Most people don’t realize how common aviation accidents are in the United States.
The only time we hear about them is when a large jet goes down. But in 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board reported there were 1,506 aviation accidents across the country, with 336 resulting in fatalities. These numbers average around four accidents and one fatality per day, with a fatality percentage rate of one in every five accidents.
There are many different types of aviation accidents, including:
- Commercial airline accidents (including airport accidents)
- General aviation accidents
- Charter flight accidents
- Helicopter accidents
- Skydiving accidents
- Hang-gliding accidents
- Hot-air balloon accidents.
Commercial Aviation Accidents
Commercial aviation refers to scheduled flights operated by large airlines — generally considered the safest way to travel. But every year, thousands of passengers are injured as they travel by air. A common mistake made by many injured passengers, and some attorneys, is making the assumption that commercial airlines settle cases early to avoid costly litigation. In truth, airlines evade legal damage obligations. They seldom disclose things such as in-flight accident reports and witness statements. Without this evidence, passenger injury cases can be very weak. And no airline’s insurance carrier is going to negotiate in good faith with any injured passenger who doesn’t have the evidence to prove their case. In addition to state laws governing injuries, and depending on the circumstances, passengers’ rights are also influenced by FAA regulations and the Montreal Convention governing international air travel.
Our attorneys can help you if you or a loved one has been injured from an in-flight mishap. This could include injury from one of the following:
Turbulence – This is one of the most common causes of in-flight injuries to passengers. It can result from weather, the wake of other aircraft, or clear air currents.
Service Cart Accidents – In-flight service carts, when loaded with drinks and ice, can be very heavy. When there are narrow aisles and the limbs of sleeping passengers protruding into the aisle, service cart blows to the foot, ankle, knee, hand, arm or elbow can seriously injure a passenger. Flight attendants have a duty of care to make sure no passengers are in harm’s way when moving their carts through the aisles.
Overhead Bin Malfunctions – These compartments do not always securely lock as intended. Numerous passengers have been injured after objects fall on them from overhead bins, sometimes during serious turbulence.
Assaults or Aggressive Acts by Fellow Passengers – Air travel is not stress free. It begins with those crowded Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lines and continues as passengers are squeezed into ever-shrinking seats. Perhaps it’s not surprising that we hear about assaults on commercial airliners. Recent reports of improper behavior by Air Marshals also make passengers uneasy. Seasoned aviation accident attorneys know how to protect their clients after misfortune finds them in the not-altogether-“friendly” skies.
Every year, untold millions of travelers move through the world’s airports, including our DFW – one of the busiest in the world – and Love Field. Sadly, thousands are injured in airports because of defective, dangerous conditions caused by the airlines, transportation authorities, airport owners and operators, and their contractors. Many slip-and-fall mishaps occur on jetways, boarding ramps, slippery floors, escalators and boarding staircases, causing serious injuries.
General Aviation Accidents
General aviation refers to aircraft other than those operated by airlines or the military. It generally calls to mind both owned and leased executive jets, pilot-owned and -operated propeller aircraft, gliders and other experimental aircraft. Air ambulances also fall under the umbrella of general aviation. Recently there has been an epidemic of fatal crashes by air ambulances, and the industry is coming under increased scrutiny
Helicopter travel has entered the mainstream, and we now routinely charter and use helicopters for air ambulances, law enforcement, corporate transportation, sight-seeing tours and other forms of recreation. Most people, however, do not realize that helicopters are among the most dangerous forms of transportation. For every fixed-wing general aviation crash, there are 90 helicopters crashes, often resulting in death or serious injury.
Guajardo & Marks aggressively represents passengers injured on commercial and general aviation flights and those harmed in airport accidents. We and closely monitor all government investigations and work with a team of experts to develop strong injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in an airport or on any aircraft in the U.S., contact us today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 972-774-9800 to schedule a free consultation. There are no legal fees unless we recover money for you.