We fight for the rights of victims of aviation accidents
No one is prepared to lose a family member in a plane crash. Loved ones revisit the same questions again and again—what caused the accident? Could it have been prevented? What are our rights?
The tragic loss of a spouse, child, or sibling is overwhelming. Too often, surviving family members, still numb from grief, are confronted by insurance or airline representatives pushing for agreements or signed documents.
With more than two decades of successful legal experience handling aviation accidents and other personal injury matters, Attorney Maria Gerber delivers skilled representation and personal client care to ensure your right to compensation is protected from the outset of a catastrophic accident. Gerber Law is committed to helping Florida plane crash victims and their families obtain justice from those at fault.
The nightmare scenario—what causes airplane crashes?
In May 2021, a Piper PA-60 Aerostar taxied to takeoff from LaBelle Airport in Florida and crashed into the trees ringing a church garden just over a mile east of the airport. The sole passenger survived; the pilot died. The crash was attributed to engine failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are charged with investigating and maintaining data on aviation crashes with the aim of improving aviation safety and reducing injury and loss of life. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics puts the preliminary number of people killed in plane crashes in the US in 2020 at 332.
How do aviation accidents occur? What causes a plane to drop out of the sky causing injury and death? The most common causes of aviation accidents include:
- Human error: This is the most common cause of aviation accidents that result in death or serious injury. In commercial and private aviation, Human Factors is a broad field of study that looks at the interactions of humans in scenarios associated with aviation injury or fatality. Distraction, fatigue, health problems, and lack of training can contribute to pilot error. In larger commercial craft, a toxic cockpit hierarchy can lead to dangerous mistakes much like a surgical team in an OR, when junior personnel do not speak up about a serious impending problem.
Human factors are not limited to those piloting the airplane. The actions of air traffic controllers, maintenance personnel, and cargo workers can cause or contribute to the circumstances that lead to plane crashes.
- Mechanical failure: Design, maintenance, and age are major contributors, if not causes, of aviation accidents in commercial or private aircraft. The equipment malfunction that downs an aged plane may ultimately be found to have been a design flaw present during its manufacture. Improper or lack of vehicle maintenance can have devastating results when that vehicle conveys people through the air.
Boeing, a multinational aviation and aerospace manufacturer, accepted responsibility for two airplane crashes of its 737 Max airplane. The Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Indonesia Lion Air crash together killed 346 people. The cause of both crashes is attributed to a faulty flight control system that sent the airplanes into unrecoverable nosedives. Despite continually improving design, equipment failure will always be a factor in aviation accidents.
- Weather: Even as aviation safety improves, weather and climate remain destabilizing players when human life is in the air. While aircraft can maneuver around thunderclouds, sudden brief downdrafts are dangerous to all types and sizes of aircraft. Anyone who has flown through turbulence understands that wind currents at different altitudes are a concern. Wind shear, low visibility caused by fog, rain, or snow are all dangerous conditions in the air and on the runway.
With climate change and hotter temperatures, air thins on the runway, requiring aircraft to travel faster to gain enough lift to leave the ground. In a hotter world, airplanes may carry fewer passengers, less cargo, and take-off on redesigned runways to avoid missing liftoff and potentially tragic consequences.
Who is liable for an aviation accident?
Just as with any accident or event that causes injury, a lawsuit for compensation usually follows a fatal plane crash. If you are injured in a plane or helicopter crash, or your loved one is killed, you want to know, “who is to blame?”
The careful investigation of an aviation accident usually provides the narrative and evidence that points to the error—or series of errors—that led to a crash. Responsible parties may include:
- Pilots, co-pilots, airlines, and private plane operators
- Maintenance crews, cargo companies, fueling vendors, and other service companies
- Multiple aviation manufacturers who built the plane, its engine, and component parts
- Tour companies, other passengers, and other third-parties
While aviation accidents have similar causes, no two crashes are identical. Responsibility for a tragic aviation crash may ultimately involve several parties.
Plane accidents require timely investigation
Much like large truck accidents, aviation accidents require thorough, skilled examination before the evidence and debris disappear.
Evidence is crucial in aviation accident cases. Without the plane, air traffic logs, and other evidence, victims may be unable to prove what happened and who is responsible. Accident reconstruction is crucial in an aviation accident because the analysis establishes whether the victim and their family have a valid claim against the parties found to be at fault.
The NTSB investigates plane crashes in many cases. If the pilot died in the crash, the NTSB would destroy the plane as soon as their investigation is complete. Gerber law moves quickly to protect the right of the family to inspect the aircraft.
To ensure essential crash evidence is not destroyed, surviving victims of airplane crashes, and the family of those killed in airplane or helicopter crashes are advised to speak with a personal injury attorney with successful experience in aviation accidents.
Gerber Law effectively utilizes the law and procedures surrounding plane crashes to gain rapid access to the aircraft, copies of the NTSB accident report, and other records.
An aviation attorney protects your rights to compensation
The causes of aviation accidents are often complex. An effective investigation sheds light on the mechanisms of failure and the parties liable for the incident. Working with experts on a root cause analysis, our law firm is committed to determining the cause of a crash that will help us evaluate your claim for damages.
When the contributing factors and parties to an accident are known, we work to negotiate—or litigate—the matter to the best possible conclusion for the facts of the case. Too often, at-fault parties and their attorneys rush to settle a matter for the lowest amount of money possible. Gerber Law ensures the compensation offered to you fully includes the economic and non-economic damages to which you are entitled.
When you work with Gerber Law, you gain peace of mind that the truth will be discovered, and compensation is aggressively pursued on your behalf.
Contact our Aviation Accident Lawyers Today
With offices in Venice, and Sarasota, Florida, Gerber Law is committed to providing personalized client care and aggressive legal service when you or a loved one are injured in an aviation accident.
When you suffer a personal injury, or are involved in an aviation crash, contact us or call 1-866-233-4529 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We can meet you in the hospital or at your home to discuss your situation and answer your questions.