Our aviation lawyers and a team of experts can also conduct independent investigations to determine what happened and why. We provide legal counsel for individuals that are injured in plane crashes and families who lose loved ones in plane crashes.
Determining Liability for Aviation Accidents
Determining liability in a plane crash is often a complex process that involves intense investigations and reviews. If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of aviation accident, contact one of our lawyers to protect your rights. An expert airplane accident lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and begin the process of recovering compensation for your injuries and losses.
Why do I need an aviation lawyer versus a personal injury lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer explains why having an aviation lawyer is better than involving an aviation accident case in this video.
Accident Injury Lawyer Resources
Recent Airplane Crashes
Sept. 4, 2022 – Friday Harbor Seaplane Tours, Mutiny Bay, Washington, 10 Fatalities. Eighteen minutes into the flight, the plane suddenly took a nose-dive into Puget Sound.
Jul. 16, 2022 – Meridian Flight MEM3032, Eleftheroupolis, Greece, 8 Fatalities. The cargo plane was flying to Amman with eight crew members and a load of ammunition. The crew reported technical problems while cruising at FL210. When told to divert to Kavala Airport, the pilot decided to make a 180-degree turn and began the descent. With one engine on fire, the aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent and crash landed at a speed of 200 knots in an agricultural zone just outside the village of Eleftheroupolis, erupting in flames. The aircraft disintegrated on impact, killing all eight passengers on board.
Jun. 21, 2022 – Red Air McDonnell Douglas MD-82, Miami, Florida, 0 Fatalities. After being cleared to land on Miami-International Airport’s runway 09, it is suspected that both main landing gears were not appropriately extended upon touchdown. The plane started rolling for a few hundred meters before deviating to the left and leaving the runway, colliding with obstacles before bursting into flames. The fire was quickly extinguished, and all 126 passengers were safely evacuated.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Plane Crashes?
Any party whose negligent actions cause or contribute to a plane crash can be held liable. In many cases, liability is shared by multiple parties such as:
- Pilot error is responsible for roughly 50 percent of all plane crashes.
- Owner or operator of the aircraft – an owner of a plane is responsible for the safety of the aircraft and the actions of the pilot he tasks with flying the plane. The only exceptions are if the owner has transferred responsibility for the plane and its maintenance to another party (as in a lease, in which case the lessee will have liability).
- Manufacturers – manufacturers are held to strict liability standards. This means if a manufacturing defect is proven to be the cause of the plane crash, the manufacturer can be held responsible for the damages.
- Parts or maintenance companies – aircraft maintenance and repair companies have a responsibility to keep the aircraft safe. If something goes wrong, the company can be held liable for the damages.
- Fuel supplier – if a fuel supplier fails to provide the expected levels of fuel, uses the wrong type of fuel, or provides contaminated fuel, the company can be held accountable.
- The federal government – the government can be held responsible if an accident is caused by the negligent actions of a federal employee such as an air traffic controller or a flight service station employee.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts thorough investigations into each and every plane crash that occurs in the United States. Investigations will usually determine the cause of the accident.
Violation of FAA Safety Regulations
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the government agency responsible for airline safety regulation. It oversees all commercial passenger and cargo flights in the United States. Flight regulations are meant to ensure the safety of passengers on the plane, the crew on board, and people on the ground. Air travel is inherently dangerous, and letting profit-driven companies operate without adhering to FAA safety regulations would be disastrous.
Nervous passengers can rest assured that the FAA does everything possible to avoid accidents. However, many airlines will do whatever is necessary to maintain profitability, and this often means trying to get around certain safety regulations.
Frequently Violated FAA Safety Regulations Include:
- Transporting hazardous materials
- Expired licenses
- Poor aircraft maintenance
- Failure to follow in-flight regulations
- Poor record-keeping
According to Aviation law, Violations of FAA safety regulations occur in two separate categories, routine and exceptional. Routine violations represent the willful departure from recognized FAA standards that govern airline safety. Routine violations are commonly known as “bending the rules” and are often tolerated or sanctioned by management.
Exceptional violations appear isolated and not indicative of typical behaviors, nor condoned by management. While most exceptional violations are extremely detrimental to airline safety, they are not considered “exceptional” because of their severity. It merely means that they are not typical violations.
Depending on the severity, any violation of flight regulations is subject to administrative action, civil penalties, and criminal prosecution.
Accidents Caused by Violations of Airline Safety Regulation
FAA safety regulations may be viewed as cumbersome or costly by management and ownership, but they are intended to protect people from unnecessary danger. You should expect that flight regulations are being followed, and when they are not, you have legal options.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed by an aircraft that was in violation of airline safety regulations, contact an aviation attorney. You may be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Even if you are unsure of the cause, we can investigate the accident to determine what happened and why.
Airplane Equipment Failure
While air travel is considered safe, there are many more accidents per year than people realize. In 2010 in the United States alone, 1,331 planes were involved in crashes. The majority involved chartered flights, corporate planes, and private airplanes. There are many factors that usually coincide to cause an accident. Pilot error and dangerous weather or the failure of airplane equipment can be disastrous.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed in a plane crash, contact an aviation lawyer today. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries or file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed in an accident that was caused by equipment failure. An experienced lawyer will investigate the accident to determine what happened and who is liable.
There are several factors that can contribute to aircraft equipment failure, including:
- Defective design
- Inadequate testing
- Faulty manufacturing
- Improper use of aircraft equipment
- Poor Maintenance
One of the leading causes of equipment failure is the use of cheap substandard parts rather than quality aviation supplies. Keeping costs down often means shopping for parts in foreign countries where aviation equipment manufacturing is not held to the exacting standards of the FAA.
Dangerous Equipment Failures
- Electrical components – when airplane equipment failures involve navigation systems, altimeters, or communications the results can be fatal, especially on private flights that aren’t being actively tracked by radar
- Metal fatigue – poorly designed plane equipment is susceptible to metal fatigue. If the pressure on metal crosses a certain threshold, tiny cracks will begin to form at the surface. Eventually, the crack reaches a point where the entire structure will fracture.
- Engine Failure – One of the most important pieces of plane equipment is obviously the engine. Large commercial planes are built to function with the loss of one engine, but in some cases, multiple engine failure occurs. In single-engine planes engine failure is catastrophic.
The Role of Lawyers in Aviation Accidents
Personal injury cases involving airplanes require the expertise of aviation accident lawyers. Aviation litigation is complex and often consists of an analysis of state, federal, and potentially international law. Aviation accident cases also involve several issues that could affect the outcome of litigation: the parties that may be named as defendants, questions of venue, aviation engineering, industry standards, and federal government rules and regulations. In this case, it would be better to leave the matter to the care of an experienced aviation accident lawyer.
For a more favorable result regarding your aviation injury claim, visit our website and get a chance to consult our proficient aviation accident attorneys. Our legal team is very much useful in handling various types of personal injury claims.
Contact an Aircraft Equipment Lawyer
Cutting costs by using substandard aviation supplies or performing inadequate maintenance is a form of negligence. If you have been involved in a plane crash due to the failure of aviation equipment, legal help is available. An aviation lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the company responsible for substandard aviation supplies.