The most common causes of plane crashes and their injuries
Airline manufacturing giant, Boeing, is facing massive lawsuits from fatal crashes that involved their 737 MAX planes. The crashes resulted in the death of 350 people and forced Boeing to ground its fleet of aircraft until a thorough investigation was complete. The allegation is that Boeing was aware of defects in the software required to fly the plane, but rushed it into production to compete with rival Airbus.
According to data compiled by the National Safety Council, a motorist has a 1 in 113 chance of being involved in a fatal car crash. In a plane accident, those odds go up to 1 in 9,737.
Even though plane travel is much safer than automobile travel, plane crashes can still be devastating on many levels. It’s not just the passengers and crew aboard the plane that can suffer loss, but also people on the ground. Sometimes smaller airplanes used for private charters and sightseeing crash in residential areas, damaging property and causing additional loss of life.
Here in Florida, private planes are frequently crisscrossing across the state. It’s not a question of “if” a plane will crash, but “when.”
In the aftermath of a tragic plane crash, the families of the victims can seek compensation for their losses. The issue then becomes who or what is at fault? That’s where the support of an experienced attorney can have a major impact on the outcome of a plane crash lawsuit.
Common causes of plane accidents
In Florida, the first priority in a plane crash lawsuit is to determine the cause of the crash and determine who was at fault. This means examining evidence for common causes of a plane crash such as:
- Pilot error. Even though modern aircraft technology uses some of the most sophisticated computer systems in existence, the pilots still have control over the aircraft. This is why pilot error is cited as the cause in nearly half of all plane crashes. Those errors can include improper use of the controls, insufficient programming and underestimating fuel expenditures.
- Mechanical failure. There are thousands of individual parts that go into the manufacturing of a single aircraft. The failure of any one of those parts can trigger a catastrophic accident. Investigators will attempt to reconstruct the plane from the destroyed remains to determine the root cause of any mechanical failure incident.
- Severe weather. A severe storm can ground and delay flights across the entire country. Even in poor weather conditions, planes sometimes still attempt to fly through the storm. Although the weather might be a major contributing factor to a plane crash, there’s a judgment call made by the airlines, pilots and air traffic controllers to consider.
- Human error. It’s not just pilots who are responsible for a safe flight but also mechanics, ground crew and air traffic controllers. Any one of those airline personnel could be negligent in their duties and that can lead to a crash.
Possible defendants in a plane crash lawsuit
Once the cause has been determined, it’s up to attorneys to zero in on who exactly is responsible for the accident. That could be a single individual or an entire company.
Here are the possible defendants to consider:
- Owner or operator. An accident or crash involving a private plane often has an owner or operator as part of the lawsuit as they are responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of the plane. They might not do the maintenance work, but they are responsible for ensuring that it gets done properly. Of course, it would be the owner’s insurance company who would ultimately be liable for paying the lawsuit damages.
- Airline. Airlines are typically part of plane crash lawsuits involving commercial flights. When a pilot is found to be negligent, the airline company assumes the responsibility for those errors.
- Manufacturer. As in the case of the Boeing lawsuits, the manufacturer can also become a defendant in a lawsuit. In some cases, they might be the only defendant.
Lawsuits involving plane crashes can be filed as individuals or as part of a class action. It’s rare to have a plane crash where the cause isn’t determined. That often means the responsible parties will likely settle before the case goes to trial.
It’s still vital to be represented by an attorney who understands this particularly complicated area of the law. At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, our Tampa plane crash attorneys are in the best position to negotiate your settlement.