FAQ Regarding Plane Accidents

Frequently Asked Questions

As experienced plane crash and aviation attorneys, we have seen first-hand the confusion and frustration our clients often experience after a plane accident causes them to suffer serious injuries or even the tragic loss of a loved one. So many factors may contribute to an aviation accident, and victims are often faced with overwhelming questions and doubts after such a traumatic incident. It is our goal to make sure that our clients fully understand every aspect of their cases so that they may make truly informed decisions that may affect the rest of their lives. In addition to helping them understand the details of their specific cases, we believe it is also beneficial for our clients to know some basic facts about plane crashes in general. It is our hope that the answers to these frequently asked questions will help our clients and others affected by plane crashes proceed with confidence.

Who investigates plane crashes in the United States?

In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is in charge of investigating all aviation accidents or plane crashes. Plane crash investigations may take at least one year to complete and may last for a number of years in complex cases. Nonetheless, NTSB investigators are dedicated to working as quickly as possible to thoroughly investigate all incidents and bring closure to victims and their loved ones by providing them with detailed and accurate information.

Who regulates airline safety in the United States?

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was established by the federal government to oversee and regulate airline safety, which includes passenger and cargo flights in the United States. While the FAA is vigilant in protecting the safety of passengers and crew on flights, the truth is that flying is inherently dangerous and many airline companies and private charter pilots and crew may try to protect their profits by side-stepping safety regulations.

What are common causes of plane crashes?

Our plane crash attorneys have participated in and evaluated the results of a number of aviation accident investigations. By far, the most common cause of plane crashes is pilot error, which Boeing reports accounts for up to 50% of all plane crashes.

Other leading causes of plane crashes include:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Improper plane maintenance
  • Crew error
  • Weather

The majority of plane accidents happen around takeoff or landing, and plane crashes are more common in small, private planes than commercial planes or airlines.

How common are deaths from plane crashes?

According to a recent article featured online by CNBC, the National Safety Council states that “the chance of dying in an ‘air and space transport incident’ is incredibly small at 1 in 8,357. For a little perspective, consider that the odds of dying of heat exposure are roughly 1 in 8,321. The odds of choking are 1 in 3,649, the odds of dying as a pedestrian in an accident are 1 in 723, and the odds of dying from poisoning are 1 in 119.

Who can be held responsible for a plane crash?

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or death in a plane crash, our aviation accident attorneys can thoroughly investigate all factors contributing to the crash and may be able to hold multiple parties responsible for your suffering, including:

  • Pilot
  • Crew
  • Plane part manufacturers
  • Plane maintenance crew
  • Air traffic controllers
  • Fuel supplier
  • Owner of the aircraft
  • Federal government

To learn more about your rights after a plane crash, please contact our aviation accident lawyers to schedule a free legal consultation.