Bridgeport Aviation Accident Lawyer

An aviation accident lawyer working on their case.While many worry about plane crashes, commercial air travel is generally safer than car travel. In fact, the last fatal commercial airliner crash in the US was in 2009.

However, accidents involving small planes or general aviation aircraft are more common. In 2021, there were 376 civil aviation deaths in the US, but most were onboard deaths, and none involved commercial airliners.

An aviation accident or death does not necessarily mean a plane crash. Many people suffer “in-flight injuries” from various sources, which we’ll discuss in more detail later, while others get hurt boarding or disembarking from a plane.

If these injuries are caused by the negligence of an airline or another party, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.

Should You Contact a Bridgeport Aviation Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one have been injured in an aviation accident of any kind, you could have serious injuries, accompanied by medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. You may expect the negligent party to pay for these losses, but convincing an airline or other aviation business to settle your claim can be challenging.

Major airlines have large legal departments dedicated to protecting them from liability, and even smaller aviation companies usually have a legal team available to fight the claims of injured people. There is also usually an insurance company involved and an insurance adjuster who will look for any reason to reject your claim.

Fortunately, an experienced aviation accident attorney can stand up for you and your legal rights. We’ll investigate the accident, collect evidence in your favor, and establish a strategy to win your case.

Additionally, we’re not afraid to pursue your case in court or negotiate with insurance companies to obtain the settlement you deserve.

Who Is Responsible for an Aviation Accident?

This is a pivotal question to answer. Many people assume the pilot or the airline is the negligent party, and sometimes that’s true, but there may be other responsible parties. Here are some of the potential negligent parties in an aviation accident:

  • The pilot. Pilot error is a common issue, causing just under 70 percent of aviation accidents, although this statistic mainly reflects the overall safety of planes more than an excessive number of pilot errors. Usually, pilot error accidents are covered by the airline or their insurance policy. The main problem in these cases is proving the pilot’s mistake caused the accident, which we will do by studying the NTSB report, black box data, witness testimony, and other evidence.
  • The airline. The airline could be negligent if it failed to properly maintain or service the plane. Another possible liability would be if the airline didn’t train their staff on how to deal with potentially dangerous situations, like a belligerent or violent passenger. (Assault by other passengers is one cause of in-flight injuries.) Or, the airline may have failed to stock their onboard medical kits with all the appropriate resources. Remember that the onboard staff must address a medical emergency during a flight. If there was no defibrillator on board, for example, and a passenger died from a heart attack, the airline might be negligent.
  • The plane manufacturer. A design defect in a plane can sometimes have deadly results, the most recent example of which is the Boeing Max 737. Two of these planes crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, sparking an investigation that revealed the plane’s in-flight control system was defective. The Max 737s were grounded until Boeing could fix a software problem that caused the plane to dive dangerously in certain situations due to bad sensor data. Boeing agreed to pay $200 million in damages to the families of deceased passengers and the airlines.
  • The FAA. Air traffic controllers have the complicated and difficult job of tracking all aircraft and ensuring they take off and land safely. Unfortunately, even one error can have devastating consequences. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, it is possible to sue the FAA if an employee, such as an air traffic controller, makes an error that causes an aviation accident.

What Causes In-Flight Injuries?

Most non-fatal injuries on planes are not caused by plane crashes but by in-flight incidents. These can happen in various ways, some of them unavoidable.

However, many in-flight injuries occur because the airline or another party was negligent. Here are some of the most common types of in-flight injuries:

  • Watch for falling luggage. The overhead luggage compartments in planes are meant to keep luggage secure, so no one is hurt if the plane encounters turbulence. Flight crew members are tasked with checking these compartments before the flight to ensure they are closed correctly. A compartment could pop open if they aren’t, spilling luggage out. Falling bags frequently cause injuries to the arm, shoulder, and head. It’s estimated that as many as 4,500 people a year experience injuries from falling luggage alone.
  • Runaway food or drink carts. These carts are designed to be locked in place while a flight attendant is serving passengers, but if the attendant forgets to lock the cart or the locking mechanism is defective, the cart could roll away, striking other passengers. Arm and shoulder injuries are the most common result of these incidents, but sometimes, the cart injures the legs as well.
  • Tripping and falling. Snagged or torn carpets, spilled food or drinks, discarded items on the floor, and other hazards could cause a person to trip and fall on an airplane. You might also fall while boarding or exiting a plane, especially if there are issues with the ramp.
  • Turbulence injuries. Turbulence refers to unstable air movements that can sometimes, but not always, be predicted. In some cases, they occur without warning. Once turbulence occurs, the pilot will typically warn passengers to return to their seats and engage their seatbelts to prevent injuries. Turbulence can play a role in other types of injuries, such as falling luggage or runaway drink carts, but you can also be injured if the bumpy ride causes you to hit your head or limbs on the wall or another solid object. While turbulence isn’t the airline’s fault, they may be negligent if they haven’t taken other steps to keep passengers safe in these situations.
  • Passenger assaults. We’ve all seen viral videos of people behaving badly on planes. Some of these incidents are merely annoying, but others escalate to violence. Airlines try to prevent in-flight assaults and unruly behavior by refusing to board anyone who appears to be intoxicated. At the same time, flight crew members are trained to intervene if a situation becomes concerning. But if these steps are overlooked, a passenger could be attacked and injured by another passenger.

[H2]What Should You Do if You Are Injured During a Flight?

Let the flight attendant know about your injury right away. As we discussed earlier, flight attendants have some medical training and access to a first aid kit, so they can help you treat your injuries. They will let the pilot know if you are severely hurt so the plane can be diverted.

After you get off the flight, be sure to follow up with your doctor or another healthcare provider. If possible, try to take pictures of the area where you were hurt, as well as your injuries.

Following these practices may be helpful in determining what caused the accident, even if the area looks normal to you.

When a passenger assault occurs, you should file a report with authorities after the plane lands. Even if the local authorities don’t press charges, having that report for evidence will be helpful.

Crimes committed on planes usually fall under federal jurisdiction, but if the airline doesn’t contact anyone about the incident, you can start with the local police department. They will likely be able to put you in touch with the correct agency.

After receiving medical attention and filing a report if necessary, contact an aviation accident lawyer immediately so we can start investigating your case.

How Can You Get Help From a Bridgeport Aviation Accident Law Firm?

Please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free consultation about your aviation accident. Our Bridgeport personal injury lawyers will review the details of your case, answer your questions, and outline your options for pursuing compensation.

There is no obligation, and we never charge any upfront fees—you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle your case.

Attorney Bert McDowell Jr. is an experienced litigator who has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families. He has been featured in 40 Under 40 Connecticut and National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

Additionally, Super Lawyers named him a Rising Star for four consecutive years.

Mr. McDowell is committed to community service and serves on multiple nonprofit boards. His community work and stellar legal reputation earned him the 100 Men of Color Award and the Man of Excellence Award from the organization Black People Rocks.

Start working on your claim by calling Bert McDowell Injury Law today at (203) 590-9169.