Since the very first commercial airplane flight in 1914, technological advancements in air travel have made this not just the fastest, but also one of the safest ways to travel. Each month in the U.S., people fly in excess of 40 million miles. While air travel has increased, the frequency of airline accidents has decreased, helped by stricter air safety procedures and technological innovations. Despite these advances, aviation accidents do still occur.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an airplane accident, we can:
- Assess your case and lay out your legal options
- Investigate your accident to determine the cause and at-fault party
- Identify any third parties that may have played a part in the accident
- Help you get the medical care and support you need
- Craft a solid case on your behalf to secure maximum compensation
You may have many questions and concerns. The good news is Arnold & Itkin is here to guide you through the legal process and provide all the answers you need. Our seasoned team has handled countless accident claims over the years and is ready to advise you.
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Every case is important to our lawyers. That is why we work tirelessly to prepare every case as if it is headed to trial. This aggressive approach equips us to go into the courtroom strongly and negotiate timely when possible. Our goal is to secure a full and fair settlement that will allow our clients to put a painful episode behind them. We start by investigating the accident to determine who is at fault.
The parties who may be held liable include:
- Pilot: The accident may have been triggered by the pilot's failure to check instructions, react to weather conditions or adhere to correct takeoff or landing procedures.
- Mechanic: The crash may be traced to a mechanic's failure to adequately inspect, maintain, or repair some type of defective equipment or a damaged part.
- Air traffic controller: All too often, overworked air traffic controllers violate FAA rules, fail to give timely warnings, or steer aircraft into hazardous flight paths.
- Manufacturer: Faulty instruments, wings, wheels, and other landing gear may contribute to a disaster if improperly manufactured or dangerous in design.
What caused my plane accident?
It’s usually not any one thing that causes a plane crash—it’s usually a confluence of unrelated factors coming together. Malcolm Gladwell’s book "Outliers" noted that any plane crash is the result of seven errors or factors taking place at once. Weak manufacturing, poor maintenance, tired or inexperienced pilots, distracted air traffic controllers—all of these things could have contributed to your crash. As a result, the people who allowed these things to occur (airlines, plane manufacturers, pilots) can be held accountable in court.
Are there different types of aviation accidents?
Aviation accidents have a broad definition: it includes any injury or death that occurs from the time a person boards a plan to the moment they get off the aircraft. Technically, tripping in the aisle while getting to your seat could qualify as an “aviation accident.” That’s why accidents are divided into five types: mid-air accidents, mid-air collisions, ground collisions, taxiing accidents, and landing accidents. Each of these accident types could cause fatal or life-altering injuries.
Who is responsible for an aviation accident?
Multiple parties are potentially at fault. Aviation accidents are usually the result of errors in manufacturing or maintenance (mechanical error), air traffic control errors, pilot errors, or crew member miscommunication. Though communication between pilots, crew, and traffic controllers has been standardized for greater clarity and safety, miscommunication can cause enormous harm—the deadliest plane crash in history was a result of a misunderstanding between the control tower and a co-pilot. Other crashes might be due to poor maintenance or design of the aircraft itself.
How long will my case take?
Your case may take a year or longer. Aviation accidents often involve multiple organizations investigating the same crash: the plane manufacturer, the airline, and the National Transportation Safety Board are all likely to investigate a major aviation accident all at once. Due to the complex factors involved with your case, holding the right party accountable is a time-consuming process. The good news is that the investigation provides a great deal of evidence that could strengthen your case. Your attorneys may also hire a third-party investigator to closely examine the specific factors regarding your injuries.
Flights take off every second of the day, but despite preventative measures, there is always room for human error and malfunction. Although these incidents are often rare, they do happen and can take the lives of the innocent people on board or cause irreversible injuries. Unfortunately, common claims to result from an aviation accident involve wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. If you have been severely injured or if a loved one has been killed as a direct result of the negligent behavior of a pilot, flight staff, or even due to faulty manufacturing, you may be entitled to compensation.
From emotional distress and suffering to substantial medical bills, these cases can be heavy burdens. At Arnold & Itkin, we understand how devastating it can be to in the aftermath of an aviation accident. With us on your side, you can seek justice for your case.
Our firm is available to help you cope and recover. We can answer your questions and help you or your loved one get the care they need to recover. Contact our firm if you are ready to discuss your airplane or helicopter accident. We accept serious aviation injury or wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay legal fees until and unless we win your case.
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Our client was a Houston-based investor who was cut out of a deal to acquire Honsador Lumber Corporation, one of Hawaii’s largest lumber suppliers. The jury found Key Principal Partners LLC and its parent Key Corporation guilty of breaching their fiduciary duties, interfering with Foreman's efforts to acquire the Honsador Lumber Corporation, and violating Hawaii's unfair competition statute. We won a massive $41 million verdict for the wrongdoing committed against our client.