Although not common, plane accidents do occur and when that happens, many people can be sustain very serious physical, emotional, and financially harm. Long- term physical and mental issues can also result for the post-traumatic stress of surviving a plane accident. Victims often suffer an ongoing fear of traveling by plane or other public transportation and may exhibit depression and moodiness that can prevent him or her for living a happy and fulfilling life.
For victims of plane accidents in the Los Angeles area, Wilshire Law Firm offers certified personal injury lawyers to protect your rights and interests. Medical expenses vary depending on the severity of injuries received and it is not uncommon for airplane accident victims to amass substantial debts as they seek to fully recover from injuries received. Our attorneys fight for the complete compensation for your medical bills, expenses, pain and suffering, and loss income that result from a plane accident injury. Plane accidents are rarely caused by a passenger and are almost always due to poor equipment maintenance or negligent flight crews.
Common Causes of Airplane Accidents in California
Aviation accidents often happen due to human error. Whether it’s a mistake on the part of the pilot or air traffic controller, the human element is the first factor taken into consideration when trying to determine the cause of the accident. But every possible reason for the crash must be examined.
- Pilot Error – The pilot of any airborne vehicle must undergo extensive training before being allowed to fly. Helicopter or airplane pilots are required to have a certain number of hours flying and instruction before they can obtain their license. Instances of inexperienced pilots crashing do occur. This is especially true of pilots of small aircraft or if they find themselves in bad weather conditions with low visibility.
- Air Traffic Controller Error – We’ve all seen examples of overworked, stressed air traffic controllers in TV shows and movies. This image of the profession is common because the reality is that they are responsible for the lives of so many people on a daily basis. Just one mistake on the part of an air traffic controller can lead to a devastating accident.
- Mechanical/Equipment Error – There may be many reasons why aircraft or helicopter equipment fail. The possibilities can start in the factory with design defects or an error during the manufacturing stage leading to structural problems. Poorly done faulty repairs or no repairs (negligence) can also cause mechanical or equipment failure.
Types of Aviation Accidents in California
Aviation accidents statistics include more than just national and international commercial flights. They encompass a variety of aircraft including helicopters, small fixed-wing aircraft, cargo flights and military aircraft. Add to that increasingly popular private and charter flights and that makes for some very crowded skies.
Any aircraft accident is complex. There are multiple factors to consider such as the type of aircraft involved, the airspace where the accident occurred and the way an aircraft takes off and lands. VTOL and VSTOL claims generally refer to cases involving helicopter crashes. These initials are short for:
- VTOL or “vertical take-off and landing” and refers to aircraft that take off and land straight up and down as opposed to approaching a runway horizontally. Helicopters are the best example of VTOL aircraft.
According to the FAA, the good news is that the helicopter accident rate has dropped every year since 2013. However, helicopters take-off and land much more frequently than airplanes. In addition, pilots are not required to have the same amount of training as an airplane pilot. These two facts make helicopters more susceptible to accidents.
- VSTOL stands for “vertical and/or short take-off and landing”. These aircraft can hover and can often land on short runways. Many military planes are examples of VSTOL aircraft.
Unlike commercial and private airplanes, helicopters do not always take off or land on a dedicated runway. Poor weather conditions or mechanical failure can mean attempting to come down in a crowded area or over water, often with disastrous results.
Most helicopter accidents happen within a relatively contained area since they don’t usually travel thousands of miles. But airplane accidents can happen anywhere in the world. This can mean navigating complex aviation laws, treaties and regulations when working on a case. Both commercial and private airplanes are subject to these laws. And crashes aren’t the only causes of airplane accidents. Injuries can also happen due to:
- Heavy turbulence
- Poorly secured overhead luggage racks
- Passenger and crew negligence
- Boarding and deplaning accidents
- Injuries within the airport itself
Statute of Limitations for Plane Crashes in California
In California, injured parties or the next of kin of someone killed in an aviation accident have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. That’s why it’s important to contact an aviation accident attorney immediately. Waiting can hurt your case. If the deadline for filing or statute of limitations has passed, you lose your right to present a claim, no matter how serious the aviation accident.
Contact a Plane Accident Attorney in California Today to Get the Compensation You Deserve
A good aviation accident attorney has the experience and resources to navigate the complex laws governing this area of personal injury law. Not only must your attorney know the intricacies of aviation law, but they should have access to the investigators, experts and cutting-edge technology needed to present your case strongly and secure the highest, fairest compensation possible.
If you were injured or someone you love was injured or killed in an aviation accident, call Wilshire Law Firm today at (844) 979-0933 for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.