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Phoenix Aviation Accident Attorney

In the United States, commercial air travel is incredibly safe overall. While plane and helicopter crashes might happen with less frequency than motor vehicle collisions, they still happen and the outcomes are often devastating. If you have lost a loved one to a crash, you could be entitled to collect damages through a wrongful death action.

While it may be difficult to think about the financial impact of loss in the immediate aftermath of an aviation accident, the legal process is incredibly important for victims and their families.
At The Entrekin Law Firm, we understand how difficult this time may be. Our Phoenix aviation accident attorneys have experience helping those injured in airplane or helicopter crashes recover the compensation they need to cover the losses that they have incurred. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Phoenix Aviation Accident Resources

To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, click the corresponding link below.

What Does an Aviation Accident Attorney Do?
Common Causes of Aviation Accidents
Common Injuries Sustained in Aviation Accidents
Who Can be Held Liable After an Aviation Accident?
Respondeat Superior in Aircraft Incidents
What Damages Can be Recovered After an Aviation Collision?
Wrongful Death Cases & Aviation Accidents
What Laws Govern Aviation Accidents In The United States?
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What Does an Aviation Attorney Do? 

An aviation attorney is a lawyer who specializes in aviation law and represents clients who have been injured in aviation accidents. Aviation law is a complex and specialized area of law that covers a wide range of legal issues, including aircraft design and manufacturing, airline regulation, airport operation, and aviation safety. 

Aviation attorneys represent clients in both litigation and transactional matters. In litigation, they may handle cases involving personal injury or wrongful death resulting from an accident, as well as cases involving property damage or cargo loss. In transactional matters, they may assist clients with aircraft purchase and financing agreements, airport lease agreements, regulatory compliance issues, and FAA licensing matters. 

 Aviation attorneys must have a thorough understanding of not only the law but also the science of aviation. They must be able to communicate effectively with airlines, airports, airplane manufacturers, the FAA, and other government agencies. An aviation attorney must also understand the area of law enough to explain it to a judge and jury in a way that is easily comprehensible. If the claim can’t be understood, it won’t be successful. They must also be able to navigate the complex web of federal regulations that govern the aviation industry. 

Phoenix Aviation Accident Attorney

Common Causes of Aviation Accidents

A number of different factors can cause aviation accidents, but some causes are more common than others. 

Pilot Error

Pilot error is perhaps the most common cause of aviation accidents. Pilots are human beings, and as such, they are susceptible to making mistakes. Some pilot errors that can lead to accidents include flying while fatigued, flying into bad weather, and failing to maintain control of the aircraft during takeoff or landing. 

Mechanical Failure

Another common cause of aviation accidents is mechanical failure. Every machine has its limits, and airplanes are no different. When an aircraft is pushed beyond its limits – for example, by flying in bad weather or by carrying too much weight – it becomes more likely that something will go wrong. Common mechanical failures that can lead to accidents include engine failure and loss of control due to structural damage. 

Weather Conditions

Finally, bad weather conditions are a leading cause of aviation accidents. Strong winds, thunderstorms, and ice can all make flying dangerous and difficult. Pilots may sometimes attempt to fly despite dangerous weather conditions, which can lead to accidents.

Common Injuries Sustained in Aviation Accidents

Though aviation accidents are relatively rare, when they do occur, they often result in serious injuries or even death. 

Some of the most common injuries sustained in aviation accidents include: 

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are perhaps the most common type of injury sustained in aviation accidents. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe injuries, such as a coma or memory loss.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can also be severe, often leading to paralysis.
  • Burns: Burns caused by fires onboard aircraft or by contact with hot surfaces on the ground can be extremely painful and may require hospitalization and surgery.
  • Amputations: Amputations usually occur when passengers are thrown from the aircraft or become trapped in burning wreckage.
  • Internal Organ Damage: Internal organ damage often occurs when passengers are violently thrown around inside the aircraft during an accident. 

Who Can be Held Liable After an Aviation Accident?

After an aviation accident such as a plane or helicopter crash, there are many parties who may bear legal responsibility. These include:

The pilot – If the pilot acted carelessly or was negligent, they may be found liable if it contributed to or caused the accident.

The owner of the aircraft – Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, an employer (such as a commercial airliner, charter company, or helicopter tour company)can be held liable for the negligent actions of employees if the accident occurred during the course of their employment.

Maintenance facilities – Aircraft maintenance and repair is very well regulated. Technicians and businesses that maintain and repair airplanes must follow strict instructions and procedures. When they fail to do so, it may result in liability.

Aircraft or parts manufacturer – A manufacturer can be held liable if their product was dangerous or defective and that defect contributed to or caused the accident.

Governmental entities – In rare cases, the federal government may be held responsible if an individual employed by them failed to perform their duties properly – such as an air traffic controller misdirecting traffic and causing a collision.

Respondeat Superior in Aviation Accidents 

Under respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for an employee’s negligence if the employee was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. For example, if a flight attendant spills hot coffee on a passenger while serving the beverage, the airline could be held liable for any injuries suffered by the passenger. Similarly, if a pilot error results in a plane crash, the airline could be held responsible for any resulting injuries and damages.

In addition to negligence, respondeat superior also applies to intentional acts committed by employees. For example, if a pilot intentionally crashes a plane to collect insurance money, the airline could be liable for any injuries and damages.

The doctrine of respondeat superior is based on the theory that an employer should be responsible for the actions of its employees because the employer has control over those actions. This doctrine helps ensure that employers take measures to prevent their employees from causing harm to others. It also provides compensation to victims who are injured by employees acting within the scope of their employment.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. An employer will not be held liable if the employee was not actually working at the time of the accident or if the accident occurred outside the scope of their employment. For example, if a pilot crashes a plane while on a personal joyride, their employer would not be held responsible under respondeat superior.

What Damages Can be Recovered After an Aviation Collision?

In aviation accidents, victims are often catastrophically injured or killed. However, every commercial airline and business in the aviation industry must maintain a certain level of insurance coverage. These policies exist to provide coverage in the event of an accident or incident. Victims and their families may be compensated for the losses that they incur in the form of damages. Damages are generally split into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are easily calculable losses such as property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. Non-economic damages cover less tangible losses such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium. In rare cases, punitive damages may be available if the actions of the liable party were intentional or exceptionally egregious.

The Loss of a Loved One Can Entitle You to a Wrongful Death Action

Losing a loved one in a tragic accident caused by someone or something else can entitle you to compensation through what is known as a wrongful death action. Under Arizona Law, an action for wrongful death can be brought by and in the name of the surviving spouse, child, parent or guardian, or personal representative of the deceased person. The action is brought for and on behalf of the surviving spouse, children or parents, or the decedent’s estate if none of these parties survive. Our Phoenix wrongful death attorney will be at your side throughout the entire case to seek justice for your loved one.

What Laws Govern Aviation Accidents In The United States?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the primary regulator of civil aviation in the United States. The FAA promulgates regulations that cover aircraft design and maintenance, air traffic control, pilot licensing and training, and other aspects of aviation safety. In addition, the FAA investigates accidents and incidents and works to prevent future accidents through data analysis and safety initiatives. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is another important agency regarding aviation accidents. The NTSB is an independent federal agency that investigates civil aviation accidents that occur throughout the United States. The NTSB also investigates accidents involving public transportation vehicles such as buses and trains. While the NTSB does not have the authority to issue regulations, it can make recommendations to the FAA and other agencies to help prevent future accidents. 

In addition to federal regulations, each state has its own set of laws that govern aviation accidents. These laws can vary significantly from state to state, so it is essential to consult with an experienced aviation accident lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your state.

Connect with a Phoenix Aviation Accident Lawyer

The sooner you have a personal injury attorney in Phoenix on your case, the better the evidence in support of your position, and the better the chance of winning in your claim. Contact The Entrekin Law Firm to schedule a consultation to discuss options today.

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