New York Aviation Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been involved in an aviation accident caused by negligence or recklessness on the part of someone else, you should not have to manage the consequences of this tragic situation on your own. Contact the New York airplane accident attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about the details of your case.
Air travel is one of the conveniences of modern life that can easily be taken for granted, allowing us to travel distances in a matter of hours that only recently would have taken days to cover. Unfortunately, aviation can also place travelers at risk of suffering serious or even life-threatening injuries, particularly when pilots, airlines, or airplane manufacturers fail to exercise appropriate caution in their work. For this reason, those who are injured in an airplane accident may be eligible to seek financial compensation for the harm that they suffer as a consequence of such negligence.
Causes of Aviation Accidents
Because of the extreme sophistication of modern airplanes, even a minor error can lead to a major accident. Some common causes of aviation accidents include:
Aircraft pilots need to be well-prepared to handle a variety of situations and complete routine tasks in the plane without incident. If a pilot makes a serious error while in flight or in the course of landing or take-off, they are likely to seriously endanger everyone on board the vehicle. Sadly, if an aircraft accident does occur, it can likely cause devastating injuries for those involved, potentially causing fatalities if the incident is truly catastrophic.
Aircraft pilots know and understand how important their attention to detail and adherence to safety rules are. Even small errors can potentially jeopardize a flight and endanger those on board. The following mistakes may be particularly hazardous mistakes for a pilot to make and something for which they can be held liable:
- Failing to make proper safety checks before take-off
- Not following air traffic safety directions
- Ignoring instrumental read-outs indicating dangerous situations
- Making course adjustment errors or other in-flight navigational mistakes
- Failing to safely land the plane or helicopter
- Failing to take weather concerns or environmental hazards into account before, during, or after flight
Anyone injured because of these or other pilot mistakes may be legally entitled to pursue compensation for the cost of their injuries. And, if these errors result in a person’s tragic death, the family may be eligible to file for that compensation to help them cover any medical and funeral expenses.
Pilots have a responsibility to maintain their sobriety at all times when operating aircraft. Operating aircraft while intoxicated is dangerous and even deadly, as the complex responsibilities associated with safely piloting an aircraft require precise motor control and clarity of mind when making decisions. If a pilot is too impaired to safely operate his or her aircraft, the reckless individual may commit an error that results in a devastating plane or helicopter accident.
Safety should be every pilot’s primary concern. However, the forgetfulness and sloppy motor control characteristic of an intoxicated pilot may seriously jeopardize the health and safety of any passengers or crew members on-board the aircraft. Some dangerous errors associated with piloting while intoxicated include the following:
- Failing to engage safety systems when needed
- Not paying attention to flying instruments
- Improper navigation
- Disregarding air traffic control
- Breaking safety regulations during a flight
- Inability to control the plane during takeoff or landing
When a pilot chooses to act negligently and fly while intoxicated, he or she should be held accountable for any damages resulting from this carelessness.
There are numerous crucial safety checks and other procedures that aircraft personnel should run through before take-off. Each crew working on a flight needs to make sure that they’ve adequately addressed all major safety concerns, completed their duties responsibly and safely, and taken care of special needs passengers. When airlines and their employees fail to make sure these duties are fulfilled, the injuries and losses to passengers and others can be immense and devastating.
With so many responsibilities that must be fulfilled before a flight, it’s possible for a crew member on the ground or in the plane to make a serious error or neglect their duties. This thoughtlessness, which can include the following actions, may lead to injuries for those on-board the plane:
- Ground crews failing to adequately refuel a plane
- Ground crews not addressing environmental concerns, such as ice
- Ground crews not attending to potentially serious mechanical problems
- Cabin crews not running through their routine safety checks
- Cabin crews failing to explain safety procedures to passengers
- Cabin crews failing to address any special needs particular passengers may have
These mistakes may cost a passenger or a crew member dearly and place a massive financial burden on their household due to the high price of medical care.
Airplane Defects / Malfunctions
Aircraft manufacturers have a duty to build their vehicles to the highest standards of safety and security. The parts in these vehicles should be able to withstand the regular rigors of flight, providing safe travels for anyone on-board. If a manufacturer’s part is defective or causes a malfunction, they may cause an incident that could seriously injure passengers and crew members. In these situations, the manufacturer of the defective part may be held legally liable for their dangerous products.
Aviation parts should be tested and inspected for potential defects or malfunctions that could occur during the flight process. If a manufacturer’s part fails, this reflects a mistake on the manufacturer’s behalf. These mechanical errors may include the following problems:
- Defects with landing gear
- Defects with safety systems such as fire extinguishers or seat restraints
- Defects with on-board computer systems
- Defects with engines and throttle systems
- Defects with communication devices, particularly between pilots and air traffic controllers
These defects may cause serious accidents that can lead to severe injuries for those involved. In many cases, those injured may require substantial medical care, which can quickly prove too expensive for their household to manage.
Air Traffic Controller Error
Air traffic controllers have the important responsibility of balancing incoming flights with those leaving the airport or still waiting at the gate. Due to the size, speed, and power of airplanes, this fast-paced work can lead to very serious safety concerns if air traffic controllers are not paying constant, careful attention to their jobs. Even small mistakes in timing or direction can lead to catastrophic collisions between aircraft, potentially causing the airplanes’ passengers and crew members to suffer devastating and sometimes fatal injuries.
Despite innovations in aviation technology, recent studies have shown that the amount of air traffic controller errors have increased sharply over the past years. Some common air traffic controller mistakes include the following:
- Allowing two aircraft on the runway at the same time
- Failing to clear a landing strip for an incoming plane
- Allowing aircraft to take off into occupied airspace
- Allowing aircraft to take off in dangerous conditions
- Failing to communicate clearly and correctly with pilots
It is crucial that air traffic controllers pay close attention to airplane traffic patterns and communicate their directions to pilots accordingly in order to keep passengers and crew members safe from destructive aviation accidents. Failure in any of these basic responsibilities can seriously endanger multiple planes, putting everyone onboard at risk of terrible injuries.
These and other factors can lead to a serious accident, potentially endangering the lives of all those on board.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an airplane accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact the New York City personal injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today to learn more about your full range of rights and options under the law.