Aviation Accidents

Billings Aviation Accident Attorney

Representing Victims of Plane Crashes & Aviation Accidents in Montana

Aviation accidents are some of the most catastrophic accidents that occur. With the potential for mass casualties and extensive property damage, victims and their families must seek the experienced legal services of an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.

At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we have successfully handled many cases involving aviation accidents. Our firm has been representing injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed in catastrophic accidents for nearly 40 years. We know how to fight for our clients and have the resources to take on large corporations and even the government. If you were injured in an aviation accident, or if your loved one was killed due to the negligence of a pilot, air traffic controller, or another party, turn to our team for help.

Call our firm at (406) 233-1302 or contact us online to request a free consultation with our Billings aviation accident lawyers today.

What Causes Aviation Accidents?

Aviation accidents can result from a variety of factors, often stemming from a combination of human error, mechanical failures, environmental conditions, and other systemic issues. Here are some common causes of aviation accidents:

  • Pilot Error: This is one of the most frequent causes of aviation accidents. It can include mistakes in judgment, poor decision-making, failure to adhere to procedures, spatial disorientation, and loss of situational awareness.
  • Mechanical Failures: Malfunctions in aircraft systems, such as engines, hydraulics, or flight control systems, can lead to accidents. These failures may occur due to manufacturing defects, inadequate maintenance, or wear and tear.
  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather, including thunderstorms, fog, turbulence, icing, and strong winds, can pose significant challenges to pilots. Failure to adequately assess and respond to weather conditions can result in accidents.
  • Air Traffic Control Errors: Miscommunications or errors in air traffic control instructions can lead to mid-air collisions or runway incursions. Coordination issues between air traffic controllers and pilots can also contribute to accidents.
  • Fuel Management Issues: Running out of fuel or mismanaging fuel levels can cause accidents. Pilots must accurately calculate fuel requirements for each flight leg and monitor fuel consumption throughout the journey.
  • Improper Aircraft Loading: Incorrect distribution of weight or exceeding the maximum weight limits can affect the aircraft's performance and stability, potentially leading to accidents during takeoff, landing, or in-flight.
  • Poor Crew Resource Management (CRM): Inadequate communication, coordination, and teamwork among cockpit crew members can impair decision-making and increase the risk of errors, particularly in complex or high-stress situations.
  • Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I): Loss of control of the aircraft is a leading cause of fatal accidents, often resulting from factors such as stalls, spins, or extreme flight maneuvers beyond the aircraft's capabilities.
  • Runway Incursions: Incursions occur when an aircraft, vehicle, or person enters a runway without authorization, posing a collision risk with departing or landing aircraft.
  • Spatial Disorientation: Pilots may become disoriented when visual references are limited or obscured, especially in low visibility conditions or at night. Without proper instrument training and reliance on flight instruments, spatial disorientation can lead to loss of control.
  • Bird Strikes: Collisions between aircraft and birds or other wildlife can damage critical components, such as engines or windshields, potentially causing accidents.
  • Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT): Accidents occur when an otherwise serviceable aircraft is flown unintentionally into terrain, obstacles, or water, often due to pilot error, navigation mistakes, or inadequate terrain awareness.
  • Human Factors: Psychological and physiological factors, such as fatigue, stress, distraction, or medical conditions, can impair pilot performance and decision-making, contributing to accidents.

Determining Liability in an Aviation Accident

Liability may fall on one or more parties, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Here are some potential parties that may be liable in an aviation accident:

  • Pilot: The pilot-in-command bears significant responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft. Pilot error, such as misjudgment, poor decision-making, or failure to follow procedures, can lead to liability.
  • Aircraft Owner/Operator: The entity or individual that owns or operates the aircraft may be held liable for negligence in maintenance, improper training of pilots, or failure to comply with regulations.
  • Aircraft Manufacturer: If a defect in the design or manufacture of the aircraft contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be held liable for product liability.
  • Maintenance Crew: Negligent maintenance or improper repairs performed by maintenance personnel can lead to mechanical failures and accidents. Maintenance crews may be held liable for their negligence.
  • Air Traffic Controllers: Errors or negligence by air traffic controllers, such as providing incorrect instructions or failing to warn of hazards, may contribute to accidents and result in liability.
  • Government Entities: In some cases, liability may extend to government agencies responsible for air traffic control, airport management, or regulatory oversight if their negligence contributed to the accident.
  • Part Manufacturers: Manufacturers of components or parts used in the aircraft may be held liable if a defective part contributed to the accident.
  • Third Parties: Liability may also extend to third parties whose actions or negligence contributed to the accident, such as contractors, service providers, or other entities involved in the operation or maintenance of the aircraft.

Choose a Team with a Track Record of Success

Our attorneys have been representing aviation accident victims and their families for nearly four decades. We have a proven track record of success and have recovered numerous million- and multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed. We know how to take on large corporations and the government, and we are not afraid to take your case to trial.

Our aviation accident lawyers in Billings offer free initial consultations. Call (406) 233-1302 or submit an online request form to get started.

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Your Voice in the Courtroom

At Hoyt & Blewett, we understand the devastating impact of personal injuries and wrongful deaths. With over 100 years of experience, our Billings personal injury attorneys are here to provide compassionate and skilled legal representation. 

We have obtained numerous top personal injury verdicts in Montana, including 18 jury verdicts surpassing $1 million.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and understand your needs. Call (406) 233-1302 or fill out our online contact form.