Each day, residents and visitors in Buffalo, NY, use various aircraft as a form of transportation, whether to get to work, to start a vacation, or even to enjoy an air tour. When starting out on a trip in an airplane (or any other type of aircraft), experiencing a crash or accident is one worst-case scenario. While unlikely, aviation accidents cause extensive damage when they do happen, that’s why it’s better to immediately contact an aviation accident lawyer when that happens.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in an aviation accident, you likely face a long journey of physical, psychological, and financial recovery. And if you have lost a loved one in a plane crash, there is immense grief. While you deserve compensation for your losses, a confusing, extensive, lengthy legal battle does not need to be added to your list of concerns after an airplane accident.
The team at Cellino Law firm has been trusted by New Yorkers for over 60 years. Our team of award-winning attorneys is available 24/7 to answer your questions and support your family during this difficult time. Contact us today for a free consultation, and our New York team can make the necessary arrangements to meet you at your convenience.
What Are Some Common Causes of Airplane Accidents?
After an aircraft accident, it can be difficult to determine the cause. There are a number of complex systems used in the aviation industry, meaning there are many opportunities for error.
Ensuring that preventative regular maintenance is performed goes a long way in increasing flight safety. According to federal regulations, any aircraft that are used commercially or are available for hire must undergo a thorough inspection every 100 hours. This is in addition to a complete annual inspection.
These mandatory inspections specify which systems must be examined. This includes the instruments, flight and engine controls, and electrical systems. An inexperienced, rushed, or inattentive maintenance crew may miss warning signs or neglect essential maintenance.
Air traffic controller
Air traffic controllers (ATC) play a large role in the successful operation of a flight. Their main goal is to make sure all onboard safely arrive at their destination.
ATC is in regular communication with the pilot during all seven phases of flight:
- In the air
ATC regularly communicates regarding weather systems. They also provide the necessary clearance for takeoff, descent, and landing.
A fatigued, stressed, or distracted air traffic controller is less likely to be able to complete his or her job properly. If a pilot receives false, incomplete, or missing information, he or she will be unable to make an informed decision.
As with any type of machinery, defects in the design or manufacturing can cause an airplane to malfunction. Perhaps one of the most commonly known defects to result in a plane crash is in the Boeing 737 MAX.
With this plane, a defective sensor caused new software to be triggered unnecessarily. As a result, the plane nosedived at full speed, with the pilots unable to control it. This aircraft manufacturers’ design flaw resulted in the deaths of 346 passengers and crew onboard during 2 deadly crashes.
Crew or pilot error
Before any flight, there are a series of safety checks that must be completed before the plane leaves the ground. Missing one of these essential steps can spell disaster for all those on board.
In-flight, the pilot, copilot, and other crew members have many processes to follow, details to examine, and critical decisions to make to ensure a safe flight. Despite requiring substantial training to become a pilot, all pilots are human and may make mistakes. Even a seemingly minor pilot error or miscalculation can have major consequences.
As with any business, the airline industry always looks for ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, some policies which have been put in place to increase profits have affected passenger safety.
Take, for example, tight schedules and turnaround times. While it increases the number of flights an airline can manage, it often leads to rushed procedures. Corporate pressure can cause a pilot or crew member to cut corners during a pre-flight safety check if running behind schedule.
Many airline policies meant to increase productivity may lead to crew members being sleep-deprived. Of course, a pilot functioning without enough rest is less able to make sound decisions, especially in critical situations.
How Can an Attorney Establish Liability After an Aviation Accident?
One of the most important, yet challenging, responsibilities of an aviation accident attorney is to determine what actions or mistakes led to the incident. What went wrong, and who was to blame? Experienced airplane accident attorneys can examine the available evidence to hold the responsible parties accountable.
It can take time to identify liable parties in aviation accidents. Our Buffalo, New York, team at Cellino Law is up to the challenge – we are ready to use our extensive resources to secure the necessary expert testimony, knowledge, and experience from around the country.
Air traffic controller logs
Each airplane is equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). Not only does it record the conversation between the pilots but also the communication from air traffic control. Analyzing these records can give investigators a better insight into the pilots’ decisions and knowledge leading up to the accident.
For example, were there warnings given from ATC that were ignored? Did the pilot know of a certain danger but failed to properly respond? These are important factors that can help airplane accident lawyers identify who was liable for the accident.
In addition to the CVR, the flight data recorder (FDR) holds onto flight parameters from the past 24 hours. This data includes the plane’s altitude, speed, and direction, as well as the status of the engines.
This information is critical in reconstructing the events that led up to the crash as well as how the accident unfolded. Since it shows data from before the flight in question, it can shed light on potential warning signs of mechanical failure that occurred in the flights leading up to the flight that unfortunately had the accident.
When available, witness testimony can also be useful when investigating aviation accidents. For example, did the correct security measures work as they should? What did the captain and crew members do leading up to and during the crash?
The answers can help helicopter or plane accident lawyers establish liability for a personal injury claim after an airplane accident.
How Can the Type of Aircraft Impact a Case?
The details of an aviation accident will vary significantly, depending on the type of aircraft involved. At Cellino Law, we understand how important it is to work with a law firm that has the resources and experience necessary to handle detailed, complex cases like aviation accidents.
Depending on the specific details of your case, our aviation accident lawyers in Buffalo, NY will consult the right professionals, including aviation accident reconstructionists or medical experts, in order to build a strong case.
Helicopters and private charters
Private charters and helicopters are used in and around Buffalo, NY, for a variety of reasons. Many use them for medical transportation, sightseeing tours, or visiting remote destinations.
According to a study by Harvard University, compared with commercial flights, charter planes are about 9 times more likely to crash. Meanwhile, private aircraft are nearly 33 times as likely.
While helicopters and private charters can be a convenient or essential mode of transportation, they are not subject to the same federal government regulations as commercial planes. Smaller planes and helicopters also tend to be more severely affected by bad weather.
It stands to reason that commercial airlines have the strictest regulations to follow. Commercial flights also may travel across international borders, potentially complicating the legal process. Aviation accident attorneys who work with airplane accidents must have a firm understanding of the industry-specific regulations and laws that apply.
A commercial airline (and its insurance company) may also most likely have a large team of experienced lawyers and resources. If you have been injured in a plane accident or incident, the trustworthy team at Cellino Law has the experience and resources needed to go head-to-head with a commercial airline on your behalf.
Trust Our Team at Cellino Law After Your Aviation Accident
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a plane or helicopter accident, you need the help of an experienced aviation lawyer. Your attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible party accountable for the damage caused.
With over $2 billion won on behalf of our clients, the Buffalo, New York, team at Cellino Law knows how to make a difference in our clients’ lives. We can be there for you and your family every step of the way until you receive justice.
We know how to handle litigation the right way. When you need help, we are here 24/7. Contact us today to set up a free consultation and case review with our New York team.