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Aviation Accidents

Aviation accidents are terrible tragedies that almost always result in death. The body is not built to withstand the immense forces that a plane or helicopter crash exerts. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, there were a total of 1,290 aviation accidents in the U.S. These accidents resulted in 444 fatalities and hundreds of serious injuries. If you sustained an injury, or a loved one passed away in a recent aviation accident in Georgia, the lawyers at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP want to hear from you. We can provide counsel on how you might be able to recover compensation after a disastrous aviation crash.

Negligence vs. Acts of God

Many things can go wrong to cause an aviation accident. An aircraft part could have a defect, the pilot could lose control of the craft, or bad weather could compromise a flight. Not every plane crash results from someone’s negligence. Some are due to acts of God, such as lightning striking the aircraft or poor weather conditions making it unsafe to be in the air. In many cases, however, an investigation of the accident reveals proof of negligence. The top three negligence-based causes of aviation accidents are as follows:

  1. Pilot error. An incompetent, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent pilot may not be able to safely control the aircraft. Improper operation or unsafe landing can easily lead to a crash. If the pilot works for an aviation company, injured parties may be able to sue the employer through vicarious liability. Often, pilots are simply not trained or experienced enough to safely handle changing conditions such as storms. This can end in tragedy for all onboard the aircraft.
  2. Company negligence. It is an aviation company’s job to properly maintain its aircraft, using daily inspections and component checks before every takeoff. The company must also engage in safe hiring and training practices for pilots and staff members. If your incident involved an aviation company and not a personal craft owner, you may have grounds to sue the entity – even for the actions of its employees.
  3. Mechanical failure. Aviation accidents often come down to part and equipment failures during flights. Part failure may be due to a defective part from the product manufacturer or lack of aircraft maintenance. If a critical system failed, resulting in a plane crash, it may be due to a product flaw or dangerous design. In these cases, injured parties or surviving family members may have a product liability claim.

Assigning fault for an aviation accident can be difficult, especially if the crash results in no survivors. It requires a thorough investigation of what happened on the flight. This includes accessing the aircraft’s black box, or the recording of the plane’s direction, actions, and conditions. Retain attorneys with experience handling these types of cases for your best chance of securing a successful verdict against a negligent party.

Our Atlanta Attorneys Are Here to Help

Despite federal and state safety standards to improve aviation safety around the country, accidents still occur every year. Plane and helicopter crashes can be devastating for all involved. In your time of need, seek counsel from dedicated personal injury lawyers in Atlanta. After an accident involving an aircraft, talk to the attorneys at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP. We’ll discuss your options moving forward in a free consultation. Contact us today.