aircraft.
Once our practice is retained, our aviation accident attorneys act immediately to collect crucial evidence such as radar information, all air traffic control recordings, and administrative and maintenance records of the plane in question, and also to quickly consult with aviation experts, depose witnesses, and work closely with FAA investigators.
We identify all types of damages you may be eligible to recover. Get in touch with our aviation accident attorneys immediately through our toll-free number or the contact form to arrange a free evaluation of your case.