While flying in a commercial aircraft is statistically one of the safest ways to travel, flying in a private plane poses more risk. Statistics compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the year 2011 show that 94 percent of all fatal aviation accidents occur in the category known as "general aviation." General aviation refers to small private planes flown by amateur pilots as well as corporate or commuter flights flown by professional pilots. NTSB statistics also show that general aviation flights have a ratio of about seven accidents per 100,000 flight hours compared to .16 accidents per 100,000 flight hours for commercial flights.
If you or your family has been injured or experienced a loss due to a private aircraft accident, it is crucial that you contact an attorney who knows aviation litigation. The experienced Omaha private plane accident lawyers at Cullan & Cullan LLC have handled many private plane liability cases and can expertly guide you through the complicated claims process.
Call us at (402) 882-7080 to schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Aviation Accidents
In plane accident claims, the first thing that must be determined is the cause or causes of the accident. This helps define who can be held liable for damages.
Most aviation accidents are caused by the following:
- Pilot error
- Ground control error (control tower, air traffic control)
- Defective parts or equipment
- Design defects
- Maintenance error
- Nature (extreme weather, lightning strikes, birds)
There can be other causes of injury on a private plane, such as sudden air turbulence, tripping, or being hit by shifting luggage, etc.
Finding the cause of an aviation accident is not an easy task. It often involves months of sifting through scattered and burned evidence for clues. The NTSB will lead the investigation, but they may also be aided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
What Type Of Claims Can Be Filed?
Once the cause or causes of the accident have been decided, liability can be assigned:
- If the cause of the accident is human error, such as pilot or maintenance error, claims for negligence can be filed.
- If faulty parts or design are to blame, product liability claims can be filed.
- In the United States, the FAA is responsible for all air traffic control. If the accident is the result of human error on the part of an FAA employee, claims must be filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA is a special set of procedures that must be followed when suing a federal employee.
Because of the large amount national and international regulations regarding air travel and transportation safety, and the extensive pool of possible responsible parties (pilots, ground crew, manufacturers, aircraft owners, etc.), filing an aviation accident claim can be long and complicated. This is why it is so important to consult an expert personal injury lawyer before you engage in negotiations with any other parties involved.
Never agree to anything or sign anything without being represented by a legal professional. The Omaha private plane accident attorneys at Cullan & Cullan LLC can negotiate in your best interest and help see that you receive the proper damages you and your family deserve.
Call our offices today at (402) 882-7080 so we can get started on your case.