Charlotte Aviation Accident Attorney
Working for victims injured in plane and helicopter accidents in North Carolina
Although air travel is generally a safe mode of transportation, aviation accidents can, and do, happen every year. Because of the inherent size and way an airplane or helicopter operates, aviation crashes tend to be catastrophic or deadly. Aviation accidents require lengthy and detailed investigations, as well as experienced attorneys to help victims secure compensation for their injuries and trauma.
Regardless of recent improvements in airline safety measures, these horrific accidents cannot be undone, and the liable parties should be held accountable when they happen. The Charlotte aviation accident attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates are well-versed in this area of law, and if you or a loved one suffered injury in a plane crash, we can answer all of your questions. We’re here to help.
What would you like to know?
Why do aviation accidents happen?
When pilots and plane companies fail to keep their passengers safe, the results are devastating. Although the overwhelming majority of passengers fly safely on commercial airlines every year, International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports show 38 plane accidents and five fatal plane accidents in 2020. The total accident rate was 1.71 per million flights. Per Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO:
Flying is safe, although the industry did take a step back on performance in 2020. The severe reduction in flight numbers magnified the impact of each accident when we calculate rates. But numbers don’t lie, and we will not allow this to become a trend. We will have even sharper focus on safety during this period of reduced operations and as flight schedules are rebuilt when the world reopens.
Given how much technical expertise and mechanical equilibrium are required to maintain a commercial aircraft, it’s no surprise that there have been many accidents historically. However, modern technology has all but perfected the art of flight, and so the question arises: What exactly causes a plane crash?
There are multiple factors in an accident, but some of the most common for aviation accidents include the following.
Pilot error or fatigue
The unfortunate truth is that pilot error causes most airplane accidents. Some degree of human error is expected in any field, but in aviation, the stakes are much higher – airlines are responsible for hundreds of lives on every flight. If the pilot or the airline failed to properly mitigate any accident risks, they may be liable for your injuries.
Airlines are also notorious for working their pilots to the brink of exhaustion, at great risk to everyone on board. Whether caused by night shifts, inappropriate layover times, or inadequate jet lag recovery, pilot fatigue can cause serious accidents. When this happens, the airline or the pilot may be accountable for injuries sustained in the crash.
In one of the worst aviation accidents in American history, American Airlines Flight 191 took off from Chicago O’Hare airport and then burst into flame after its left-side engine detached. It was later discovered that a maintenance worker took a shortcut while repairing the engine. Although this is an extreme example, maintenance failures are often at the heart of aviation accidents – and they can have deadly consequences.
Mental health issues
From alcoholism to depression, an airline’s failure to properly spot and address mental health issues in its staff can threaten passengers on planes. In one famous example, a depressed co-pilot intentionally crashed a Germanwings jetliner into the French Alps in 2015, resulting in the tragic death of over 140 people. While in that case the co-pilot had hidden the truth about his condition from his employers, airlines must exercise due diligence in selecting and vetting pilots, as well as continuing to monitor their mental and physical health.
Air traffic or ground control error
Even the most experienced pilot is only as safe as the air traffic and ground control team. This team handles a variety of planes at the same time, also taking into account air traffic, weather, and fuel considerations. Any error can cause a serious accident, including a multi-plane collision. Ground personnel like dispatchers, baggage handlers, maintenance, and other crews can also cause safety issues by failing to follow procedures.
Planes and helicopters are built to perform in a variety of weather conditions – but that does not mean they should. High winds, snow, ice, and fog often contribute to crashes and collisions with fixed objects like mountains and tree lines. Pilots, ground control, and airlines should not make the decision to fly in unsafe conditions. Turbulence during a flight due to poor weather conditions can also cause serious injuries to passengers and flight staff.
What are the most common injuries caused by aviation accidents?
When an airplane or helicopter accident occurs in mid-air, most victims do not survive. Those who do survive an aviation accident often suffer life-changing and catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Broken, fractured, and crushed bones
- Burn injuries from spilled and ignited fuel
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb and traumatic amputations
- Wrongful death
The attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates understand the severity of these types of injuries, and work to ensure all liable parties are held responsible.
Who is liable for my Charlotte airplane and helicopter crash injuries?
Aviation accidents tend to be devastating and catastrophic. It’s likely your injuries are life-altering, and our Charlotte attorneys dedicate themselves to holding each and every liable party responsible for their negligence. Potential liable parties in an aviation crash may include the:
- Pilot of the aircraft. When the pilot’s negligent actions caused the crash or accident, he or she can be held liable for your or your loved one’s injuries.
- Owner of the aircraft. If not the same individual, the aircraft’s owner may also be held liable for the accident, even if the owner was not operating the plane or helicopter at the time your injuries occurred.
- Aircraft or parts manufacturer. When an aviation accident occurs because of a defective or malfunctioning part, the manufacturer can be held liable under the legal theory of product liability.
- Federal government. In some cases, injury victims may file their claim against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This typically occurs when an accident results from air traffic control negligence, as the FAA oversees air traffic control in the United States and may therefore hold liability.
Our Charlotte aviation accident attorneys represent clients injured in both common carrier and private airplane and helicopter crashes.
Is there an aviation accident attorney near me?
Price, Petho & Associates has offices at 1420 Elizabeth Ave in Charlotte, NC. We also maintain offices in Rockingham and Rutherfordton for your convenience. If you are unable to come to us, we can make arrangements to visit you at home or in the hospital.
Charlotte aviation accident lawyers fighting to recover your losses
If you believe pilot or airline negligence resulted in your or your loved one’s accident, speak with our aviation accident attorneys as soon as possible. You have the right to recover your losses when those entrusted with your safety fail in their responsibilities. At Price, Petho & Associates, we are proud to serve the people of Charlotte, and we can help. To schedule a consultation with an experienced member of our team, call 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form today. We serve clients in Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.