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Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P.

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where wrongs are made right


Office Location

4701 S 19th St #300,
Tacoma, WA 98405

Tacoma Attorneys Litigate Complex Airplane Crash Cases

Seeking compensation for crew, passengers and injured parties on the ground

Aviation is a vital sector of the Washington State economy, an essential means of transportation throughout the Pacific Northwest and a thrilling hobby for private aviators. But when planes malfunction or pilots make mistakes, the results can be disastrous. Since 1959, the aviation accident attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. have helped victims of plane crashes and their grieving families. We fight to obtain compensation and hold accountable those parties who cause widespread damage and horrific losses.

What are the leading causes of airplane crashes?

Statistically, commercial airline flight is incredibly safe, with the odds of being killed on a flight being 1 in 29.4 million. But other air traffic from charter jets, privately owned aircraft, sightseeing planes and helicopters, traffic helicopters, aerial crop dusters, aviation schools, and aircraft rental centers, also creates risk. Even naval aircraft are vulnerable, as the fatal crash of a plane out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island demonstrated in 2013. When planes do go down, the leading causes are:

  • Pilot error — This cause raises the question of negligence. Did the pilot have adequate training? Was the pilot inattentive? Did pilot distraction or intoxication play a role? Was the pilot imprudent in choosing to fly given the plane’s condition or the weather?
  • Weather — While the law often treats weather-related phenomena as a force majeure, an irresistible event akin to an “act of God,” the decision to fly in adverse weather could be negligent or even reckless.
  • Mechanical failure — A failure of a plane or its parts might be attributable to a defective design, defective manufacture or faulty maintenance.
  • Sabotage — A deliberate act designed to bring a plane down creates a cause of action for anyone who was harmed, but unfortunately, such criminals rarely have sufficient assets to compensate their victims.
  • Other human error — This could be a mistake by a flight controller communicating with the pilot. It might also involve the way cargo was loaded, either beyond the plane’s capacity or in an unsecured or unbalanced manner that made operating the plane impossible.

Reconstructing aviation accidents to determine cause and liability

The flight data recorder, also called the black box, is an important source of information for the cause of a plane crash. But it is only one piece of evidence that assists in establishing liability. Our personal injury attorneys consult with accident reconstruction experts and aviation engineers to thoroughly investigate all aspects of a plane crash, because even the tiniest detail can be instrumental in helping you get the maximum benefit to which you are entitled.

Contact our Tacoma aviation lawyers for dedicated representation in your plane crash case

If you were harmed in an aviation accident or a loved one was lost in a plane crash, you need a dedicated legal team with the skill, experience and resources to prosecute your case. The seasoned trial attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. are ready to help. For a free consultation and case evaluation, call us at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.