Lake City Aviation Accident Lawyer
Airplane pilots are usually held to a higher standard than vehicle drivers. All pilots go through much more training than most drivers, and many pilots are also paid professionals. Florida law holds pilots to a higher standard, and so do most Columbia County jurors. Additionally, due to the nature of these crashes, many of these claims involve wrongful death. So, the compensation for economic and noneconomic damages is often substantial.
At Douglas & Carter, our experienced Lake City aviation accident lawyers routinely handle intricate aviation accident claims. We know how to collect evidence in these cases, and we know how to preserve this evidence for trial. Moreover, we are familiar with all the procedural rules in these claims, even if the rules are unwritten and they involve multiple jurisdictions. In short, we have the know-how to deliver fair compensation in these cases.
What Causes Plane Crashes in Lake City?
Most aviation accident claims in Florida involve small aircraft that are either privately-owned or on small charter routes. Most of these aircraft are not required to carry black box flight recorders, so very few of these planes have such equipment. But even without this gadget, cause in an aviation accident is usually a straightforward matter for an experienced attorney.
Just like driver error causes most car crashes, pilot error causes most of the aviation accidents in Florida. Some common types of pilot error include:
- Neglecting to inspect the aircraft and conduct basic safety checks,
- Failure to communicate with the air traffic controller,
- Getting lost and running out of fuel,
- Failure to appreciate the hazards of bad weather, and
- Inappropriately using instruments and navigational aids.
Many pilots compound these errors with an “I’ve got this” mentality. For example, many pilots continue flying through bad weather patches even though it’s much safer to turn around. This mentality is especially common among charter pilots. These individuals sometimes place their on-time record ahead of passenger safety.
Pilot error does not cause all aviation crashes. A mechanic might be at fault, or the issue may be a defective product.
Liability for Damages in Florida
In pilot error cases, the individual pilot is generally responsible for damages. But that’s not always the case. Some pilots received inadequate instruction at their flight schools. As a matter of fact, pilot “diploma mills” are not uncommon. These institutions teach pilots almost nothing and issue certificates to people who did very little work.
If mechanical error caused the crash, the mechanic’s employer is usually responsible for damages, according to the respondeat superior rule. This employer is usually an airport. Respondeat superior (“Let the master answer”) applies if the tortfeasor (negligent actor) was:
- An employee
- Who was acting within the course and scope of employment.
Florida law defines both these elements in broad, victim-friendly terms. For example, an independent contractor or even an unpaid volunteer may be an “employee” in this context.
Defective part claims usually involve strict liability. Manufacturers are typically liable for damages as a matter of law if their products injured or kill someone. It does not matter how careful, or how careless, the manufacturer was.
Connect with Savvy Aviation Accident Lawyers
Aviation crashes often cause serious or fatal injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake City, contact Douglas & Carter. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.