Year after year, air travel continues to increase worldwide. Along with the number of aircraft sharing the skies, the risk of aviation accidents resulting in serious injury and death also continues to increase. Compared to car and bus transportation, commercial air travel in the United States is considered relatively safe. In 2007 and 2008, no passengers died in a crash involving a commercial airline on US soil. According to aviation accident statistics released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), since 2002, the risk of dying on a commercial flight has decreased to 19 per billion. However, helicopter accidents, charter plane accidents, international airplane accidents, and medevac/air ambulance accidents occur more often, with several hundred deaths across the United States every year.
Accidents In the Air and On the Ground
Apart from airplane crashes and mid-air collisions, airline passengers may suffer serious injuries on airplanes due to dangerous conditions inside an aircraft. If pilots or other airline employees are negligent and fail to meet reasonable standards to ensure the safety of airline passengers, the airline may be responsible for injuries. Airlines may also be liable for accidents occurring on the ground before or after a commercial flight, including slip and fall and trip and fall injuries while boarding or exiting an airplane, or serious head and neck injuries due to falling overhead carryon luggage.
Who is Liable For An Aviation Accident?
Every aviation accident is different, with unique circumstances, parties and conditions. At Estey Bomberger, our California plane accident lawyers begin every aviation accident with a thorough investigation. Along with experts to review state and federal investigation reports, we also retain independent experts to collect and review evidence, and investigators to inspect the aircraft and crash site. It is common for more than one party to be responsible for a plane crash. Possible liable parties may include:
- Air traffic controllers
- Flight crews
- Aircraft manufacturers
- Aircraft mechanics
- Aircraft designers
- Owner of the aircraft
Aviation Laws and the FAA and NTSB
Air travel is regulated in the US by two federal agencies – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB investigates civil (both commercial and private) aircraft accidents and, based on their findings, makes recommendations to the FAA improve safety standards and prevent further aircraft accidents. The FAA sets regulations governing aircraft manufacturing and operation, including flight operation and pilot conduct.
Experienced Aviation Accident Lawyers
Because federal rules and regulations may be relevant in a claim for injuries or plane accident wrongful death in California, it is essential to hire an attorney who is familiar with FAA and NTSB regulations. With more than 70 years of experience in personal injury law, the lawyers at Estey Bomberger have successfully represented a number of aviation accident victims, including commercial jet passengers, helicopter tour passengers, and private aircraft owners and operators. One of our attorneys, Don Beck, is a licensed pilot with many hours of flying experience. If you have been injured in an airplane crash or in a slip and fall accident on an airplane, or if a member of your family has died in an aviation accident, the attorneys at Estey Bomberger are available to help you understand and protect your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation; our staff is available to discuss your case call 24 hours a day.
No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
At Estey Bomberger, our California injury attorneys handle all aviation accident injury and wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge any fees unless and until we recover money for you. In the event that we accept your case and do not recover monetary compensation for you, you will not be charged for our time or services.