Aviation Accident

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At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we know that the aftermath of an aviation accident can be extremely difficult emotionally, mentally and physically. While aviation accidents may be rare – from 2015 to 2020 passengers had a 1 in 260,256 chance of being in an accident – when they do occur, tragic injuries are common.

But what is an aviation accident and what do you do if you are a victim? Follow along as we explore aviation accidents and how injured parties can recover compensation for their injuries.

Aviation Accident Defined

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an aviation accident occurs when there is an incident where death or serious injury or substantial damage to the aircraft occurs. The accident can occur when the aircraft is in flight or without it ever taking off.

Types of Aircraft

Your injuries may be influenced by what type of aircraft you were on at the time. Typically, these types of aircraft are involved in accidents:

  • Passenger airliners
  • Small planes
  • Jets and propeller planes
  • Helicopters
  • Cargo planes
  • Military aircraft

Regardless of the type of aircraft involved, a qualified aircraft accident attorney will be able to interpret the evidence and help you develop a winning legal strategy.

Types of Aviation Accidents

Just like there are an assortment of aircraft that can be involved in an accident, there are also several different types of aviation accidents. Some accidents lend themselves to a higher risk of injury or death, but either can occur with any type of accident.

The types of aviation accidents that may be an issue in your case include:

  • Mid-air collisions
  • Mid-air accidents
  • Ground collisions
  • Taxiing accidents
  • Landing accidents
  • Other accidents

To get the best representation, make sure that the airline accident attorney you choose has experience in the type of accident you experienced. At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we help clients recover from a myriad of accidents – regardless of the type of accident, our airline accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation.

Common Causes of Injury on an Aircraft

When you are on an aircraft, there are an assortment of things that can go wrong. All of the following can lead to serious injury on a plane:

  • Bad weather
  • Turbulence
  • Beverage carts
  • Luggage bins
  • Slip and falls
  • Burns from hot liquids
  • Harm from other passengers

This isn’t an exhaustive list, however. Your injuries may be caused by a unique situation. Whatever the cause, an experienced airplane accident attorney can evaluate your claim for fault, negligence and the total value of damages.

Causes of Aviation Accidents

Just like there are a number of different causes of injury, there are also a plethora of causes of accidents. Some causes are the fault of the airline, while others can be caused by staff or even third parties. Ultimately, the NTSB will determine the official cause of the accident.

Common causes of aviation accidents include:

  • Design defects
  • Negligent maintenance
  • Mechanical errors
  • Pilot and/or crew errors
  • Air traffic control negligence
  • Safety violations

Your case will be greatly influenced by the NTSB findings. Your airplane accident lawyer will be able to interpret the report and advise you of next steps

Damages in Aviation Accidents

Every aviation accident experience is different. Your injuries can encompass a myriad of issues, but there are some injuries that are common to aviation accidents generally. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of, or reduced, earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death
  • Punitive damages

When you’ve been injured in an aviation accident, it’s important to receive prompt medical attention. Delaying medical treatment puts your health – and the success of your claim – in jeopardy.

Determining How Much Your Claim is Worth

In aviation accidents in Texas, there isn’t a set amount of compensation you can recover. Instead, the amount of your recovery is determined by a list of factors that will be determined by the unique set of facts in your case.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether you are expected to recover
  • How long recovery will take
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • Your financial losses and costs
  • The pain you endured
  • The defendant’s actions or omissions
  • The severity of your physical and psychological injuries

Generally, the greater the presence of these factors, the more compensation you can recover. For a full valuation of your claim, contact an experienced Texas aviation accident attorney.

Statute of Limitations

It’s important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an aviation accident. In Texas, a personal injury claim has to be initiated two years from the date of the accident. Failure to bring a claim in this timeframe will bar your chance to file an action and recover compensation, even if you have suffered catastrophic injuries.


Many cases settle without going to trial. It’s likely that the airline’s insurance company will offer you a settlement. However, the insurance company’s objective is to pay you as little as possible – a settlement offer may fail to fully compensate you for your injuries. You should never accept a settlement offer without the counsel of a lawyer experienced in aviation accidents. Once you accept a settlement offer, the case is over – you’ve lost your right to receive further compensation or go to trial.