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What to Know About Aviation Accidents in Maryland

Aviation accidents occur far less often than auto accidents, but they are generally more serious and usually involve multiple fatalities. While major plane crashes are covered in the news worldwide, there are also many single-engine plane and helicopter crashes that do not make it beyond the local news. Airline safety has improved over the years, but accidents still happen. If you were injured in an aviation accident, or a loved one was injured or killed in a crash, you need to speak with a Maryland personal injury attorney.

Is the Pilot Liable?

For a pilot to have liability for a plane crash, his or her actions must have been the main or proximate cause of the accident. This means the pilot must have been negligent in some way. Pilot negligence can include:

  • Losing control during a flight
  • Pilot fatigue
  • Pilot followed a procedure improperly
  • Navigation errors
  • Lack of training or pilot incompetence
  • Pilot traveling at excessive speed during landing
  • Pilot missed the runway
  • Miscalculating fuel consumption
  • Distraction while flying
  • Not communicating with air traffic controllers and crew members
  • Not programing autopilot
  • Failure to do a safety check before flying

Like airplane crashes, helicopter crashes can occur for a variety of reasons. Pilot error, flying with an unsafe load, bad weather, and poor maintenance are some of the reasons a helicopter might crash. In addition, equipment can break down or wear down over time.

Other Parties’ Liability

In the event the crash was not caused by pilot error, it could have been due to aircraft maintenance or equipment failure. If someone other than the pilot is the one charged with the daily inspection and aircraft maintenance, it could be that person’s fault. Many plane crashes do not stem from a single factor or a single person’s fault, but there may be multiple parties and multiple factors that caused the accident.

Other parties who could have liability include government agencies, maintenance crew, aircraft part manufacturers, etc. This is why you need to speak with a Maryland personal injury attorney who can advise you of the best action to take.

Comparing Private versus Commercial Accidents

Private aircraft lack certain safety features usually found on commercial planes. Some of these include backup systems for navigation, co-pilots, and extra engines. This can lead to more disastrous results. For example, when an engine goes out on a single-engine plane, it is much more serious than losing one on a twin-engine craft.

Aviation Accident Lawsuits

If you or a loved one was injured in some type of aviation accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to pursue reimbursement for damages sustained, such as medical expenses, loss of earnings, future medical expenses, future loss of earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. In the event your family member died, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

This can be an extremely complex process, which is why you should not go it alone. Airplane companies will have many skilled lawyers representing them. It is only fair that you also have a Maryland personal injury attorney representing your interests and helping you through the claims process. Contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro to schedule a consultation or call us at (301)870-1200.