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Traveling by plane is statistically one of the safest modes of transportation. Motorists are much more likely to be severely injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident than in an airplane crash. 

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the odds of dying in a car wreck are 1 in 107. The likelihood of sustaining fatal injuries in a plane accident is one in 9,737. Other sources cite 1 in 11 million odds. However, in the rare event that aviation accidents do occur, they are much more severe and typically always result in fatalities.

Whether it’s a commercial aviation accident or a crash involving private aircraft, aviation accidents often result in serious injury and even death. Our West Palm Beach aviation accident lawyers have the experience and the resources to help the victims of any aviation accident and their families.

What Causes Aviation Accidents?

Aircraft accidents are typically the result of pilot error, lack of adequate maintenance of the aircraft, or defective aircraft or parts. Often, several factors contribute to aviation incidents. 

The most common causes of aviation incidents include:

  • Failure to complete the mandatory, proper pre-flight checks and inspections
  • Takeoff and landing errors
  • Flying in dangerous weather conditions
  • Air traffic control errors
  • Misuse of technology
  • Flying too low
  • Pilot illness, fatigue, stress, alcohol or medication use, or inexperience
  • Running out of fuel
  • Mechanical failures

Many different parties could be at fault and may be held responsible for injuries caused by the accident, depending on its cause. Liable parties might include:

  • Pilots and co-pilots
  • Ground crew
  • Fixed base operators
  • Commercial airlines
  • Aircraft designers
  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Air traffic controllers

Those who have sustained injuries or lost a loved one in an aircraft accident will want to seek the services of a West Palm Beach aviation accident lawyer. An experienced attorney can help them determine what caused the crash and which parties can be held liable for the harm that ensued.

Pilot Errors

Commercial airline travel is overall very safe, and accidents are infrequent compared to alternate methods of travel. However, private flights are often riskier. Commercial pilots have numerous hours of training and experience and regularly fly to maintain the expertise and skills they have established. In contrast, recreational pilots, on the other hand, often fly infrequently. If they don’t have regular practice flying, they stand to lose the skills they have developed.

Sadly, the pilots of small planes are often the family or friends of the victims in the accident. If this is true in your case, don’t let it stop you from seeking the compensation you deserve.  Generally, personal injury claims are claims against insurance policies, not the individual pilot or another liable party themselves.

If a commercial pilot was negligent in causing your accident, you could have a legal claim against the pilot’s employer. Employers are responsible for taking the necessary care when hiring, training, and supervising aircraft pilots. Suppose an employer is negligent in carrying out this duty. In that case, they could also be held liable for the damages resulting from the accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licenses pilots. They maintain records regarding pilot licensure and certification. The FAA also requires pilots to have regular physical examinations to ensure that they don’t have any physical conditions or health concerns that would make them unfit to fly.

Mechanical Difficulties and Failures

Mechanical difficulties and failures are another frequent cause of downed aircraft. They might be defectively designed. If so, even if they are built according to design and flown with reasonable care, flaws in the design cause them to be hazardous. Aircraft can also have manufacturing defects, such as imperfectly produced or assembled parts.

Suppose you were injured in an accident caused by a plane or helicopter that had mechanical difficulties. In that case, you might have a product liability claim. The claim may be against the designer of the aircraft or may be against the manufacturer of the parts or equipment.

Maintenance Issues

Aircraft problems can also be the result of negligent maintenance. Aircraft owners sometimes don’t conduct regular inspections and maintenance. Mechanics who work on planes and other aircraft can be negligent in making their repairs. Pilots also have the responsibility to inspect their aircraft before takeoff to ensure that they are in optimal flying condition. If they don’t take this step, they could be found liable or partially liable in a negligence claim.

A commercial airline or charter company can also be held liable for maintenance problems in planes and helicopters. Airlines and charter companies have a duty to inspect their aircraft regularly and ensure that their mechanics and pilots take the necessary steps to keep their fleet safe. If a company doesn’t adequately supervise a maintenance crew, they may also be held responsible for their potential negligence.

Aviation Accident Investigations

State and federal authorities investigate every aviation accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) usually issues a report identifying the cause or causes of the plane crash. These reports are often critical pieces of evidence in an injury claim.

To obtain compensation in your aviation accident case, your West Palm Beach aviation accident attorney must thoroughly investigate the aviation incident to determine its causes and to whom to assign liability. The NTSB report will become a part of their investigation and assist in their determination.

Fortunately, large aircraft have black boxes to record what happens in the aircraft in the minutes before an accident occurs. However, issues with smaller aircraft are more difficult to diagnose. Investigators and industry experts must work diligently to pinpoint the causes of a crash. All aviation investigations take time and resources. At the Iscoe Law Firm, our legal team is prepared and experienced in these types of investigations. We have the skills and resources to begin working on your behalf today. 

Contact a Palm Beach County West Palm Beach Aviation Accident Lawyer Today at the Iscoe Law Firm

Millions of people fly on airplanes every year across Florida and the entire world. Even though there aren’t many commercial aviation accidents, the number of private aircraft and private flights is rising, causing aviation accidents involving private aircraft to become more and more common. If you were severely injured or lost a loved one in an airline disaster, contact the Iscoe Law Firm at 800 800-6500 or online for a free review of your aviation injury incident. You can count on us to be available to you 24/7, 365 days a year.