Recently, a small plane originating from Sugar Land crashed as it was trying to divert to San Antonio International Airport. The craft reported engine issues and attempted to land, but sadly came down mere blocks from the airport’s air space. While as of this writing it does not appear that any legal action might be taken against any parties, it is possible that many different types of lawsuits might come out of a small plane crash, especially one that results in unfortunate fatalities. Having an attorney to protect your interests after such a horrible experience is often a good idea.
Rare But Serious
While small plane accidents such as this are much rarer than the average person tends to think – the data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates less than 10 charter plane accidents in 2016 – the jury is still out on the safety of even smaller private planes. The NTSB groups such flights under ‘general aviation,’ which is a very broad umbrella category, but because of so much data input, the number of accidents recorded in the general aviation category is over 1,000 for 2016. At this juncture, it is difficult to isolate small plane crashes from, say, powered parachutes or balloons.
The causes of aviation accidents tend to differ between small and large planes; crashes of large airliners are most often due to mechanical failure, while small planes crash most often due to pilot error. There are, of course, other reasons, but those are the most common. Some of the other causes for these types of accidents can include unsafe safety standards or negligent maintenance, problems with air traffic control, or even collisions on the runway or in mid-air. The downing of the Sugar Land plane was apparently due to engine trouble, which might merit bringing suit against its manufacturer.
Can Be Complex
Unlike with many automobile accidents, aviation crashes can become difficult to bring suit over because very often, there will be questions of choice of law, which the average person may not understand. Choice of law comes up when an accident occurs that has substantial connections to more than one state or country – for example, if the Sugar Land plane had originated in Louisiana, and a surviving spouse decided to bring suit against San Antonio International Airport, the question of which state’s law would apply (Texas’ or Louisiana’s) would have to be decided.
In addition to potential choice of law questions, the standard questions in any negligence or wrongful death suit must also be answered. It must be shown that the defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff (or the deceased person, depending on the nature of the specific incident) and that they failed to exercise that care. It also must be established that the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) were the direct cause of the plaintiff (or deceased person’s) injuries. This can be a very tall order without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Contact a New Braunfels Aviation Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a small plane, you need an attorney on your side who is well versed in what can be an extremely complex area of law. The dedicated New Braunfels aviation accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm have experience in multistate litigation and are ready to try and help you and your family get back on your feet after such a traumatic time. Contact us today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.