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Aircraft crashes cause catastrophic pain and heartache. It’s physically, financially, and emotionally overwhelming—a traumatizing event for any survivor.

Court battles can be equally devastating, and seeking compensation from insurance companies can feel like an uphill battle. At Shea & Shea, we’re widely familiar with aviation accident law and are prepared to fight for your compensation. We have been standing up for the citizens of Santa Clara, CA, for over half a century. 

Our team offers a wide variety of services. We’re known for our fair handling of cases related to spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). But we’re not strangers to the wide variety of damages caused by human or machine error. Feel free to check out our reviews to learn more about the cases we’ve fought.

Causes of Aviation Accidents

Planes and helicopters are especially tricky machines to manufacture and pilot. Even one loose screw could spell doom. Identifying what went wrong is a complex process. It takes a skilled team to work out every possible option.

 Shea & Shea categorizes negligence into two groups: operators acting in real time or an employee’s error long before wheels-up. Despite assuming responsibility for all lives on board, cases have been documented in which pilots: 

  •     Were not trained properly
  •     Attempted to make unsafe maneuvers
  •     Tried to fly through dangerous weather
  •     Did not perform safety checks as per regulations
  •     Were distracted

On the other hand, problems could begin in the weeks or months before takeoff. Mechanically speaking, faulty aircraft tend to exhibit one or more of the following issues: 

  •     Poor manufacturing work completed for one or more component
  •     Poor assembly 
  •     Failure to pass (or even undergo) control tests
  •     Weak or ineffective designs
  •     Mechanic’s negligence
  •     Poor translation from engineering to manufacturing

These are not the only potential failures of an aircraft. The list goes on much longer. Often, it’s a combination of factors that lead to tragedy. Despite the differences involved, damages do not discriminate. Any one of these factors could result in life-altering changes.

Of course, it’s necessary to establish negligence as a cause of injury. If all parties acted competently and in good faith, terms for compensation won’t qualify. Our aviation accident personal injury lawyers can help you or your loved ones identify your eligibility.

Types of Injuries Caused

Aviation accidents commonly result in massive trauma. Common injuries are:

  •     Severe burns
  •     Loss of limbs, whether immediate or through required amputations
  •     Loss of mobility through spinal cord damage
  •     Loss of vision
  •     Loss of hearing
  •     Severe back injuries
  •     Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  •     Catastrophic injuries
  •     Death

Crashes can lead to countless sorts of injuries. Don’t see yours here? Feel free to get in touch with our aviation accident lawyers. We can help you to identify whether you might be eligible or not. 

TBIs are especially dangerous. TBIs may occur when the head sustains blunt force trauma. They are similar to a concussion you might get from playing football, only more severe. 

The brain is responsible for both basic functioning and higher-level thinking. Trauma to the brain can result in a life-long impairment. Impairments can manifest themselves in many ways. Depending on the extent of the damage, essential motor functions could be lost, or the ability to control your limbs. In these more severe cases, survivors of TBIs could lose the ability to work or even care for themselves. 

Equally important to the body is your spinal cord. Your spinal cord runs from the base of your brain down through your back. Think of it as an information highway working in tandem with your brain to move your feet, open a door, or think logically. Survivors of trauma might be in a wheelchair for the rest of their life.

Many of the above examples could classify as catastrophic from a legal standpoint. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that turn your life upside down and are expected to last a lifetime. For example, someone who’s lost the ability to use their legs will require lifelong tools and possible at-home care. 

How Do We Identify Negligence?

Negligence is the failure to exercise safety protocols. As mentioned before, it is crucial to connect accidents to negligence to be considered for monetary compensation.

Our methods of identification depend on your case. 

Shea & Shea works with investigators who will work tirelessly for you. Our sole job is to locate the people and papers necessary to corroborate your story. Some of the many tasks you can expect are:

  •     Investigate your crash site
  •     Extract signed documentation
  •     Investigate everyone involved  (mechanics, pilots, other employees)
  •     Interview witnesses 
  •     Examine all relevant materials

Having eyewitness accounts is crucial. Trauma tends to blur reality and memories alike. Therefore, it’s essential to work with a trained investigative team that has experience working with witnesses. 

Aviation companies, like most, are required to have thorough documentation. This is true for commercial flights, private flights, manufacturing and shipping companies, and others involved at any step of the process. These companies must remain compliant with their governing bodies (such as the Federal Aviation Administration) or risk legal action. 

This leaves a paper trail we can follow. We can work with you to identify what caused the accident. Doing so can be a lengthy process. But it’s worth the wait. 

Investigating the crash site is another vital part of the process. We can gather evidence, take photographs, and collect other data. The more data we collect, the more effectively we handle your case. It’s not uncommon to show judges or juries proof in multiple forms. Doing so builds a body of evidence to support your claim.

Meet our team to learn more about our legal team and what we might be able to do for you.

Whether you live in Santa Clara, CA, or a neighboring region, don’t take on the insurance companies alone—call (408) 716-1629 for a free consultation.


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Shea & Shea - A Professional Law Corporation 2007 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95128

P.: 408-292-2434
Fax: 408-292-1264
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