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Aviation Accidents

For many, just the thought of being involved in a plane crash is a nightmare. The serious and deadly nature of an aviation accident often leaves passengers with catastrophic injuries or could result in their deaths. Other types of in-flight injuries of varying severity can also occur on an airplane such as a slip and fall accident or getting struck by a falling object. These injuries can also result in astounding medical costs, chronic pain, and emotional suffering. 

Liability for aviation accidents is an incredibly intricate and unique body of law. If you have been injured or lost a loved one to an aviation accident caused by negligence, it’s crucial you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side with extensive experience representing plane or helicopter accident victims. In addition, aircrafts are very complicated pieces of machinery that could malfunction or have design flaws in various ways. Only an experienced Iowa airplane crash attorney can pinpoint the root cause of an accident and demonstrate the evidence of this cause in court successfully. That is why if you’ve been involved in an aviation accident, we urge you get in contact with a skilled and knowledgeable aviation accident attorney.   

Aviation Accident Attorney in West Des Moines, IA

Have you suffered severe injuries or had a loved one killed in an aviation accident in the state of Iowa? If so, we urge you to not speak to any insurance company without legal counsel. Instead get in contact with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. as soon as possible to determine your available legal options. 

Our seasoned Iowa aviation accident attorney Gregory Landry has represented victims of airplane and helicopter accidents for years. In addition to his extensive experience, Mr. Landry is a private pilot certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and has both Private Pilot (VF) and instrument (IFR) rankings. His familiarity and in-depth knowledge of aircrafts  give him the advantage when negotiating with insurers or litigating in court.

Contact Gregory Landry at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation today. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is based in West Des Moines and frequently accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Ankeny, Polk City, Altoona and Johnson.

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Types of Aviation Accidents in Iowa

A personal injury case involving aviation accidents are extremely complicated. The majority of plane or helicopter crashes require large-scale investigations and often multiple parties could be liable for the victim’s injuries. Our firm represents people who were injured, or family members of loved ones killed in all types of aviation accidents including those which involve:

  • Commercial Aircrafts
  • Private Airplanes
  • Private Helicopter Operations
  • Offshore Helicopter Operations
  • Helilogging
  • Helicopter Herding
  • Air Ambulance / Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Military Attack Helicopters
  • Military Cargo Helicopters

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Important Evidence for Aviation Accidents in Iowa

After a serious aviation accident, multiple federal and state agencies will often immediately initiate their investigation into possible causes. Some of these agencies may include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA is responsible for setting safety standards for pilot conduct, flight operations, and aircraft manufacturers. The NTSB handles investigations for all civil aircraft accidents in the U.S.

These agencies and others utilize evidence left behind from the crash to determine a cause. However, this can be an issue if the actual location of the accident is difficult to reach. For example, if an airline crashes into a body of water, it could be impossible to locate the victims or wreckage. Other crashes may have debris across a very large area and investigators will have to comb through every piece to find something substantial. 

Some types of evidence that investigators can review include, but are not limited to:

  • Cockpit Voice Recorders
  • Flight Data Recorders (Black Boxes)
  • Crash Photos
  • Flight Plans
  • Maintenance and Inspection Records
  • Air Traffic Control Records

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Common Causes for Aviation Accidents

Airplanes and helicopters are sophisticated pieces of machinery with many complex moving parts. Many external and internal factors could cause an aircraft to crash such as design issues or severe turbulence. The FAA lists several factors that can contribute to, or cause, an aviation accident. This list includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Severe weather conditions
  • Engine failure
  • Runway incursion
  • Aircraft structural integrity defect
  • Runway incursion
  • Manufacturer’s aircraft design defect
  • Software system failure
  • Severe turbulence
  • Negligence during take-off
  • Sudden depressurization
  • FAA statutory violations
  • Failure to follow Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
  • Defective fuel tank
  • Microburst wind shear
  • Failure to follow Visual Flight Rules (VFR)
  • Faulty or defective Equipment
  • Fueling negligence
  • Lack of pilot training or supervision
  • Careless approach or landing
  • Pilot inebriation, intoxication or drunkenness 

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Personal Injury Claims for Aviation Accidents in Iowa

If the judge rules in your favor, you may receive a monetary award based on your damages. How the damages are calculated will vary based on the circumstances surrounding the crash. There are two types of compensatory damages you may receive: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages are any financial loss you may have suffered after the accident. These can include hospital bills, doctor’s bills, therapy costs, or handicap accommodation expenses. The following are some economic damages you may recover after an aviation accident lawsuit. 

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Costs to care for your loved one’s medical needs from the time of the accident until their death if it’s a wrongful death suit
  • Lost wages
  • Property losses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses 

General or non-economic losses are more challenging to value, but they are equally as important as economic damages. The following are some non-economic damages you may recover if you receive a monetary award for your losses.

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources 

Airplane Crash Statistics | FAA – Visit the official website for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAAA) to read their data and research involving aviation accidents. Access the site to listen to air traffic audio, read more into runway incursion and research, look up final accident data and more.

Aviation Accident Reports | National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) — Visit the official website for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to learn more about civil aviation accidents in the United States. Access the site to view the final accident reports following these investigations. Accident reports can be sorted by report number, NTSB Title, accident date, report date, city, state, country, or National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Number.


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Des Moines Iowa Lawyer for Airplane Accidents

If you have sustained a severe injury or lost a loved one due to an aviation accident, it’s within your best interest to not proceed until you have legal counsel. Find experienced and skilled representation by contacting the West Des Moines attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. With decades of experience, our dedicated personal injury attorney Gregory Landry can represent you. 

Call Gregory Landry at (515) 279-9700 to set up a case evaluation today. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Minburn, Redfield, De Soto, Woodward, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Bondurant, Windsor Heights and Alleman.


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