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TX injury lawyerIn late September, a fiery crash at San Marcos regional airport sent two men to the hospital, after two small planes collided while trying to land. The collision caused one of the planes to flip, while the other caught on fire and “became engulfed.” Thankfully, neither man appeared to have sustained life-threatening injuries - but depending on the nature of the situation, a civil lawsuit might be in the offing, if an injured person believes that the harm they suffered occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. If you have been injured in a plane crash, it is worth consulting an attorney so as to understand your options.

Common Causes and Effects

Civil aviation injuries and fatalities are rare, but statistics show them rising in recent years, including one fatality on a commercial airliner in 2018, where a woman was partially sucked out of a plane in flight. The majority of the injuries and deaths in plane crashes happen on small planes, like the ones trying to land in San Marcos, but the injuries themselves tend to be the same types regardless of the nature of the crash. Burns are some of the most common injuries, whether from direct heat or from other sources like electrical implements; others include broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal injuries.

The causes of aviation accidents can be difficult to pinpoint at times, which is why the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate after a crash. The most frequently seen causes, especially in small plane crashes, include design defects in the airplane itself (that might give rise to a product liability case), negligent maintenance, commercial crew error, and negligence on the part of the air traffic controller. Alleged negligence from another pilot is actually quite an uncommon cause, simply because the frequency of collisions is relatively rare.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, 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.

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TX accident lawyerAirplane crashes are statistically rare, but when they happen, it can be devastating. A small plane crashed near the intersection of Lakeway Boulevard and The Hills Drive recently, killing one of its passengers, and leaving the other in critical condition at Dell Seton Medical Center. Small planes are statistically more likely to crash than larger craft, and when they do, you may wind up sustaining significant medical bills if you are involved. You will need an experienced aviation accident lawyer to help you get what you are due.

Many Causes of Aviation Crashes

While commercial airline crashes get the bulk of the publicity in the media, small plane crashes occur at a depressingly common rate. Approximately 400 people died in 1,335 'general aviation' accidents, which includes small planes and other craft like gliders, in 2016 (the most recent available data). This works out to roughly 26 accidents per week, with 4 of those being fatal. While small planes are not inherently unsafe, there are several factors that make flying in one, as opposed to in a larger commercial aircraft, more likely to result in injury or death.

One of the most significant differences between small planes and larger commercial airlines is that pilots are not required to log as many hours to be certified to fly small planes, which can conceivably lead to increased incidences of pilot error. Landings can also be more difficult in small planes, which often land at smaller airports which may not be well maintained. These are in addition to the more standard causes of any accident, such as dangerous design or defective parts. No information has been released regarding any causes for the Lakeway crash, but if you are involved in a small plane crash, you may be able to bring suit against someone if you suspect the accident was due to their negligence.

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TX injury lawyerA trainer plane flying out of Randolph Air Force Base crashed near Rolling Oaks Mall in northeast San Antonio on Wednesday, September 19, due to what was referred to as ‘engine failure at low altitude.’ The crash injured two crew members, though both were treated and released from a clinic on the base. The plane came down in a field on Circle Dot Ranch, causing no other damage or injury, but mere feet either way could have made the accident much worse. Airplane crashes are surprisingly common in Texas, and they can cause severe injury.

Statistics and Causes Vary

While many think that plane crashes are isolated events, private plane ownership has made them more common, especially in states like Texas with a lot of space and open air. Recent statistics show over 12,000 private planes owned in the United States; one can imagine that a significant portion of them are housed in Texas. Between private jets, the state’s many busy commercial airports, and the six Air Force bases, planes are popular and common. Mere numbers do not cause crashes, however; there are multiple possible causes of aviation accidents, and the causes of some incidents may never be discovered.

Most of the causes of aviation crashes can be put down to pilot error, especially in private planes, with common reasons being lack of experience, flying through rough weather or cloud cover, and many others that could (at least in theory) be avoided. However, some accidents do simply occur due to bad luck. It is not uncommon, for example, for a pilot to experience some kind of mechanical failure and stall while attempting to land - in such a situation, often there will be very little a pilot can do.

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Texas small plane crash, Texas accident attorneyFour individuals in their New Braunfels home were surprised when an ultra-light aircraft crashed into their roof. The pilot of the plane was trying to land in a nearby field after losing power when he hit an electrical line. The crash led to a small fuel leak that the New Braunfels Fire Department quickly contained and a power outage that was swiftly restored. While none of the five individuals involved were injured, plane crashes lead to serious injuries and deaths every year. Those injured in plane accidents, whether a passenger in a large commercial plane or in a small personal craft, need to work with experienced personal injury lawyers to determine how to recover compensation for their injuries.

Airplane Accidents in the U.S.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 1,290 civil aviation accidents occurred in 2014, causing 444 fatalities and hundreds of additional injuries. The general aviation category, which likely covers the ultra-light aircraft involved in the recent New Braunfels crash, witnessed the most accidents and fatalities in 2014, at 1,223 accidents involving 424 deaths. Of general aviation accidents that year, more than 80 occurred within Texas. There were also two non-scheduled commuter/on-demand carrier accidents and four scheduled air carrier accidents in Texas in 2014.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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