A small plane crashed into a Chicago suburb Sunday night just minutes after taking off from Midway Airport. All three occupants were killed on impact in the nosedive. Plane accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm take this opportunity to remind our readers that most airplane fatalities occur in small planes.
The only bit of good news out of this tragedy is the lack of ground or eyewitness injuries; the twin-engine plane crashed around 10:40 pm into a grassy field in a heavily residential Palos Hills neighborhood. The plane crashed about eight feet from a home. Fortunately the plane did not explode, only scattered some debris into the yards of the surrounding homes.
The three people killed were all physicians in their mid-30s from Kansas. It is not yet clear what caused the crash. There were dozens of eyewitnesses, all of which said they heard extremely loud engine sounds before the plane crashed, almost like a bomb had gone off.
Air safety investigators told the Chicago Sun-Times that the plane’s pilot did not send out a distress signal after taking off, but the plane did fall off the radar. The plane is a Beechcraft Baron registered to Arc Aviation, which is a company based in Lawrence, Kansas. The man piloting the plane before the crash was licensed to fly, however, the extent of his flight experience is unknown. The plane refueled at Midway Sunday night to head back to Kansas.
Legal Options After Small and Private Plane Accidents
Survivors of small plane crashes or families of those who died in accidents are often able to file lawsuits against the parties responsible for the crash. Depending on the unique circumstances of the accident, there are several different ways to go about filing a claim.
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The General Aviation Revitalization Act shields aircraft manufacturers from product liability claims in planes over 18 years old. This means that, should a 20-year-old aircraft break down or become defective mid-flight and cause a serious crash, the company that made that plane cannot be held liable for its defective plane.
Insurance coverage may also be a significant hurdle, particularly if the pilot was at fault for the accident. General aviation pilots do not always carry adequate insurance coverage to pay for liability in the event of a crash.
Although plane crashes are exceedingly rare, when they do occur, federal and state agencies are called in to investigate to determine the precise factors that led to the crash.Among the most common causes of airplane crashes include:
¢ Fuel problems ¢ Defectively designed or manufactured parts ¢ Pilot errors ¢ Federal air traffic control errors ¢ Inadequate repairs or maintenance ¢ Defective equipment
The aim of these investigations is to figure out why the plane crash in order to avoid future similar accidents. The NTSB is limited by its resources, and it does not fully investigate all of the potential causes of the crash. It is not their job to implicate anyone who may be responsible or assign blame to the FAA, pilot, or maintenance team.
If the crash is caused by negligence of any kind, including the failure to properly inspect or maintain the aircraft, a personal injury lawsuit may be possible. It is extremely important to contact a skilled aviation attorney if you were injured in an airplane crash, however, as these cases are extraordinarily complex. Contacting a lawyer will ensure that all evidence is uncovered, the wreckage is protected and maintained, and all facts are identified.
This is important because if a lawsuit is filed, all wreckage must be intact as much as possible, allowing legal experts to conduct forensic investigations. Only through these types of investigations can the true facts of the crash be revealed and the at-fault parties are identified.
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The plane accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience in aviation law and provide comprehensive counsel for those affected by these types of tragedies. Millions of dollars can be recovered for victims and families, however there is a time limit to how long victims have to file a claim. Contact our firm now for a free plane crash legal consultation. We accept clients from all 50 states.