Have you or a loved one been involved in an aviation accident in New York City? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and suffering.
An experienced NYC aviation accident attorney can help you fight to maximize your financial recovery.
Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., is an NYC aviation accident law firm with more than 40 years of experience in civil litigation.
We work with federal investigators, aviation experts, and reconstructionists to determine the cause of an accident and whether negligence played a role. We aggressively advocate for full and fair compensation from all responsible parties in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights today.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After An Aviation Accident
Whether you or your loved one was involved in an aviation accident as a pilot, crew member, passenger, or on the ground, we are here to provide resources, answers, and support.
Our experienced lawyers handle injury and wrongful death claims involving:
- Commercial airlines
- Private jets and charter planes
- Sightseeing helicopters
- General aviation and training aircraft
- Air ambulance helicopters and airplanes
- Skydiving accidents.
To discuss a potential case, contact us today. Our NYC personal injury lawyers are available seven days a week to take your call. If we represent you, we are only paid if we recover money for you.
Fighting For Compensation After an Aviation Accident in New York City
Transportation experts around the world regard airline travel as one of the safest modes of transportation. Aviation accidents over the years have created massive media attention and generate anxiety and uneasiness about airplanes, helicopters, and air travel. Some notable incidents include:
- Kobe Bryant’s 2020 helicopter crash in California
- The 2019 and 2018 Boeing 737 max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia
- The 2017 Learjet crash near Teterboro airport.
Aviation is subject to strict federal regulations on virtually every aspect of maintaining an aircraft, operating an aircraft, and operating flights. If standards and regulations are not met, the pilots, aircraft owners, operators, airlines, mechanics, and manufacturers may be liable for your injuries or loved one’s tragic death.
Investigation of Aviation Accidents
Aviation accidents are subject to a thorough investigation by federal agencies. Any aviation involving a serious injury must be reported to any National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Field Office immediately. The NTSB is responsible for investigating accidents. Investigations are made under Title VII of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines an injury as “serious” if any of the following apply:
- Hospitalization for more than 48 hours, starting within seven days from the date the injury was received
- Results in the fracture of a bone, other than simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose
- Causes severe hemorrhaging, or nerve, muscle, or tendon damage
- Involves any internal organ (for example, the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, stomach, or intestines)
- Involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burn which affects more than 5% of the surface of the body.
Following an accident, an aviation insurance company will immediately begin their own investigation. They will gather pilot information and secure aircraft registration and logbooks, pilot logbooks, and FAA or NTSB incident reports. Aviation insurance companies use the same strategies as car insurance companies use for car accidents to try and resolve claims and lawsuits for as little as possible.
This may include:
- Delaying payment of a claim
- Denying all or part of a claim
- Defending a claim, forcing a policyholder or injured party to resort to litigation.
No matter how you were involved, it is never too soon to speak with a personal injury attorney in NYC. Insurance companies take advantage of trusting people who do not have attorneys. Just having an attorney will notify the insurance company that you mean business and are serious about being fairly compensated. If the insurance company denies your aviation accident claim, your New York City aviation accident attorney can appeal it and fight for a positive resolution.
Helicopter Accidents in NYC
Just above skyscrapers, the low altitudes of Manhattan’s airspace are crowded with helicopters, including news helicopters, air ambulances, police helicopters, charter helicopters like Blade and Uber Copter making runs between JFK Airport and Manhattan, and sightseeing tourist helicopters offering aerial views of the Empire State Building and Central Park.
NYC has been the location of numerous aviation accidents and airplane crashes over the years. Some of the most recent include:
- June 11, 2019: A twin-engine Agusta A109E crashed into the Equitable Center in Midtown Manhattan.
- May 15, 2019: A Bell 206 helicopter crashed into the Hudson River near a landing site at West 30th Street shortly after refueling there.
- March 11, 2018: A Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil crashed into the East River off the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, killing five passengers. The pilot survived.
- August 8, 2009: Nine people were killed when a Eurocopter AS350 and a Piper Cherokee Lance collided over the Hudson River near Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Between 1983 and 2019, there were at least 30 helicopter crashes in NYC – and no data on how many narrow misses have occurred. Over the years, there have been various calls for bans of helicopters going over Manhattan and calls for more federal oversight.
If you or someone you love was involved in a helicopter accident, the NYC personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., are available to help you protect your legal rights today.
Who May Be Liable for a New York Aviation Accident
Airplanes are complex pieces of equipment. From the outside, an Airbus A380 may look like it has two wings, three fuselage sections, and a horizontal tailplane. But the $445.6 million airplane is made out of four million individual parts produced by 1,500 companies from 30 countries around the world. If any component on an aircraft fails, the consequences can be catastrophic, both for passengers and people on the ground. If the cause of the plane crash is attributed to a specific part, the manufacturer of that part may be held liable for resulting injuries or deaths.
An aircraft accident personal injury or wrongful death claim starts with a thorough investigation. Liability for a crash may be attributed to one or several of the following parties:
- The pilot: According to the FAA (FAA FAR 91.3), the pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft. If the pilot makes errors during flight or is negligent, the pilot may be liable for a crash.
- The flight operator: An operator can be an airline, an on-demand charter company, or an aircraft owner. Private jet operators are subject to a different set of regulations (Part 135 operations) than airlines (Part 121 operations).
- The mechanic/maintenance company: Mechanics have been put under pressure to take shortcuts on fixing an aircraft, or to sign off an airplane as specified, in order to make a flight happen. Especially in the on-demand charter world, where thousands of dollars are at stake, the stakes are high. An operator may push a mechanic to swap parts with another aircraft or take other non-standard or illegal measures to make an aircraft available for flight. If this occurs, the mechanic, maintenance company, and operator could all be grossly negligent.
- The manufacturer of the aircraft or aircraft part: When the manufacturer of an aircraft is responsible for an accident, they may be liable. For example, the issues with the Boeing 737 are suspected to be linked to a problem with the software of a certain part, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). In New York, companies that manufacture and sell products can be strictly liable for injuries resulting from defects.
Damages in wrongful death claims include funeral and burial expenses, loss of future salary the victim would have earned in their lifetime, and loss of love, care, and companionship. Punitive damages may also be available in certain circumstances. For example, in the case of the Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia, if Boeing was aware of aircraft issues and let the aircrafts keep flying, they may be liable for their gross negligence.
Causes of Aviation Accidents Human Error Vs. Other Factors
In the earlier days of aviation 100 years ago, the majority of aviation accidents and airport accidents could be attributed to things like mechanical failures, design flaws, and structural weaknesses. Today, approximately 80 percent of aviation accidents are attributable to human errors, including:
- Fuel mismanagement leading to fuel exhaustion
- Failure to do a pre-flight weather check
- Failure to follow checklists
- Fatigue / exhaustion
- Loss of situational awareness.
Through our experience handling injury and wrongful death claims, our attorneys have gained knowledge and insight into the complex issues of aircraft operations, aviation safety, and maintenance.
Hire an Experienced New York City Aviation Accident Lawyer from Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
The majority of airplane, helicopter, and hot air balloon flights take off and land without incident. Yet, for some people, an aviation accident can change their lives forever, either causing debilitating injuries or the tragic death of a family member. We’ve seen firsthand how difficult and traumatic aviation accidents are.
If you work with us, we will fight for your rights to fair compensation. We will develop an aggressive legal strategy based on the crash events, the liable parties, and the insurance available.
We work with top investigators and expert witnesses to build an injury case and present a compelling claim. Because all aviation accidents are subject to a strict statute of limitations, do not delay in contacting us to discuss your accident case.