Aviation Accident Attorneys in New York and New Jersey
Accidents involving airplanes and other aircraft are reported at least five times a day in the United States. These accidents claim hundreds of lives and leave thousands more with serious injuries that require extensive medical care.
Given the fact that injuries from airplane accidents are almost always serious, most victims require emergency medical treatment and have to go through prolonged long-term care. If you or a loved one has been injured in an aviation accident, a personal injury lawyer experienced in litigating airplane accidents can help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
From our offices in New Jersey and New York, the personal injury law firm of Metro Law has won substantial compensation pay-outs for victims of plane crashes. In one such case, a commercial jet crashed due to a lack of fuel. Our attorneys argued that better handling of the situation in the air and on the ground could have prevented the accident. Seventy-three people were killed and 85 were injured, including our client and our client’s son. We sued the airline for over $200 million to compensate our client and our client’s family for pain and suffering, loss of income, and punitive damages.
Each Case is Unique and Results Can Vary Depending on the Facts of Each Case
Aircraft accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including: failure of the plane, failure to properly maintain the plane, and failure to properly respond to a problem or crisis. If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in an airplane crash, we can work to determine whether the airline, manufacturer, airport, maintenance company, or contract pilot was negligent and sue for damages.
In aviation accidents, the federal government is usually the lead investigator. We can work with federal agencies and investigators, as well as medical care providers, to gather facts and build your case. Airplane crashes usually involve multiple levels of errors. We are experienced in investigating and litigating aviation accidents and can solve the complex issues of multiple liabilities to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Leading Causes of Airplane Accidents
While plane accidents are not common, the fallout is often catastrophic for those involved. Accidents involving airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft can take place for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of crashes we see in New York and New Jersey include:
- Air traffic controller errors and mistakes: Air traffic controllers play a key role in making sure planes make it to their destinations safely. When these individuals are negligent or make mistakes, it leaves active aircraft at risk.
- Pilot errors: It is important that pilots are adequately trained to operate an When pilots engage in negligent actions, they can cause crashes.
- Issues with fuel: Poorly planned and poorly installed fuel systems can cause crashes. In addition to malfunctioning equipment, failing system components or accessories can make aircraft inoperable.
- Weather-related crashes: Sudden changes in the weather can result in a plane crash. Pilots may not be able to operate the vehicles during heavy rain and may have a difficult time maintaining control of the aircraft during high turbulence.
- Overloading: It can be very dangerous for aircraft passengers and luggage to exceed the weight capacity. This can result in fuel being used at a higher rate and can result in the aircraft being unbalanced.
- Structural hazards: Airplanes and helicopters that fly too close to the ground may crash into structures like high-rise buildings, utility wires, buildings, trees, and towers.
- Defective parts or designs: Planes and helicopters have a lot of moving parts. When any part fails to function as intended, it can prevent the vehicle from operating correctly. We see many defective part crashes caused by drive shafts malfunctions, flight controller problems, and malfunctioning landing gears.
- Debris, animals, and people on runways: When the runway is not clear for taking off or landing, it can result in planes crashing while landing or immediately after taking off.
- Negligent acts of aircraft employees: Negligent aircraft employees can create unsafe conditions for passengers. When employees are negligent during pre-flight planning, it can lead to dangerous circumstances inflight.
- Inadequate maintenance: One of the main causes of deadly plane and helicopter crashes each year is inadequate maintenance.
Additionally, we see many aircraft accidents that involve:
- Bird strikes
- Fuel starvation
Aircraft accidents are likely to end in fatal injuries for those involved. When people do survive these accidents, they are often left with severe injuries and negative psychological issues. When victims are injured in aircraft accidents, an aviation accident lawyer in New York or New Jersey can help you hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. Our team fights to help victims and surviving relatives of people killed in plane accidents in New Jersey and New York pursue legal action against at-fault parties.
Types of Aviation accident Cases
The majority of aircraft accidents involve privately owned airplanes. After being involved in an airplane accident, you may be curious as to what type of accident claim you will need to file. There are many different types of aviation accidents that are the center of personal injury claims. Some of the most common cases we handle for our clients include:
Commercial Aviation Accident Claims: These claims generally focus on people injured in crashes while on aircraft used to transport cargo or passengers. There are strict requirements in place for pilots and operators of these aircraft. However, we continue to see a significant number of crashes occur due to human error.
Non-Commercial Aviation Accident Claims: There are many instances where accidents involve single-engine, privately owned aircraft. These claims are often filed against the owner of the plane. However, the circumstances surrounding your accident will determine all liable parties.
Charter Flight Accidents: Chartered flights are often provided to a person, group, or company privately. These cases can be quite complex from a legal standpoint and require the keen attention of our skilled legal team.
Helicopter Accidents: Reports from the National Transportation Safety Board show that helicopter crashes take place at a higher rate than accidents involving airplanes.
Skydiving Accidents: If you are taken up on a flight without having any intention of jumping, or you were harmed during a skydiving activity, you may be able to file a legal claim against the skydiving company. Even if you signed a waiver prior to jumping, you must seek legal assistance immediately to see what legal options are available to you.
Hang Gliding Accidents: Given the poor safety record of this sport, it has generally been considered unsafe. When pilots and gliders act negligently, it can increase the risks of accidents taking place. Whether, equipment, and other participants are commonly cited factors in hang gliding accident cases we handle.
No matter what type of accident you have been involved in, our team will fight to ensure you get justice. Our team will investigate your accident, identify all liable parties, and pursue legal action against them.
How are Aviation Accidents Investigated?
If you have been injured in an aviation accident, chances are you will have to prove who is liable for your injuries and damages should you consider taking legal action. Following an accident, there are several groups that will conduct investigations to determine what caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board was established in 1967 to conduct investigations surrounding civil aviation accidents across the United States. The core of the NTSB investigation is the GO Team. Whenever a crash involving an aircraft occurs, the team will investigate various aspects of the crash.
During the early stages of the investigation, the lead investigator will coordinate with local emergency workers to determine if the site remains hazardous. Once the safety of the location is determined, the team will enter the area to conduct their investigations. Crews will take pictures, record videos, and gather various types of physical evidence from the scene. Finally, the team will recover the black box from the aircraft.
After leaving the scene, investigators will gather documents, flight information, and various other pieces of evidence surrounding the crew and others on board. Flight perimeter recorders will provide insight as to the heading, altitude, power settings, instrument readings, and other information during the crash.
After all of the evidence is gathered and collected, teams will review all of the technical aspects of the crash. The Tech Group will review the air traffic control activity, the weather conditions, human performance issues, the onboard safety equipment, subsystems, and various records of maintenance. In some cases, crews may use flight simulators to mimic the circumstances at the time of the crash to provide better insight as to why the incident took place.
Finally, investigators will speak with all surviving victims. Interviews will help determine what was going on inside the cabin at the time the accident occurred and in the moments leading up to the crash.
After all of the evidence is collected and analyzed, the team will determine the cause of the crash. They will issue a report surrounding what they found and what precisely caused the crash to take place.
Depending on the results of the crash, you may be able to pursue legal action against one or more parties involved. At Metro Law, we conduct an independent investigation into each accident to verify facts and to determine who all can be held liable. Our team works to build the strongest case imaginable to help our clients recover. National Transportation Safety Board investigations play a critical part in building each case for crash victims we work with.
Injuries from Aircraft Accidents
Hundreds of people are left with serious injuries following aircraft accidents in the United States. We see many people harmed in New Jersey and New York due to accidents involving helicopters, airplanes, and various other types of aircraft. When victims are injured in plane crashes, they are often rushed from the scene of the accident to area hospitals where they undergo emergency medical care for their injuries. Some of the most common injuries victims of plane crashes are left with include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones/compound fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries
Given the severity of aviation accidents, hundreds of people end up losing their lives as a result of their injuries. If you have been injured in an accident, or your loved one has lost their life, it is crucial that you reach out to a skilled legal team as soon as possible.
Contact a New York or New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents involving aircraft leave thousands of people with injuries each year. The process of recovering from an airplane accident can be time-consuming and painful. Going without wages from work, spending tens of thousands of dollars on medical care, and combating various other economic challenges is not only tough for victims but their families as well. For this reason, our team works to help each client we work with protect their legal rights and maximize the compensation they recovery.
If you have questions regarding airplane crash injuries or wrongful death, contact our firm for answers and representation. We offer free initial consultations, are available for evening and weekend appointments, and employ in-house Spanish and Portuguese speakers for our clients’ convenience. To contact us, call our New York and New Jersey aviation accident lawyers toll-free at (973) 721-9984.