When an airline crash occurs, there are often no survivors, and when there are survivors, they frequently experience permanent debilitating physical injuries and lifelong emotional trauma. If you were injured in an airline crash, you may pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If a loved one such as a spouse, parent or child lost their life, the surviving heirs may pursue compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensatory damages are often significant in airline crashes.
Airplane Crash Information
More than 2.2 million passengers fly every day in the US and around the world. Even though flying is statistically safer than driving, in a recent year there were 415 airline fatalities in the United States, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. That number is significantly higher when international flights are included. It is important to understand that foreign airlines that fly into and out of the United States can be held accountable for injuries and deaths even when the crash occurs outside of the United States.
There are many causes of airline crashes, including, but not limited to the following:
- Pilot error
- Human error
- Defective design
- Defective manufacturing
- Defective parts
- Defective instructions to pilot, crew, staff
- Failure to service plane in a timely or proper manner
- Mechanical failure – of all kinds
- Weather-related conditions that are unsafe for taking off or landing
- Bird strike
- Communication systems malfunction
- Communication errors
- Failure to de-ice plane, or failure to de-ice properly
- Ground flight crew error
- Airport administration negligence
- Air traffic control tower operator negligence
- Runway damage
- Violation of FAA regulations
There are many types of aircraft that result in crashes, injuries and fatalities, including but not limited to the following:
- Commercial jet airliners – such as United, Delta, Southwest, American, etc.
- Charter planes – of all sizes, taking passengers to local, intrastate, interstate, national and international destinations
- Tourist planes – often seen in Miami, flying guests to various tropical islands or on sight-seeing tours
- Corporate planes – private companies often own a jet or prop plane; some have small fleets
- Cargo planes – such as Federal Express and other commercial cargo companies
- Helicopters – these often succumb to mechanical and/or human failure (see our article on helicopter accidents)
- Military and government aircraft
Pilot Fitness and Liability
In instances where the pilot, co-pilot or first officer may have been negligent, investigations will address issues of pilot fitness:
- Was the pilot properly trained?
- Was the pilot inexperienced?
- Was the pilot certified?
- Was his/her certification up to date?
- Was the pilot sober?
- Was the pilot healthy?
- When was the pilot’s last physical examination?
- Did the pilot have the proper number of days and hours of down time between flights?
- Was the pilot emotionally and psychologically fit?
Many Airports in Florida and the United States
It often comes as a surprise to learn that there are some 66 commercial airports in Florida. And there are more than 5,000 commercial airports in the US. Additionally, there are literally thousands of non-commercial, private and other landing areas in the US.
Proving Liability for Airplane Crashes
Just as anyone who drives a car has a duty to drive in a safe, responsible manner, all pilots, commercial and private, have a duty to fly safely and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration.
In the great majority of cases, pilots do indeed fly responsibly. But when they deviate from the standards that are set forth by the FAA, they are negligent in in their duties and must be held accountable for their malfeasance.
Plane crash cases are extremely complex. The National Transportation Safety Board is the agency responsible for air crash investigations.
Many aircraft accident cases involve complex jurisdictional issues, depending on where the plane departed, where it was headed and where the malfunction and crash occurred.
In many cases there may be product liability claims against the manufacturer and others involved in the design and manufacturing process. Liability may be shared by numerous defendants.
Compensation for Victims of Plane Crashes
Surviving plane crash victims may pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses resulting from the crash, lost income, lost future income, pain and suffering and more.
Surviving heirs may pursue compensation for lost support and services, loss of decedent’s companionship and protection, mental pain and suffering, loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance, and more. As well, the deceased’s estate may pursue compensation for lost earnings, medical and funeral expenses, as per the Florida Wrongful Death Statute.
You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].
https://aviation-safety.net/statistics/ (airplane crash statistics)