Injured in an Aviation Accident?
San Diego Airplane Accident Attorney for Personal Injury Cases
Though they are far less common than car crashes, aviation accidents are often devastating, resulting in catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death. For this reason, it can take months or years to fully investigate and resolve a lawsuit involving an airplane accident. Further complicating matters is the fact that, although nearly all accidents are caused by some form of negligence, it is not always clear just who is to blame for a plane crash.
Several different government agencies and many laws govern air travel, including privately owned aircraft and small businesses like sightseeing companies. Pilots, private airplane companies and manufacturers may all be connected to a single plane. So, if you were injured or lost a loved one in a plane crash, you need a qualified airplane accident attorney on your side. The insurance company representing the plane company or pilot may try to offer you a low settlement after a crash. However, having a San Diego personal injury attorney like Frederick M. Dudek on your side can ensure that you get the most compensation available for your claim.
Most Common Causes of Airplane Accidents
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets and enforces safety standards for the airline industry. However, sometimes private tour companies, parts manufacturers or individual pilots ignore these standards. Any malfunction, obstacle or mistake by anyone involved can result in a costly plane crash.
The most common causes of airplane crashes include:
- Pilot error
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Equipment malfunctions or defects
- Faulty aircraft design
- Air traffic controller error
- Improper maintenance
- Contaminated fuel
Even crashes caused by things like poor weather conditions, which seem unavoidable, usually involve negligence as well. For example, a poorly trained pilot may not handle the plane correctly in bad weather, leading to an accident. Alternatively, a poorly made or incorrectly installed part of the plane may fail in poor weather conditions.
Pilot error is the most common cause of aviation accidents. However, you are not always liable for a plane crash just because you were the pilot. If you rent or buy a plane that has a defective part or was not properly maintained, the manufacturer or dealer may be at fault. Pilots injured in plane accidents like this have a right to compensation just like other crash victims.
Who is Responsible for Aviation Accidents?
Like commercial trucks, it is rare for just one person to own, maintain and operate a plane alone. A commercial airline, private owner, plane manufacturer, independent pilot and/or third party airstrip may all have a connection to the plane. This can sometimes make it difficult to determine who is at fault in the event of a plane crash.
If the negligence of more than one person or agency caused the plane crash, you may be able to recover compensation from everyone involved. For example, both pilot error and defective plane design could contribute to a crash. In that case, you may be able to hold both the airline and the airplane manufacturer accountable for your injuries. Additionally, the owner of a private aircraft is often liable for any aviation accidents, regardless of cause. Private pilots and companies generally have their own insurance policies to cover the damages in case of an accident. Even so, it can be difficult to get a fair insurance settlement.
Injured in a Plane Crash? Contact a San Diego Airplane Accident Attorney Today
To file a personal injury lawsuit for an aviation accident, you must be able to prove negligence caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a federal agency that investigates plane crashes. However, this process can take months. San Diego personal injury lawyer Frederick M. Dudek can investigate the accident independently of the airline, owner or government agencies. Then, he can help you get a fair settlement from the insurance company. If that is impossible, he will help file your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person or company at fault.
If you are dealing with injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one after a plane crash, our personal injury law firm can help. Contact us online or call our Southern California office today to schedule a free consultation with an airplane crash attorney.