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Aviation accidents can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially devastating ones such as plane crashes and helicopter crashes. Many crashes result in the deaths of everyone on board; these tragedies should, of course, be rightly compensated by the responsible party. Other accidents are less tragic and may cause less severe injuries. The majority of aviation accidents occur during takeoff and landing. If you have been involved in an aviation accident of any kind, feel free to contact our aviation accident lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group. We will provide you with a plane crash attorney or flight accident lawyer who can handle your case for you.
Types of Aviation Accidents
Aviation accidents can take on many forms, just like automobile crashes. While many car accidents happen on residential streets and freeways, individuals can also be harmed as pedestrians, while on bicycles, and in public transportation vehicles. The same is true of aviation accidents. Incidents can happen in the air and on the ground, and different parties can be held responsible. The main classifications are mid-air accidents, mid-air collisions, ground collisions, taxiing accidents, and landing accidents. Examples of aviation accidents include:
Plane crashes are often devastating incidents; they result in numerous fatalities and extreme injuries. The most common type of plane crash is a commercial plane accident, which occurs when planes take passengers for money. Commercial airlines across the world have experienced accidents, but in general, these types of crashes are rare, especially when compared to automobile accidents. There are a number of ways that plane crashes can happen. The internal sensors and computer can cause the plane to malfunction and not identify when it is close to terrain, which can lead to environmental impact. The landing gear may be damaged, which could cause the plane to have shaky or rough landings. There are a lot of maintenance issues present with airplanes, such as broken wings, troublesome engines, ballast issues and balance problems, excessive fuel, and more.
Helicopter accidents are growing increasingly common as more and more individuals are willing to take tours of cities with such aircraft. Helicopters are also used as viable modes of transportation for wealthy individuals. A simple error with one piece of a helicopter, though, can cause a devastating crash. In fact, helicopters crash 90 times more often than other aircraft. Helicopter accidents also include air ambulances, which are often dispatched to the site of accidents where it would be too slow or problematic to dispatch vehicular ambulances. They are often sent to accidents in the woods, on mountains, in hard-to-reach resorts, and more.
Injuries in the airport can happen for any number of reasons. The most common is, of course, slipping and falling on wet floors, torn carpeting, broken or defective ramps, gaps between structures or planes and ramps, escalators and moving sidewalks, and more. All too often, other passengers in the airport will leave their luggage in areas where a lot of people are walking, which can cause many accidents. Some individuals are also struck by negligent operators in the airport itself. There are many workers who drive luggage carts, special needs trolleys, and more. The drivers often honk and beep to clear a path, but sometimes, they strike people; they may run over feet or crash into people at the hip and knee.
In-flight accidents are the most common form of aviation accident, as they are usually incidents that are common elsewhere, but merely located on an aircraft. For example, there are many slip and fall injuries that can happen because of the turbulence on a plane, as well as due to the sudden gravity change. Individuals can slip on torn carpeting, jutting luggage, service carts, bags, and more.
Additionally, there can be accidents involving food and drink. Many flight attendants serve hot coffee or tea throughout the flight, but the shakiness of the trip can cause a spill. Burns are not uncommon. The food that is served may also be suspect at times, and many individuals have become ill after consuming it. In some cases, especially those with international flights, there could be pathogens and bacteria foreign to the country that could contaminate the food supply. Passengers may be struck by overhead bins and falling items, and they may fall from the turbulence. Head injuries and concussions are possible due to these accidents. There is also the risk of bodily harm at the hands of other passengers. Many flights provide alcohol to patrons, which can cause irritability and lack of inhibition. Other passengers may have spent a lot of time at the airport bar. Passengers can get into fights and squabbles over seat assignments, personal space issues, spills, lack of courtesy, and much more. These assaults are often quickly broken up, but even a short assault can cause great harm.
Who Is Liable For Aviation Accidents?
Liability can be assigned to a plethora of individuals if you were hurt in an aviation or airport accident. A few of the parties include:
Airline: If you were hurt due to a spilled beverage or if something were dropped on you, the airline would be held accountable, as the flight attendant works for the airline. Similarly, pilots can make crucial errors, such as mistakes in the cockpit, not checking in with air traffic, landing roughly, and more. In the worst cases, pilots may fall asleep or not be qualified enough to operate some planes. If it is discovered that the airline allowed incompetent individuals to be a part of its crew, the airline can be held wholly responsible for injuries and damages.
Air traffic operators: Air traffic controllers both in the tower and on the ground are responsible for directing planes and other aircraft. They help pilots understand where they are in relation to other planes how clear they are, how much space they have to land, and more. Air traffic controllers who are negligent in their duties may cause planes to crash while taxiing. There may also be collisions in the air due to a lack of communication.
Aircraft manufacturer: Companies like Cessna, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, and more all create aircraft for various uses. If there are any manufacturing errors with these planes, there can be extreme consequences. It is crucial that the planes be examined by qualified personnel and if there are any potential defects the plane should be returned and fixed. If the aircraft manufacturer is aware of the defect and chooses not to address it, hides or conceals it, or does not issue a warning or recall after the defect was made known, the company can be held liable.
Engineers and maintenance crews: It is the responsibility of engineers and maintenance to inspect planes before they take off. If the engineers do not do their job, lie on reports, make errors in judgments, break parts of the plane, and more, they can be held responsible for ensuing damages.
Airport and employees: There are various ways in which employees can be held responsible. As noted, drivers of carts can be held liable if they strike anyone while driving, while others can contribute to slip and falls and other errors. The airport can be targeted in the claim if it does not fix certain broken structures or dangerous hazards. To ensure that you sue the correct party, reach out to our plane accident attorneys today. We’ll help you determine who was responsible for the accident and should be held accountable for the damages, debts, and expenses.
Legal Details of an Aviation Lawsuit
If you wish to file an aviation lawsuit, you must be able to show that you were the victim of negligence. The airline, aircraft manufacturer, pilot, air traffic controller, or airport must have owed you a duty of care. As a passenger or customer, you are automatically owed such a duty; you must not be harmed or placed in harm’s way if the responsible party can help it. Next, the duty of care must have been breached in some manner. The engineer must have made an error or the pilot must have fallen asleep, or something similar must have happened that violated the responsibility. The breach of duty must have caused an accident or incident of some kind, whether a plane crash, trip and fall, helicopter incident, in-flight spill, and more. Lastly, the incident must have resulted in actual physical harm. If you were not hurt in the incident, you won’t be able to pursue damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
In cases involving fatalities, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the airline or responsible party. Survivors can take legal action, but exactly which survivors varies by state. Some states only allow spouses and parents of minors to take action, while others extend as far as grandparents. In the event that an airline did not provide safe transportation or if there were numerous egregious faults and issues present with an aircraft, you may be able to join a class-action lawsuit against the company. A class action lawsuit allows numerous plaintiffs to take legal action against a solitary defendant for troubles that affected multiple individuals. The amount of proof will usually increase with a class action claim, but the end compensation must be divided among the plaintiffs if there is a successful result. This can cause everyone to receive much lower compensation than if they sought individual action. You should compile as much evidence as you can, if possible. This evidence can include medical documents and proof of treatment, photos of your injuries, photos of the plane and any defects, bank statements, boarding passes, eyewitness and passenger testimonies, flight reports and information, and more. If you wish to sue a manufacturer or one of the major airlines, such as United, Delta, American Airlines, Southwest, Virgin, JetBlue, and more, contact our aviation accident attorneys today.
Time Limit to File an Aviation Lawsuit
You have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for an aviation accident. You will not be able to pursue compensation after the fact if you miss this deadline. The statute allows ample evidence to be acquired without getting lost or corrupted. If you were a minor at the time of the incident, or if you were left physically or mentally incapable of filing a claim, you can wait until you turn legal age or return to functioning health before you file a lawsuit. Additionally, the defendant must be present in the state, and if he were to vacate or leave, the statute would be put on hold. Our aviation accident lawyers can make sure that you do not miss any deadlines with your case. We will file your claim on time and will help you collect whatever evidence you need. If you are eligible for any exceptions to the statute of limitations, we will strive to have them granted. For more assistance, reach out to our lawyers with experience in plane crash lawsuits today.