Common Causes of Small Aircraft Accidents
Airplane accidents may occur due to different reasons, such as:
- Pilot error
- Fueling or intake problem
- Faulty design
- Air traffic control error
- Poor communication
- FAA regulation violation
- Defective equipment or technical error
- Faulty maintenance or structural issue
- Other negligence, for instance, failure to perform a safety check.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help evaluate the surrounding facts of your situation and determine who is liable for the small aircraft accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Many persons or entities can be held liable for a small aircraft accident depending on the surrounding circumstances or events leading to the crash. These include:
- The Pilot: The pilot or operator can be liable if found to be reckless while operating a plane, violating FAA regulation, or due to improper training.
- The Owner or Leasing Company: The owner can be held accountable for hiring an inexperienced pilot, setting unrealistic expectations, or having poor safety inspections.
- The Aircraft Manufacturer: The aircraft manufacturer or parts manufacturer can be liable if the accident occurred due to a malfunctioning part or mechanical failure.
- The Maintenance Company: The maintenance company can be responsible if the incident occurred due to their oversight in performing their expected duties, such as routine inspection and maintenance, safety checks, line maintenance, A, B, C, and D Checks.
An experienced aviation accident lawyer can investigate every aspect of your case, determine the liable parties, and help seek your rightful financial justice by filing multiple claims.
Filing a Claim
Below are some of the legal claims that are raised in an aviation accident:
Injury claims for negligence may include:
- Negligent hiring or training of the pilot by the leasing company
- Negligent maintenance, service, or repair by the company hired to perform routine inspection or maintenance
- Straight negligence against the pilot.
To prove negligence, the claimant must show the following elements:
- The responsible party owed a duty of care to the victim
- The responsible party breached their expected duty of care
- The defendant's breach caused the victim's injuries or damages.
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm, injuries, damages, or loss.
The owner of the aircraft or leasing company may be held vicariously liable for injury and damages caused by their pilot, provided that, at the time of the small aircraft accident, the pilot was following company orders or acting within the jurisdictions of their employment.
In a small aircraft accident case involving malfunctioning parts (product liability), the manufacturer may be held strictly liable for a product defect that caused the victim's injury. There is no need to prove negligence to seek damages. You only need to show that the aircraft was faulty, and the defects – design, manufacturing, or marketing – were responsible for your injury.
Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act allows private citizens to hold the federal government and its employees responsible for wrongful acts committed in the scope of federal employment.
Colorado Governmental Immunity Act
The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) provides governmental immunity for local and state government employees and agencies for some personal injury claims. However, there are partial waivers of immunities for certain claims. If your injury falls within the waivers under the CGIA, you may be allowed to pursue fair compensation for your injuries against the responsible employee or Colorado state agency.
Our skilled attorneys can help investigate every aspect of your situation and take additional legal action – personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit – where required.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death is an avoidable death that occurs due to someone else's negligence, carelessness, or wrongful actions. A wrongful death action aims to hold the liable parties accountable and compensate the family and loved ones of the deceased person for the untimely loss.
In Colorado, if a person lost their life in a negligent aviation accident, any of the following can bring a wrongful death claim:
- Within the first year of the victim's death – The decedent's spouse, heirs of the deceased with the spouse's consent, or designated beneficiary.
- In the second year of the victim's death – The decedent's spouse, children, and the designated beneficiary.
Dealing with the unforeseen death of a loved one can be very emotional and overwhelming. We have experienced attorneys who can help file a wrongful death claim and recover rightful compensation for the benefit of the survivors.
Work with Experienced Legal Representation
Being involved in a small aircraft accident can be devastating and can affect you financially, physically, and emotionally. Regardless, you don't need to face financial liability and challenges alone. Therefore, if you were injured or if you have lost a loved one in a negligent small aircraft accident, hiring one of our experienced personal injury attorneys is crucial to advocate for your legal rights and help pursue fair financial compensation.
At Gama Law Firm, we have the skill, resources, and diligence to assist with your accident claims and help you hold those responsible for your damages accountable. With their extensive understanding of the statutes addressing liability in personal injury cases involving small aircraft accidents, our team can help guide you through the often complex claims process.