Aviation Accidents: Who’s At Fault?


Aviation accidents are tragic, and while they occur with less frequency than do accidents involving cars and trucks, the results of an aviation accident can be catastrophic.

Plane crashes often result in both emotional and physical trauma. Fatal crashes almost always cause multiple deaths. Because of the nature of airplane crashes, many complex redundant systems have been developed to ensure that that what goes up comes back down, safely. What that means for a plane crash lawyer in New York, however, is simply that there’s a lot of different people who could be to blame. There are lots of reasons why planes might crash.

In many cases, aviation accidents are completely preventable and occur as a result of general aviation safety breaches, ranging from acts of human error to machinery or equipment failures.

Who Is Liable for an Aviation Accident Caused by Machinery or Equipment Failure?

When an aviation accident occurs and victims are significantly injured or killed, their families have the right to ask important questions about what happened and who should be held liable. In the event that a machinery or equipment malfunction was the cause of accident, the following parties may be held liable:

  • The manufacturer of the equipment if the machinery was inherently defective (i.e. had a design or manufacture defect);
  • The airline/owner of the plane if they did not routinely service/maintain the equipment or machinery; or
  • The pilot, if in the face of mechanical failure, the pilot did not act with a reasonable amount of care, contributing to the crash of the plane.
  • The pilot made a critical error, that caused the equipment failure.
  • Air traffic controllers guide pilots through the most dangerous parts of every flight — take-off and landing. If the control tower suddenly stops reporting data, or worse, starts giving the pilot incorrect data, the pilot can do exactly what he’s been (or is being) told to do and still end up having a horrible accident. If this is the case, liability clearly rests with the air traffic controller.

Our Aviation Attorneys Are Here for You

An aviation accident should never happen, as the majority of these accident types are completely preventable. We understand that nothing can bring back your loved one or make you whole again after experiencing significant loss, but we hope to help your family in recovering the compensation you need and getting the answers you deserve.

If you or a loved one was hurt or killed in an airplane accident, you may be able to sue the airline carrier. However, it is important to realize that other parties may also be liable in the accident as well. For example, the manufacturer of a defective or poorly designed part or piece of equipment. Planes are complex, with multiple manufacturers who are responsible for the different components. Our firm has the skill, experience, and understanding to find out what caused the accident and to hold all those liable to task for the negligence that contributed to your injury or loss.

Contact our aviation attorneys at the offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today for your free consultation.