While aviation accidents are certainly not the most common cause of injury in Los Angeles, airplane crashes do happen, and when they do, the results can be catastrophic for those involved. In fact, while commercial flights have a great track record of being safe, privateflights are much riskier. To be sure, the fatality rate for general aviation accidents hovers around one death per every 100,000 hours, and the accident rate in personal flights has increased by 20 percent in the past decade alone; the fatality rate for personal flights is also up by 25 percent.
Aviation accidents should never occur – they are almost always the result of negligence and human error. If you or a loved one has been involved in an airplane accident in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, our Los Angeles airplane accident lawyers at the El Dabe Ritter Law Firm understand the pain and trauma you’re going through and want to help you understand your legal options.
Common Causes of Airplane Accidents
In order to recoup compensation for an accident and hold a party liable for damages, you must first determine the source of the crash and identify where an error occurred. This will require a thorough investigation into the accident, which will most likely require expert opinion and analysis. That being said, some of the most common causes of airplane accidents include:
- Pilot error. Pilots are not infallible, and sometimes, their actions cause or contribute to a serious plane crash. Examples of pilot errors that could lead to an accident might include pilot intoxication or impairment, turning off automatic systems, operating a plane while overly fatigued, operating a plan while distracted, or operating a plane without the proper training. Sometimes, the error occurs after something else has gone wrong. For example, an automatic system may shut off unexpectedly, and the pilot responds to the scenario in an inappropriate and unreasonable manner.
- Air traffic controller error. Those who work in air traffic control have a very serious job, and when they make an error, the repercussions can be disastrous. Some of the most common and most dangerous air traffic controller errors include turning airplanes as they make their final approach to the runway, directing planes in a manner that results in them coming too close when landing on parallel runways, communication errors when passing control of a plane from one air traffic controller to another, and failing to keep planes at a safe distance from one other. This list is not inclusive; there are dozens of potential errors that air traffic controllers can and do make.
- Mechanical/equipment error. Finally, the third most common cause of a plane accident is a mechanical or equipment defect or error. For example, if an airplane engine (or another part) is defectively designed, manufactured, maintained, serviced, or repaired, it may experience a problem that is inexorable during the flight itself. For these errors, the manufacturer or distributor of said part, or the party responsible for service and maintenance, including the owner of the plane, may be held liable.
Damages in an Airplane Crash
No explanation is needed to detail the severity and catastrophic nature of an airplane crash. When airplane accidents occur, victims who survive are considered lucky; airplane crashes are often fatal. For those who do live to tell the tale, serious injuries and permanent harm may be a reality of their life. Injuries might include facial injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, amputated limb injuries, lacerations, scarring and disfigurement, spinal cord injuries, head and brain injuries, and burn injuries. Of course, a plane accident–and the injuries that result–can also be very traumatic, leading to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or/and depression in some victims.
And injuries are not the only damages that a victim will incur. Medical expenses, the costs of ongoing therapies and rehabilitation, and lost wages are all common, too. If an airplane crash results in death, surviving family members may suffer the loss of the deceased’s companionship, parental guidance, love and support, financial contributions, and more. We believe that victims and their family deserve to be compensated.
Why You Need an Experienced Airplane Accident Lawyer
Airplane accidents are not only more severe than most other accident types, but building a personal injury claim is often more complex, too. In order to determine what went wrong and who’s to blame for the crash, a comprehensive investigation is a must. These investigations may take weeks or months to complete, and almost always rely on experts in order to conduct. Accident reconstruction experts, forensic specialists, airplane design and parts experts, and more will also be necessary. An attorney who has the resources to support an investigation is a must. Further, it is not uncommon for liability to be disputed, and when it is, having an attorney on your side who can build your case and advocate for your right to compensation can prove essential.
Statute of Limitations
In California, claims that arise from the injury or death of a person must be brought forth within two years from the date of the cause of action. Two years may seem like a long time, but in reality, it can take nearly half this amount of time just to investigate and build a case. The best way that you can protect your right to compensation is to contact an attorney immediately following an aviation accident.
Call Our Los Angeles Airplane Accident Lawyers Today
An attorney who has handled aviation accident cases in Los Angeles is your best option – you want an attorney with experience investigating and building cases similar to yours. At the El Dabe Ritter Law Firm, you’ll find experienced Los Angeles airplane accident attorneys with a reputation of excellence and a passion for justice.
We offer free, no-obligation case consultations to injury victims and their families, and we always work on a contingency fee basis. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a plane accident in Los Angeles, please call us today to learn how we can help you and what your rights are. Contact us by calling us directly or sending us a message using the intake form found on our website.