Fresno Aviation Accident Lawyer
Flying is one of the easiest and safest forms of transportation that ensures you can get from one place to another. However, aviation accidents are more common than one would think. It is safe to say that any aviation accident can be labeled as a disaster, and more often than not it will involve loss of life.
According to the National Safety Council, their study of noncommercial airplanes from 1997 to 2020 showed an overall decline in general aviation accidents. Still, the rate of fatal airplane accidents has only slightly decreased in over ten years from 452 to 349 deaths.
You have legal rights in the event of an aviation accident in Fresno. Aviation accidents can be devastating emotionally and financially to all parties involved. At Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm, our Fresno aviation accident lawyers have years of experience fighting for the compensation you need. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local Fresno office.
When to Contact a Fresno Aviation Accident Attorney
When one boards a plane — whether a commercial airline or a commuter jet — passengers expect safety from the moment they take off to the time of landing. So, it becomes the responsibility of the plane manufacturer, flight staff, and any other relevant parties involved to keep passengers safe during the flight.
If there is an aviation accident, passengers can be severely injured or killed. An aviation accident can leave family members and other survivors involved scrambling to find answers and a way to pay for the resulting damages.
But who is responsible for aviation accidents? The simple answer is that it depends.
Navigating these legal matters can involve multiple parties and become complicated fast. Seeking a claim also requires extensive investigation and legal research. Therefore, it is recommended that victims or loved ones contact an attorney as soon as possible to guide them throughout the process.
Obtaining Evidence After a Fresno Plane Crash Can Be Challenging, But an Attorney Can Help
One factor that can make a huge difference in the outcome of an aviation accident case is the amount of evidence available. Deciphering the true cause of the crash can be difficult, and there may be multiple mistakes made along the process that could cause fault to lie with different parties. For example, a mechanical error may have caused an issue mid-flight, and an erroneous emergency landing maneuver by the pilot can make a dangerous situation worse.
The experienced Fresno aviation accident lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law will use the full extent of our resources to gather evidence documenting the causes of the accident — uncovering any negligence that could have potentially led to the incident.
Further, we will help you document the full extent of damages lost, including the economic value of the income a loved one would have contributed to the household over their lifetime.
Proving cause and damages are two of the most difficult factors in these cases, especially when powerful corporations are named in the claim. Our attorneys will use every resource available to us to gather the appropriate evidence and seek the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
Which Parties Could Be Considered Liable After an Aviation Crash?
Multiple parties are involved during the operation of a flight: the pilot, the airline, the maintenance staff, and more. Further, all of these individuals rely upon the safety and integrity of the aircraft itself. As a result of these compounded factors, an aviation accident can be determined to be the result of negligence from one party or multiple entities.
Below are some of the types of parties that could be held responsible in the event of an aviation accident:
The Pilot (Or Employing Airline)
If an accident is caused by the pilot’s negligence, their employer can be held accountable for any deaths or injuries related to the incident. If the pilot was operating for-hire or flying recreationally, they may be considered personally liable.
Pilot errors are shockingly common, as pilots have entire books’ worth of responsibilities to maintain throughout a flight. Pilots must complete at least 40 hours of flight time before becoming licensed. The FAA publishes all material used to train pilots to the public on its website. Any deviation from these standard practices could lead to an aviation incident, while serving as grounds for a negligence claim.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The FAA is the federal agency that oversees and imposes restrictions and regulations over airports, air traffic, airlines, and repair stations. In addition, they are the agency that creates the policies and expectations that other parties must abide by if they operate in the United States airspace. Plus, the FAA works with other international agencies to create mutual maintenance agreements for international flights.
While more challenging to prove, government agencies can be held liable if they fail to receive reports, let someone fly an unregistered aircraft, fail to direct air traffic control in a safe manner, or commit another act of carelessness.
The Owner of the Plane
While the rules to fly and maintain are set at the federal level, airplanes are privately owned. Whether a small private jet or a Boeing 777, the plane is owned by a commercial carrier airline or an individual. Commercial airlines accept the duty to care for their passengers while in midair. They are considered common carriers, like a bus or taxis. Therefore, if proven that they did not complete their duty to keep their passengers safe, they can be held responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by an aircraft accident. They are also vicariously liable for any negligence committed by their employees, including pilots, flight attendants, contracted maintenance crews, ground crews, or others.
The Plane Manufacturer
Commercial planes are big business for companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Electric (GE), and others. Manufacturers of smaller planes, like Cessna and Beechcraft, generate lower sales but have millions of collective units deployed all around the world.
If manufacturer issues affect a plane or multiple planes, the manufacturer can be held accountable for their negligence. Their planes can be determined to be dangerous by virtue of a defective design, defective manufacture, use of defective parts, or a failure to adequately warn operators or otherwise provide adequate instructions for safe operation.
Plane Maintenance Crews and Storage Facilities
A lot of responsibility for safe operation of planes is tasked to contractors: groups that provide maintenance or that offer safe storage of aircraft.
Most times, these facilities are required to abide by rules and regulations imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA requires repair facilities to report and frequently document all completed repairs at their site. Repair facilities can be held liable for any faulty repairs that are determined to have been the primary cause of an accident.
Possible Causes of Aviation Accidents
The FAA states that the majority of the issues leading to aviation accidents fall under three main causes: pilot error/negligence, bad weather, or an aircraft malfunction or failure.
Aside from these more common causes, aviation accidents can also happen because of the following:
- Loss of control while in mid-flight
- Controlled Flight into Terrain
- System Component Failure (powerplant and non-powerplant)
- Fuel-related issues
- Midair collisions
- Low-altitude operations
- Unintended flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC)
Mechanical errors are also commonly traced as a primary factor in an aviation incident, but these errors rarely emerge on their own. They can be the result of defective design, defective manufacture, negligent maintenance, or a failure to store or operate the craft as recommended by professional guidelines. Further, errors made by pilots and crew can take an unavoidable mechanical incident and make it worse: leading to injuries and deaths that otherwise could have been prevented if not for the mistakes of others.
In sum: most aviation accidents can be traced back to carelessness on the part of an individual or company. Never assume that your accident was unavoidable, and always exercise your right to investigate its causes and your options for obtaining compensation from all responsible parties.
How an Aviation Accident Lawyer Can Help
Generally, reported aviation crashes involve commercial liners with over a hundred passengers. Smaller planes, however, do not receive the same kind of news coverage since they involve a smaller group of people or are cargo planes. More common aviation-related crashes involve smaller planes, making them more dangerous overall.
The Covid-19 Pandemic significantly impacted flights and airport operations. Unfortunately, the recently collected data cannot be compared to statistics before the Pandemic since fewer planes took off. However, since 2000, safety precautions have been taken into account to prevent crashes and accidents related to aircraft operations—like personal injuries, trip and fall incidents, and more. As a result, over the last decade, non-crash-related accidents were reduced to 30 incidents and below, with almost no fatalities.
Hiring an aviation accident lawyer can help you identify which parties were responsible for the accident you or a loved one endured. Especially when dealing with governmental agencies, there can be a lot of information and challenges that one must be able to navigate through. Legal support can help you understand your protections under federal and state laws and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
An aviation accident lawyer can use their resources and knowledge to help you seek the maximum available compensation for the following damages:
- Medical costs due to injuries related to the event of the accident
- Future medical costs and treatments because of injuries acquired during the accident
- Loss of wages because of time taken off work due to pain or medical needs
- Any property damage involving debris from the accident
- Pain and Suffering involving both physical and emotional suffering
- Punitive damages, where there is extreme negligence and reckless behavior
Fresno Aviation Accident Lawyers Know California Law
There are many federal laws governing air travel, manufacture, and maintenance. At the same time, states can have individual rules that can affect the aviation accident claims process. For example, California has its own laws regarding the time period in which a personal injury claim can be filed, as well as caps on certain types of damages.
It is imperative to hire a legal team that is familiar with federal aviation laws and regulations and relevant California laws.
Airplane Accident Statute of Limitations in California
Many states have their own Statute of Limitations. In California, the limit to make a case against another party related to an airplane crash is two years from the date of the incident. This two-year limit applies to cases in Fresno.
An exception to the two-year Statute is if the other party is a California governmental agency. The Statute of Limitation for these cases is only six months. Victims are required to file a Claim for Damages Form. Claims must fall under bodily injury, death, damages to personal property, or damages to growing crops. Once the form is completed with all supporting documentation, it will be processed by the assigned government agency. It is strongly recommended that claimants have an attorney to help them identify the deadlines applicable to their individual cases.
Work With Fresno Aviation Accident Attorneys With Experience and the Drive to Help You Recover Fully
When one finds themselves in a situation related to an aviation accident, it can be challenging to know where to start. Accidents of this magnitude are frightening and confusing and carry a significant weight on everyone involved. Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm is here to help you navigate the legal process and help you win the compensation you deserve.
At Singh Ahluwalia Law Firm, we are willing to put all our resources into aviation accident cases to obtain evidence and aid our investigation. Our team can hire accident reconstruction teams and other experts to contribute evidence towards your case. We can also analyze all sources of compensation available, potentially filing multiple claims in order to maximize the chances of your successful recovery. Our goal is to make sure that we do everything we can to help you.
If you find yourself or a loved one in a situation involving a fatal aviation-related accident, you may be able to receive compensation. An attorney from Singh Ahluwalia attorneys at law can assist you with recovering damages from a devastating aviation accident. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office.