Demand for air travel is expected to double over the next 20 years. As air traffic increases, so does the risk that passengers will be injured or involved in a fatal aviation accident or life-altering helicopter crash. Usually, when we step onto an airplane or helicopter, we’re thinking about our destination, not the risks of air travel.
Yet unlike accidents involving other forms of transportation, aviation accidents often have a catastrophic impact. By their very nature, airplane and aviation industry accidents result in some of the most shocking, painful, and devastating tragedies imaginable. Aviation and plane accidents are rare, but they do occur with large commercial airlines as well as private and charter airplanes. And, of course, aviation accidents are not just limited to plane crashes and other disasters: injuries to passengers inside planes, and events on and around the tarmac can also cause serious injuries or death. Loss of life, injuries, and property damages sustained in an airplane accident or helicopter crash typically far outweigh those associated with a car accident.
The large-scale tragedies of commercial airplane crashes and accidents often involve multiple defendants, the National Transportation Safety Board, independent investigators, commercial airline carriers, and aircraft manufacturers. Air crash litigation and multiple layers of state, federal, and international law make these cases extremely challenging to take on.
When a commercial airline crashes it is much more common to hear about it, but commuter planes and air taxi charters that hold fewer than 30 passengers have higher crash and accident rates than flights on the major carriers. These types of private aircraft are governed by a different set of federal safety regulations than larger planes, although the impact on victims and families is just as heartbreaking in the event of a crash.
Vacation spots advertise helicopter tours as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see your destination from a unique perspective. Unfortunately, Helicopters are more vulnerable to bad weather, have more moving parts than airplanes, and are more difficult to handle for novice pilots. Athletes, executives, musicians, government officials, and celebrities may opt for a charter helicopter to travel shorter distances for convenience, but they put themselves at higher risk; the same goes for passengers in a medical emergency helicopter, or offshore oil workers taking a helicopter ride to a job site. Unfortunately, the passengers in each of these scenarios are at a higher risk of a crash or accident when compared to a flight on a commercial airline.
Airline carriers are required to adhere to certain safety standards when transporting cargo or passengers. Mechanical failures, careless operation, incompetence of pilots, and other issues that result in an airplane crash in most cases warrant an investigation of negligence. Accidents may also occur on icy runways, in terminals where passengers enter and exit, or in airfields that are not properly maintained by owners and operators.
Catastrophic occurrences related to
air travel may be caused by many factors including:
- Aircraft defects such as engine failure
- Aircraft technology or software failure
- Communication issues with an air traffic control
- Errors by pilots or aircraft operators
- Inadequate maintenance of an aircraft
Aside from air carriers, other parties may also be at fault for aviation incidents. Liability could rest with the owner of the aircraft, its pilot/operator, other common carriers, and/or equipment manufacturers. Many cases involve multiple parties sharing fault, such as the air carrier and a manufacturing company.
As you can imagine, building a case in an aviation accident is significantly more difficult than in a car crash or other ground-based accident. The severe damage suffered on impact can obscure evidence and make it harder to build a compelling case that shows the true cause of injuries or wrongful death.
As such, your choice of aviation attorney is important. I know how to properly position your case during settlement negotiation and at trial and how to seek an efficient, yet fair, resolution to your claim.
I resolve all aviation accident cases according to our clients’ goals and best interests. We have the skill to close insurance settlement negotiations for high dollar amounts, as well as to take a case to trial if we believe that will secure a better outcome. My flexibility, tailored legal services, and commitment to clients sets me apart from the competition.