Aviation accidents are on the rise. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, aviation related accidents and fatalities increased from 2010 to 2011. Although accidents involving commercial jets are highly publicized, most accidents involving aircraft occur in small planes. The largest number of accidents involve general aviation in the U.S. Unfortunately, most of these accidents can be prevented.
The single largest cause of aviation accidents is due to pilot error. Generally, pilots carrying passengers from one location to another for compensation are common carriers. Common carriers owe an especially high duty of care to the passengers to ensure their safety. This means that when pilots act negligently, pilots and their companies can be liable for all the damages that result. However, airplane and helicopter accidents are complex. They may occur for any of the following reasons:
The law regarding aviation accidents can also get complicated. The outcome of a case or amount of recovery can depend on a wide variety of factors including whether the accident occurred on land in a particular state, over the shoreline, over the ocean, with a charter plane, or with a recreational plane. Due to the inherently dangerous nature of aviation, accidents resulting in death are not uncommon. In a state like Florida this used to present problems because deaths that occurred far out on the ocean were not always covered by wrongful death law. However, the federal Death On the High Seas Act allows spouses, parents, children, or dependent relatives to bring a wrongful death case against the individuals responsible for aviation accidents that occur more than 3 miles from shore.
Finally, because small non-commercial planes do not always carry a black box, it makes forensic investigations crucial. The longer an investigation takes place after an accident, the faster that evidence can deteriorate. For these reasons it is very important to see an experienced South Florida aviation attorney as soon as possible, if you or your loved one has been involved in a plane or helicopter accident.
To learn more about whether you are entitled to a lawsuit or settlement in your aviation accident case, contact the South Florida aviation attorneys of William E. Johnson, P.A. To schedule a free consultation call our offices today at 561-832-4848. We proudly serve West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Ft. Lauderdale, and South Florida.