San Francisco Plane Crash
Although airplane accidents are rare, they do happen; when a major airline disaster happens, the federal government typically provides support services to survivors and families of the victims. Those survivors and families may be entitled to bring various legal claims against the aircraft and parts manufacturers, the airline and others involved, depending on the parties responsible for the crash. Most recently, a San Francisco plane crash—the plane having been arriving from Seoul, South Korea on July 6, 2013—left three people dead, while 123 were able to walk away from the failed landing relatively unscathed.
San Francisco Plane Crash Leaves Three Dead
Witnesses and survivors reported that the airliner was flying too low as it approached the end of the runway; according to a Federal Aviation Administration bulletin, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) that would help the pilot to safely approach the runway was not functioning. However, officials say that while the pilot had flown from Seoul to the city several times, he had only obtained 43 hours operating a Boeing 777; questions may be raised as to why his more experienced co-pilot failed to step in when the crew knew they were in trouble. A bystander video revealed that the tail of the plane may have struck a seawall and spun counterclockwise after impact. Officials, though still investigating, understand that auto-pilot was engaged sooner than it should have been.
Survivors were treated for injuries ranging from “severe road rash,” implying that they were dragged, to paralysis; additionally, while paramedics were expecting burns, more individuals suffered from spine fractures, abdominal injuries, head trauma and paralysis. Survivors and families of the victims may be entitled to file lawsuits to seek compensation for spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and death. Employees of the airline may also be eligible to obtain worker’s compensation.
Causes of Airplane Accidents
In many cases similar to the San Francisco plane crash, determining the cause of the accident that causes injuries is often the key factor in deciding which legal claims a plaintiff may bring and whom they are filing against. Most airplane crashes are caused by:
- Pilot error
- Fuel problems
- Faulty repair of the plane or poor maintenance
- Errors made by the federal air traffic controllers
- Structural problems or defective design of the airplane
- Defective equipment
Pinning down the exact cause of an airplane accident can be challenging; more often than not, more than one factor caused the incident. The federal National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has the responsibility to investigate aircraft accidents, including the San Francisco plane crash, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may be involved as well.
Injuries Sustained During Airplane Accidents
According to a physician treating victims of the San Francisco plane crash, many individuals suffered from head injuries, stretched ligaments, bruises, minor burns, broken bones and fractured spines; the physician noted that the pattern of these injuries is surprisingly similar. There may have been blunt force injury from people striking their heads against the armrests and the seat or from the seatbelts themselves. Some patient’s spinal cords were hyper-extended and fractured, meaning that these individuals will need to remain immobile and stable to prevent further damage to the spinal cord itself.
However, some of the most serious injuries caused by the San Francisco plane crash include traumatic brain injuries and internal injuries from being flung against the seatbelts. Everyone was in the same type of seat and wearing the same seatbelt, so many of the injured patients have similar or the same degrees of spinal damage.
In some of the passengers, the part of bone that sticks out on the back of their neck was broken in half. Unfortunately, even survivors with no obvious fractures may be facing become paralyzed because the stretched ligaments may not be able to keep the spine stable for much longer. Physicians plan to implant rods and screws into patients to help keep the spine sturdy.
Given the nature of the San Francisco plane crash, physicians, families and survivors expected to see more significant injuries. Most of the severe injuries were in the adults and not the children on board.
Injured in an Airplane Crash?
If you or a loved one have suffered from injuries similar to those sustained following the San Francisco plane crash, contact our attorneys today. We can help get you on the path toward compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will work to determine if you are eligible to pursue a claim and help to decide the most effective way to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.