Dallas Aviation Accident Lawyer
2911 Turtle Creek Blvd. Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75219
Call (214) 307-0000
Aviation accidents are relatively rare, even when both privately-owned aircraft and commercial aircraft are taken together. Accidents, when they do occur, attract attention because they usually involve multiple fatalities and often destroy property on the ground as well as the aircraft itself.
In the United States, the aviation industry is divided into two sectors: general aviation and commercial aviation.
General aviation encompasses all civilian aircraft operations other than scheduled airline services, air cargo transportation, and commercial aircraft. In terms of the number of registered aircraft, general aviation is responsible for the majority of aircraft and airport operations in the United States. General aviation aircraft range from two-seater single engine aircraft to corporate jets capable of intercontinental flight.
In general, commercial aviation is any aviation activity that offers to carry passengers and/or cargo for a fee. Commercial aviation includes regularly scheduled airlines, aircraft charters, air ambulance, sightseeing aircraft and helicopters, and even hot air balloon flights if such flights are offered to the public.
All commercial aviation aircraft are considered to be “common carrier” transportation. A common carrier is any form of transportation that will accept any passenger that is willing to pay the fare or buy a ticket. As a common carrier, a commercial air transportation operation is held to a higher standard of passenger safety and aircraft maintenance than is general aviation.
There are occasions where the distinction between general and commercial aviation becomes blurred when an operator seems to have characteristics from each classification. By way of example, some companies that are engaged in offshore drilling have their own helicopters to ferry workers to a from oil rigs. These aircraft are conveying passengers but they are not charging a fee for doing so: are they commercial or general aviation operations?
In general, aviation that is used for business purposes is commercial aviation even though the business’ purpose is not aviation related, as in the above example of helicopters and offshore oil rigs. The need to distinguish between the two types is important in deciding who is liable in aviation accidents.
Causes of Aviation Accidents
By far the most common cause of both general and commercial aviation accidents is pilot error, followed by engine failure or failure of some critical aircraft system such as landing gear or navigation instruments. On rare occasions an accident will occur when an air traffic controller issues instructions that cause aircraft to collide or to make sudden movements that cause injuries to their passengers.
Liability in Aviation Accidents
Determining liability in aviation accidents is difficult because in most aviation accidents there are usually multiple factors that, taken by themselves, would not have caused an accident but “came together” to cause a fatal accident.
Another difficulty in establishing liability, particularly in scheduled airline flights, is that there are a multitude of support activities whose operations are essential to keeping the aircraft in the air and on schedule but are not themselves owned by the airlines, such as fueling, maintenance, or airport security.
When an aviation accident occurs in the United States, it is investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The role of the NTSB is to determine the cause of an accident but not who is liable for injuries or other damages that arise from that accident. It is thus the responsibility of an aviation accident attorney to prove liability for his or her client’s injuries.
Contacting the Dallas Aviation Accident Lawyer at the Doan Law Firm
As mentioned earlier on this page, determining liability in aviation accidents is often a complex task. Although there are always investigations following accidents, these investigations are concerned with the “hows and whys” of an accident rather the “who” of responsibility and liability.
Due to the complexity of the issues involved in aviation accidents, the choice of an aviation accident lawyer is vital to the eventual success of an injury claim.
If you or a family member were injured in an aviation accident, you should contact the Dallas aviation accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm by calling (214) 307-0000 to arrange a consultation regarding the facts in your case and to review the possible courses of action that are available to you.
With the Dallas Aviation accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm, your first consultation is always free and does not commit you to our firm kin any way. Should you decide that we should manage your aviation accident case, we will assume financial responsibility for all aspects of your case at no further expense to you in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of your final settlement.
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