Lambert Zainey has acted as lead counsel in several multiple party claims, which have resulted in resolutions reaching into the multi‑million dollar range. Our previous aviation accident experience has involved actions against Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., Air Logistics, Bell Helicopter, Aerospeciale and Eurocopter, as well as other owners, operators, and aircraft manufacturers and heliport owners and designers. Contact our New Orleans plane crash attorney if you or a loved one was involved in a crash.
Aviation law does not just cover airplanes and helicopters. Our firm has handled a brain damage claim resulting from testing the external fuel tank of the Space Shuttle at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. This litigation is just one example of the firm’s ability to pursue a claim involving unique circumstances, without precedent, resulting in a favorable resolution for the client.
Types of Aviation Accidents
Commercial Airplane Accidents
Commercial aircraft transport passengers and cargo all over the world. While crashes in the U.S. are rare, other events aboard a commercial aircraft can cause accidents that can result in injuries to passengers. Passengers can slip and fall during boarding and departure. Problems during take-off and landing can include striking an object on the runway or overrunning a runway. In-flight trip and fall accidents can occur when the aircraft hits a pocket of turbulence as well. Injuries caused by out-of-control passengers are a growing problem as well.
Like any other business, airlines owe their passengers a certain level of care. When they fail to provide this level of care and a passenger becomes injured as a result, the law gives that passenger the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by their injuries. A New Orleans plane crash attorney can help.
Private Plane Crashes
It’s not uncommon to see reports of fatal private plane crashes on the news. Private planes are smaller and lighter than passenger aircraft. They aren’t regulated as closely, and private plane pilots don’t need the same level of training and experience as those who fly the big airliners.
Most private plane accidents take place during ascent or landing. Pilot error or mechanical failure is often to blame for accidents, although adverse weather and fuel issues can play a part as well. In some instances, defective manufacturer parts may play a part in a private plane crash. It’s not uncommon for private plane crashes to result in serious injury and deaths.
As in many aviation accidents, there may be more than one party responsible for a private plane crash. A New Orleans plane crash attorney can help determine all of the liable parties.
Because of their design, helicopters can go places that planes can’t. However, problems can develop with the rotor and rotor blades that allow a helicopter to take off and land vertically that can lead to accidents. Loss of main rotor control, loss of tail rotor function, or a rotor blade striking an object can result in serious accidents. Improper maintenance, pilot error, and damage caused by part fatigue also play a part in helicopter accidents. Fatal helicopter crashes can also be caused by midair collisions and wire strikes.
Helicopter Tour Crashes
Helicopter tours are growing in popularity. So are helicopter tour crashes. While high winds and other adverse weather often play a part in these types of crashes, pilot error, pilot inexperience, improper maintenance, flying too close to an object, overbooking, and lack of safety gear can contribute to helicopter tour crashes as well.
International Plane Crashes
Seeking compensation for damages after a plane crash that occurred in another country often presents special challenges. Laws are different. The local language and customs may be hard to understand. Access to the crash site as well as any evidence recovered from the crash may be restricted. If you or a loved one were injured on an international flight, you need a law firm that not only has experience pursuing airplane accident litigation but also has experience with international law as well.
Causes of Aviation Accidents
As part of their effort to reduce pilot error and increase passenger safety, the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) put forward policies and programs to reduce pilot error. Despite these efforts, avoidable accidents continue to occur.
It is often difficult (and expensive) to prove that these crashes were caused by pilot error or manufacturing defects. If you want to hold the companies and pilots accountable, you need to consult with an experienced lawyer who has experience and resources. Aviation accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Pilot error
- Pilot impairment
- Loss of flight control
- Engine failure
- Mechanical failure
- Design defect or failure
- Bird strikes
- Air traffic control error
- Adverse weather
- Defective runways
- Wire strikes
- In-flight depressurization
- In-flight fires
- In-flight explosions
- Passenger assault
- Rotor malfunctions (helicopters)
Accidents can take place in the hangar, on the runway during takeoff, landing, and taxiing, during descent and landing, and in mid-flight.
What Injuries Are Caused by New Orleans Plane Crash Accidents?
Sadly, aviation accidents often result in tragic outcomes. Often, as a result of a plane crash, people are killed, their families are ruined, and even if they are not killed, many are seriously injured. Many accident victims are emotionally, physically and financially crippled after suffering these types of injuries. Depending on the type and severity of the accident, injuries sustained in an aviation accident can include:
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Emotional trauma
It’s not unusual for a victim to suffer fatal injuries during an airplane or helicopter crash.
Who Is Liable in an Aviation Accident?
A thorough investigation is needed to determine who was liable for an aviation accident. In some cases, more than one party may share responsibility for the accident. Here are some of the parties that could be held liable for damages resulting from an aviation accident:
- Manufacturers: Manufacturers can be held liable for an aviation accident if it can be shown that their parts were defective and played a part in the accident.
- Airlines: Like any company, airlines have a responsibility to protect their passengers from injuries due to hazardous conditions they’re aware of, such as poorly maintained equipment or underqualified pilots.
- Owner/Operators: Like the airlines, they are required to maintain their aircraft in good operating condition to prevent harm to their passengers.
- Passengers: A passenger who injures another passenger —whether accidentally or deliberately — can be held responsible for compensating the passenger they injured.
As stated above, more than one party may share responsibility for an aviation accident. If you’ve been injured in an aviation accident, or have lost a loved one in an aviation accident, it’s important to be able to identify all the parties that share responsibility for the accident. This way, you’ll be able to recover the total compensation you are owed for the damages for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact a New Orleans Plane Crash Attorney
Lambert Zainey has represented a multitude of individuals involved in aviation related personal injury and death claims for fixed wing aircraft and helicopter operations, on land and offshore, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. We have represented pilots, passengers, and the survivors of passenger‑victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of commercial or private plane crash, helicopter accident or other aviation accident, it is imperative that you have legal representation to help you though the complex claims process, and to protect your legal rights. Contact a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer at Lambert Zainey today.