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California Aviation Accident Attorneys

If you would like to file a claim against an airline or the manufacturer of a defective product to recover damages suffered by you and your family, it is critical that you seek the counsel of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who is knowledgeable about aviation law and the financial resources to represent you from start to finish. Bisnar | Chase not only has the experience, resources and the necessary fire power to accomplish the individual goals of our clients, but we also understand that a properly prepared case against those responsible will ultimately save lives and prevent future tragedies.

If you have been involved in a serious airline accident, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. The experienced aviation accident attorneys at Bisnar Chase can guide you through the process of pursuing justice and help you get the best results in your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. For a free consultation, please call us today at 949-203-3814.

A plane crash death can fall under a wrongful death claim in injury law. Here, personal injury attorney John Bisnar describes wrongful deaths in California.

California Aviation Accidents

Aviation accidents occur rarely, but cause unspeakable tragedy and devastation when they do happen. The families that have lost their loved ones as well as the flying public will have a number of questions after a catastrophic aviation accident and they deserve answers.

Uncovering the truth regarding what caused an aviation accident is never easy. Investigations into aviation accidents, which are usually carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), are complicated and lengthy.

It takes painstaking research and investigation by an experienced California aviation accident attorney to get to the bottom of such incidents and determine precisely what happened and why.

Aviation Accident Statistics

airplane crashing on runwayAccording to the Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents by the National Transportation Safety Board, there were 1,500 civil aviation accidents in the year 2010. In those aviation accidents, 470 people were killed.

The majority of aviation accidents involve personal aircraft, but there are a few commercial airline incidents that occur each year as well. In the year 2010, commercial airlines were involved in one major accident, 13 non-fatal accidents with at least one serious injury and 14 crashes where no one was killed or seriously injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

Causes of Aviation Accidents

Whether you are in a large commercial plane, a helicopter or a small private plane, it will be necessary to determine how the accident occurred and who or what was responsible. The NTSB reports that 89 percent of personal flying accidents involved single-engine airplanes. The majority of those accidents involved a loss of control in flight. The most common causes of California aviation accidents include:

  • Pilot error: Was the pilot fatigued, distracted, impaired or inexperienced?
  • Mechanical failure: This could include engine and component failure. Was the part improperly installed, negligently maintained or defectively designed?
  • Runway defects: Did an uneven surface force the vehicle to crash?
  • Inadequate maintenance: Did the airline negligently avoid necessary repairs to save money? Did they fail to carry out the required inspections before take off? Were there any safety violations
  • Violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations: There are many rules and regulations set forth by the FAA that must be followed at all times. Companies that put passengers in harm's way may be held accountable for their wrongdoing.
  • Design or structural problems: Did the accident occur due to defective design?
  • Federal Air Traffic Controller error: According to March 4, 2013 report in The Washington Post, there has been a sharp increase in air traffic controller errors in recent years. Runway incursions and potential crashes could occur if air traffic controllers fail to do their jobs.

Aviation Litigation

Most plane crashes are general aviation accidents involving small planes. These types of crashes almost always result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death. When the victim suffers multiple bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord trauma, he or she may suffer long-term physical, cognitive and emotional consequences. In some cases, a pilot or passenger may suffer permanent brain damage or paralysis resulting in a loss of ability to work or provide for their families again.

Victims of charter, tourist or commercial plane accidents can pursue financial compensation for their losses from the at-fault parties. Therefore, determining liability for the crash is an important part of the investigation process. Proving the cause of the crash can help establish who should be held accountable for the injuries and losses suffered by victims and/or their families. Often times, there may be several liable parties involved.

Negligence and Wrongdoing

Many accidents are the direct result of pilot error, weather conditions and errors on the part of air traffic controllers. Whatever the cause, it will be necessary to prove if the at-fault party was behaving reasonably before the accident or if negligence was a contributing factor in the crash. Was the pilot fatigued or distracted? Was the air-traffic controller distracted? Did the airline company fail to properly monitor the actions of the pilot? Was alcohol a contributing factor in the accident? These are all forms of negligence. If a defective product caused the aviation accident, the manufacturer of that product can also be held liable.

Injured victims of aviation accidents can pursue financial compensation for damages including medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, lost wages, physical pain, mental anguish, loss of earning potential and other related damages. The family of someone killed in an aviation accident can file a wrongful death claim to pursue financial compensation for their losses as well. In such cases, monetary support may be available for funeral expenses, lost future wages, pain and suffering and loss of companionship.


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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.

Bisnar | Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

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