Commercial airplanes are governed by the regulations affecting common carriers and are governed by different laws and protocols than are private airplanes or other private vehicles. A common carrier is a business that transports persons or cargo for compensation. Both Federal and state regulations govern the activities of common carriers such as buses, trains, and airplanes. As a general rule, a common carrier is held to a higher standard of care than is a private party. They must have both the skill and the training to transport passengers and cargo, and more than reasonable care must be exercised.
When an airplane crashes, the first area of information must be to discover what caused the crash. This can be difficult, since much evidence can be destroyed, including signs of mechanical failure or pilot error. Some of the causes of crashes include pilot error, which is the most frequent cause; design flaws; mechanical failure; and extreme weather conditions. It is vital that whatever evidence is available be collected and studied so that the cause of the crash can be determined. Once this is done, it will be possible to decide if basis for a lawsuit exists.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of an airplane crash, call Bales Weinstein at (813) 224-9100 or toll free (877) 768-9100 or submit an online questionnaire . The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations so please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.

Over the years, our law firm has helped the victims, and their families, of aviation accidents including the major crash of a commercial carrier, accidents involving private planes, and helicopter crashes.

Airplanes are still among the safest mode of transportation available today. Although the percentages of death and serious injury caused by plane crashes are small compared to other types of injury accidents, the results are almost always devastating to the victim’s families and oftentimes involve the loss of many lives.

Some of the leading causes of commercial and general aviation accidents are uncontained engine failures, controlled flight into terrain, approach and landing, loss of control, runway incursions, pilot error, improper maintenance, structural defects, and weather conditions including turbulence.

The law governing an airplane crash depends, in part, on whether the airplane accident involved an air carrier (like a commercial commuter or passenger airline) or private civilian accident. If the airplane crash was private civilian accident, then traditional negligence standards of ordinary and reasonable care apply. Thus, an owner of a private airplane involved in an accident or crash may be held legally liable for the negligence of a mechanic or pilot.

Airline carriers, like a commuter or passenger airline, are required to take much greater care than ordinary civilians. Thus, major airlines like Delta, Northwest, United, and American must use the highest care to prevent airplane crashes and aviation accidents.

In airplane crashes involving an air carrier, whether the flight was domestic or international will determine what rights of legal recovery are available. Regarding international flights, two agreements, the Warsaw Convention and Montreal Protocol, limit the amount of damages for which an airline may be responsible unless the accident involves reckless wrongdoing (although some U.S. carriers have agreed to waive these limitations under certain circumstances). Typically, damages in airplane crashes and aviation accidents are not capped.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates major aviation accidents. Upon notification , NTSB assembles a Go Team, which varies in size depending on the severity of the accident and the complexity of the issues involved. This team may consist of experts in many different specialties, and is coordinated by the investigator-in-charge. Depending on the nature of the accident, the team may investigate areas such as structures, systems, powerplants, human performance, fire and explosion, meteorology, radar data, event recorders, and witness statements, among others. After an investigation is completed, a detailed narrative report is prepared that sets forth findings of the investigative team and identifies the probable cause of the accident. More information about NTSB can be found on their website at

Additionally, the Office of Accident Investigation (AAI), an organization within the Federal Aviation Administration, investigates aviation accidents to detect unsafe conditions and trends. More information on AAI can be found on their website at

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an aviation accident, call Robertson & Futeral, PA at (843) 881-2244 or fill out our online questionnaire.

Airplane accidents are horrifying events that do not happen as often as people probably believe they do, but do happen often enough to cause some alarm for travelers. While sometimes airplane accidents are the result of some nature related, unforeseeable situation, other times they are the result of human error. Whether it be in the manufacturing of the parts of the plane, or pilot error, someone else may be liable for the accident.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an airplane accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Please fill out the form below for a free evaluation of your claim by an experienced attorney. There is no cost or obligation for this service.

AirPlane Accidents FAQ