Florida Plane And Aviation Accidents
Aviation Accident And Aviation Injury Attorneys In South Florida
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 713 million passengers flew on U.S. airlines in 2010. In terms of accidents, general aviation has more fatalities per flight hours than any other type of flying. General aviation is all civilian flying except scheduled passenger airline service. This can include overnight package delivery, emergency medical evacuation, crop dusters, and news media traffic reporting. While plane crashes (1 in 11 million) and serious in-flight injuries from airplane mishaps are rare, they do happen. Whether a mid-air collision, a runway incursion, turbulence, or falling luggage, passengers can suffer minor to severe injuries (burns, broken bones, head injuries) and sometimes death.
All aviation accidents are investigated by state and federal authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) typically issues a report identifying the cause or causes of the plane crash. While there is no single primary cause of aviation accidents or injuries, some common causes may include:
- Pilot error or fatigue
- Air traffic control error or fatigue
- Defective plane parts and/or poor maintenance
- Cargo hold/cabin fire
- Weather (fog, snow, ice, lightning, turbulence)
- Bird strikes
- Infrastructure (buildings, power lines)
- Falling luggage from overhead bins
- Slips and falls
- Negligent security/Assaults or attacks
- Defective parts (boarding ramps, escalators, baggage carousel)
When it comes to plane crashes and aviation accidents, there are generally two types of cases – commercial aviation cases and general aviation cases. Commercial aviation cases involve commercial airlines that carry the general public for a fee, and general aviation cases involve privately-owned aircraft. There are other types of special cases, such as a lawsuit against an aircraft part manufacturer or a lawsuit against a government entity should fault be on an air traffic controller, for example.
The case is typically handled differently depending on whether the case is categorized under commercial or general aviation.
In South Florida, there are a few law firms that have the knowledge and experience in handling commercial aviation cases, including Zimmerman & Frachtman. With commercial aviation cases, there are usually many passengers that have filed claims. In this case, the passengers are usually brought together in one court during the discovery portion. Once the discovery portion has been completed, the cases are then separated and transferred back to where they were originally filed.
When it comes to general aviation cases, these are generally handled a bit differently compared to commercial aviation cases. This is because there are usually fewer persons filing claims compared to a commercial case. However, plane crash and aviation accidents can differ from state to state depending on where the accident actually occurred. This means that all aspects of the case – what damages are recoverable, the statute of limitations, the possible defenses, and so forth – can differ per state.
The investigation and discovery process for these types of lawsuits are extremely important. There are often various areas that require comprehensive investigation. One term to be aware of is “black box”. This term refers to two items that investigators will do an in-depth analysis of to determine fault. The first “black box” is the cockpit voice recorder. As part of the investigation process, transcripts that are prepared by the National Transportation Safety Board of the voice recorder play-back tape are read. These transcripts usually include the conversation between the pilot and the air traffic controller during the crash or issue. It also captures all sounds and conversations within the cockpit, where experts determine what was really going on in this area during the last 30 minutes or so before the crash. The second “black box” refers to the digital flight data recorder or FDR. This recorder shows the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters of the aircraft. This helps experts learn valuable insight into almost every system within the aircraft. In terms of the “black boxes”, these are typically only found in commercial flights. Most privately-owned jets or other types of aircraft do not have these boxes. However, all types of aircraft do have transponders that provide valuable insight for experts to reconstruct the path of the aircraft.
Contact Zimmerman & Frachtman For Help
If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial aviation or general aviation crash or accident, you should contact an experienced attorney right away. The aircraft owner or the airline will have their insurance company jump on investigations immediately. The longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the more at risk you could be to losing valuable evidence.
Aviation accidents can involve multiple state, federal, and even international agencies. They may also involve representatives from the aircraft manufacturer, the airline carrier, component part suppliers, and insurance agencies. Due to the complexity and difficulty of proving aviation cases, it is recommended that you work with an experienced aviation attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an aviation accident or if you were seriously injured during the course of boarding or disembarking an aircraft and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Zimmerman & Frachtman here or call (954) 504-6577. Our personal injury and aviation accident attorneys offer free consultations and charge you only if we win your case.
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