Plane Crashes in New Mexico

Who is liable when a plane accident occurs?

Recently, a plane crash occurred near Hatch, New Mexico, killing four people.  Officials report that the accident happened about 300 meters northwest of the Hatch airport.  The crash involved a single engine Cessna aircraft holding several individuals from Texas.  Thus far, the cause of the accident remains unclear.  The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation concerning the crash.  Our Rio Rancho personal injury attorneys at MPJ Law Firm explore plane crashes in the state and liability issues when a small plane goes down.

Small Plane Crashes More Common Than Commercial Air Accidents

Plane accidents, no matter the size of the plane, are relatively rare.  New statistics, however, confirm that small plane crashes occur far more often than commercial airline accidents.  Data from the National Transportation Safety Board reveals that 97 percent of aviation deaths occur in general aviation, and not commercial flights.  Every day, an average of five small planes will crash, resulting in about 500 deaths a year.  

New Mexico has become a common location for small plane accidents due to the number of small plane operators traveling to and from the state for business and commercial purposes.  At least 450 plane crashes have been recorded in New Mexico since the 1970’s, and not all are included in public databases.

Liability for Small Plane Crashes

An airplane accident will typically result in serious, often fatal injuries to the passengers and crewmembers aboard.  Liability for the accident will be determined after extensive investigations.  Pilot error is considered the number one cause of small plane accidents.  While weather can be a contributing factor, pilot inexperience, drowsiness, and intoxication are often the root cause of a plane accident.  

Mechanical failure is the second leading cause of plane accidents.  Planes are complex machines.  A defect within any of the electrical components, fuel system, or landing gear can cause a catastrophic crash.  Mechanical failures will generally be identified during the accident investigations.

Potentially liable parties in a plane crash could include the pilot, the airline, or the manufacturer of the airplane and its component parts.  Contact a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to protect your legal rights.  

Posted in: Personal Injury