The modern world makes air travel a necessity for millions of businesspeople, and is a fantastic innovation for almost any traveler. While the technology behind modern avionics has grown increasingly sophisticated, there are still several risks involved with flying. Anyone who has been involved with any type of aviation accident needs to be aware of their rights and how our Springfield plane accident lawyers can help them seek just compensation.
John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are two of the biggest air travel hubs in the United States, with over 80 million combined passengers passing through their doors in 2015. These airports represent the largest aviation gateways into the country and carry passengers across the United States every day.
Hazards of Flight
Aviation laws are largely dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and they make consistent efforts to ensure the ever-increasing amount of air traffic in the United States is efficiently monitored and expertly coordinated. FAA regulations extend to helicopters, privately owned planes, commercial airliners, business jets, and all other noncommercial aircrafts. Although aviation technology is incredibly advanced, nothing is foolproof; user error is always a potential hazard, and several parties are responsible for ensuring safe air travel.
Aviation accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes of injuries from aviation accidents include:
- Improper flying procedures, or pilot error – Pilots owe a duty of care to their copilots, staff, passengers, and the people on the ground to perform their jobs safely. A pilot that disregards directions from air traffic controllers, fails to address mechanical problems in flight, or flies under the influence of drugs or alcohol will likely face negligence charges if their behavior causes or contributes to an accident.
- Faulty instruments or equipment – Although pilots and airplane staff perform various instrument checks before taking off, mechanical failures may occur mid-flight and leave the pilot unable to accurately gauge the aircraft’s performance, including fuel levels, course, airspeed, wind conditions, and other possible hazards.
- Flawed aircraft designs – The FAA enforces strict guidelines on how all aircraft need to be manufactured and properly maintained. If a faulty or deteriorated aircraft is pushed through safety checks when it is unfit for service, the parties responsible are likely to be considered negligent in their duty to ensure that unsafe aircrafts stay on the ground.
- Air traffic controller errors – The individuals responsible for guiding the millions of aircrafts in the sky are required to perform their duties diligently. Any air traffic controller that makes an unreasonable error resulting in a crash, or operates their equipment and performs their job duties under the influence of drugs or alcohol should be held negligent for their irresponsible and unsafe actions.
- Manufacturing defects – In some situations, the aircraft may fail due to an error or flaw in the manufacturing process, resulting in a design weakness that was not easily apparent during assembly of the aircraft. Manufacturers of aircraft are required to use consistent manufacturing processes to guarantee consistent products.
Unfortunately, many aviation accidents are deadly for most or all of the passengers involved. In some cases, you may be filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who perished in an aviation accident. While wrongful death claims are largely governed by statute, it’s important to understand the basics of establishing negligence if you pursue negligence charges in a civil action against a pilot, air traffic controller, or aviation company for negligent practices.
The law firm of Douglas, Haun & Heidemann has represented clients in Springfield, Mo., for over 100 years in a variety of cases, and we believe that victims should be compensated for the injuries they sustain as a result of the negligent actions of others. Reach out to our team to start reviewing your aviation accident today, and we can walk you through the process and explain the types of compensation you might be able to claim.