Nashville Aviation Accident Injury Lawyers

Aggressive representation for Tennessee clients with plane and helicopter-related injuries

By the numbers, flying in a commercial airplane is safer than traveling by car. Just because it is safer, however, does not mean that mistakes won’t be made, or that accidents won’t happen. Mechanical error, human error and poor weather account for the great majority of aviation accidents, and airline companies have not taken proper steps to curb the risks that these dangers pose.

The Nashville injury lawyers of Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represents families torn apart by plane, helicopter, and other aviation-related accidents. Finding liability for your loved one’s injury can be difficult, as responsibility may fall on the airline company, a manufacturer of aviation equipment or even the federal government. You can trust our team to fight for the truth, and for justice for you and your family.

What you should know about fatal airplane accidents

A 2017 article in Fortune states that, statistically, you are less likely to be in a fatal airplane accident than you are in a car wreck:

“Americans have a 1 in 114 chance of dying in a car crash, according to the National Safety Council. The odds of dying in air and space transport incidents, which include private flights and air taxis, are 1 in 9,821. That’s almost three times better chances than you meeting your fate by choking on food.”

While it is true that there are far more fatal car accidents than fatal plane accidents, that does not mean that fatal accidents do not occur. Based on the most recent data supplied by the National Transportation Safety Board:

  • 2014: 44 fatalities
  • 2015: 406 fatalities
  • 2016: 408 fatalities

And these are only flights in the U.S., not necessarily flights involving American airplane manufacturers. Since 2018, a Boeing plane has been involved in 12 different plane crashes, and hundreds of people have died.

Common causes of plane-related injuries

Plane crashes are, of course, the most severe type of aviation-related accident, but they are not the only one. The same is true for the types of injuries you sustain. In fact, most aviation-related injuries are not fatal. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Improperly secured belonging in overhead bins
  • Unlocked wheels on drink carts
  • Defective seat belts
  • Broken seatbacks
  • Unruly passengers
  • Turbulence
  • Defective flotation devices
  • Defective oxygen masks

Can I sue for injuries sustained during turbulence?

The short answer is maybe. Generally speaking, airlines are protected when a plane hits turbulence, but there are times when you may be able to make a claim. If, for example, you followed all the directions, but your seatbelt was defective and flew out of your seat, the airline could be responsible. The same is true if an unsecured bag falls on you, or if the airline failed to warn you about proper procedures for flying through turbulence.

Can I sue if another passenger hurts me?

Airplanes are common carriers. This means that airlines owe their passengers a greater duty of care to protect them. As such, the airlines can be liable for any injuries you sustain while on board – including injuries caused by other passengers. If the airline is found to have acted negligently – ignoring the signs of an altercation, perhaps, or overserving a passenger – you should be able to make a claim for damages.

The risks of Nashville helicopter tours

There are a handful of helicopter charter companies in Nashville – Geo Heli Nashville Helicopter Charters, Fly-N-Dollar Helicopter Services, Helistar Aviation – but there are many, many companies throughout the state. A helicopter tour is a great way to see the city, but it’s also a dangerous one.

According to the Flight Safety Foundation, there were 121 helicopter accidents in the U.S. in 2017; about 20% of them were fatal. That is a larger percentage than both fatal airplane accidents AND fatal car accidents.

Most helicopter accidents are related to pilot error, system(s) failure, and safety violations. Bad weather plays a large role, as does poor training, but about 20% of accidents are related to problems outside of the pilot’s control: directional control failures, broken rotors, fired, problems with the tail, etc. The greatest number of these types of accidents are caused by engine failures.

If you take a helicopter tour and something goes wrong, there is a real possibility you will sustain serious, even life-threatening injuries. It is incredibly important that you seek legal help right away, especially if you signed a waiver of liability. It is possible to make a successful claim even if you signed a waiver, but you will need an experienced Nashville injury lawyer on your side.

Building a case for your injuries

Our attorneys investigate every detail to determine who was responsible for the crash, including:

  • Investigating the airplane for icing and mechanical error
  • Investigating pilot backgrounds
  • Reviewing air traffic control records
  • Listening to black box recordings
  • Interviewing airline maintenance employees
  • Checking maintenance logs

We call in experts in aviation, mechanics and accident reconstruction to develop your case and let our talented team of trial attorneys argue vigorously on your behalf at trial. Whether you were injured while flying in or out of Nashville International or John C. Tune, or while in a chartered private plane or helicopter, we can help.

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Let our Nashville aviation injury attorneys fight for you!

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Gladiators in Suits fight for clients who have been hurt by other people’s negligence. If you or a loved one sustained significant trauma in a plane or helicopter accident, our Nashville injury attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at 615-425-2500 or contact us today, and schedule your free consultation. We maintain offices in Nashville and Hendersonville for your convenience.