Aviation Accident Law: Know Your Rights

Aviation accidents include crashes involving fixed-wing aircraft (like airplanes) and rotary-wing aircraft (like helicopters). Although aviation accidents have decreased sharply in recent years, they continue to carry the highest fatality and serious injury rates of any transportation accident. In 2015, more than 1,200 civil aviation accidents occurred in the United States.

The New York aviation accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, are dedicated to protecting survivors and the loved ones of the deceased. If you have been harmed in some manner by a plane or helicopter crash, call us today at (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation. We can provide the insight you need to protect your rights as a passenger.

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What Are Common Causes of Aviation Accidents?

Aircraft are complex machines requiring training and experience to operate safely. Consequently, the two most common causes of aviation accidents are pilot error and mechanical failure.

Pilot Error

Pilot error can occur in a number of ways. Pilots who are fatigued or distracted can easily make a mistake that causes a crash. Other common causes of pilot error include turbulence or failure to take proper precautions during takeoff, flight, or landing.

The category "pilot error" is a broad one, covering both mistakes made by the pilot alone and mistakes that occur due to problems in communication or misunderstandings along the chain of information on which a pilot relies. For instance, a pilot may misjudge a landing site based on inaccurate information provided by an air traffic controller, or because poor weather prevents the pilot or the plane’s instruments from accurately judging elevation, distance, or airspeed. Similarly, instruments that are maintained, repaired, or calibrated incorrectly may give false readings, leading the pilot to believe that conditions outside the plane are different than they actually are.

Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failure may be the result of a manufacturing or design defect that poses a hidden danger in some part or equipment in the plane. It may be caused by improper or faulty maintenance or repairs. The failure may also be caused by inclement weather or other obstacles, such as ice on parts of the plane that cause it to operate incorrectly.

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airplane parked on tarmac

Whether you were injured on the ground or in the air, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation. Call (212) 986-7353 to speak with a lawyer.

Are Airplane Ground Accidents Dangerous?

Although most people picture "aviation accidents" as crashes that take place in the air, an accident can also occur while an aircraft is on the ground. Accidents that occur during takeoff or landing are among the most common, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). A plane may run off the runway. It may run into another aircraft, person, vehicle, or object on the ground, causing serious damage. In rare cases, a pilot may fail to hear or misunderstand directions from air traffic controllers or ground crew, which can lead to traveling the wrong way on a runway or using the wrong runway, causing a collision.

While helicopters do not use runways the way fixed-wing aircraft do, accidents during helicopter takeoffs and landings can also be fatal. Piloting a helicopter requires intense concentration, and helicopters must also be built and maintained correctly in order to avoid accidents.

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Passenger Rights

Believe it or not, as an aviation passenger you are entitled to specific rights. Many passengers are unaware of this, and after an incident, they unknowingly waive these rights when aviation staff or insurance representatives give them paperwork to sign. If you or a loved one have been involved in an aviation incident, call an aviation accident attorney immediately to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable. Don’t allow your rights to be violated without a fight.

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Protecting Aviation Accident Victims in New York

Whether you have survived an aviation crash with serious injuries, or lost a loved one due to an accident, you deserve the aid of a skilled lawyer who will help you recover to the best of your abilities. With the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, you can find get justice. We fight for the compensation you deserve so that you can afford expensive but needed medical procedures, and recuperate from your financial losses to move forward with your life. Do not wait; call us for a no-cost consultation at (212) 986-7353.

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Additional Information