The Chicago airplane accident lawyers from Krzak Rundio Law Group have helped settle many claims following disastrous commercial airline crashes and other aviation accidents that happen due to negligence. We know how to approach, work up, and bring closure to complex airplane claims and know what evidence is required to bring truth to light. Ultimately, that’s why our personal injury law firm exists—to bring truth to light and peace of mind to accident victims who have already suffered and don’t deserve to suffer any longer.
Throughout his legal career, founding partner, Michael Krzak has tackled highly complex air crash cases. His work has been instrumental in handling major commercial air crash disasters. He was heavily involved in air crash involving Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 which crashed short of the runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2009. There, he handled cases for 17 families who were victims of that air crash. He also handled the highly publicized air crash cases of Comair Flight 5191, which crashed while attempting to take-off of the wrong runway in Lexington, Kentucky, representing the interests of 5 families there. He was a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee relating to that crash and also a designated member of the Plaintiff’s trial team. He also handled the air crash case involving Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Buffalo, New York, representing a number of families and was on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee.
Most recently, he represented the interests of a family who lost a loved one in the crash of an Execuflight aircraft in Akron, Ohio on November 11, 2015. He also represented the surviving heirs of two individuals who were on Malaysia Air Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014. He was also involved in the cases of families who were victims of crashes of American Eagle Flight 4184, Alaska Air Flight 261, American Airlines Flight 587, TWA Flight 800, and the Southwest Airlines crash at Midway Airport in December, 2005. Michael has also been involved in numerous cases involving crashes of small aircraft and helicopters, including crashes at the OshKosh, Wisconsin Air Show and other crashes in remote areas. Michael has established long-lasting friendships and relationships with the victims and families of victims he has represented in many of these crashes.
We’re no longer part of an era where aviation travel is optional. It’s necessary. Whether we depend on commuter airlines for traveling for work or airline cargo planes to transport goods overseas, all Americans are dependent on airplanes and other aviation crafts to travel safely and swiftly to their destinations.
Here in Chicago, especially, businesses could not operate without access to a trusted airline. Millions of passengers travel through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport every year. Going by takeoffs and landings only, O’Hare is the second-busiest airport worldwide. By passengers, O’Hare is the sixth-busiest airport in the world and third-busiest in the U.S. The state of Illinois is also home to more than 9,000 private aircraft vehicles and pilots that take to the skies every opportunity they have.
Airplane and aviation accidents are among the most devastating accidents we see and hear about on the news. No matter how and why an airline accident happens, the results are almost always catastrophic and often result in dozens of fatalities. Even the smallest of pilot or mechanical errors can cause an issue that is simply unrecoverable when flying 40,000 feet up in the air or when taking off or making an approach to land, where there simply isn’t time to recover.
If you or someone you love has been injured or unfortunately had their life lost in an airplane accident—whether it involved a major commercial airline, a helicopter, or a private aircraft—you should know that legal options may be available to you. If negligence of any type caused the plane wreck, you may be eligible for compensation. A successful injury lawsuit can achieve the client’s goals of finding out what caused the occurrence, taking action to prevent repeat offenses and providing financial security for the future. By filing a lawsuit against a negligent airline or aircraft manufacturer, you may be part of effectuating change to prevent future accidents.
First, let’s go over some facts and statistics about airplane accidents and their causes:
Aviation Accident Facts and Statistics
Given the numerous advances of technology over the years, we naturally expect that when we board a commercial airline or climb into a sightseeing helicopter that no harm will come to us or those we love. Commercial airlines have taken great measures to prioritize airport security in recent years, but how safe are we in the skies?
It should be no surprise to find out that many aviation and airplane accidents result in fatalities. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there were 1,282 aviation accidents in the U.S. in 2015. 238 of those crashes were fatal and resulted in 406 fatalities. Unsurprisingly, more fatalities resulted than fatal crashes. This is because most airplanes carry numerous passengers.
When a plane crash occurs, it’s up to the NTSB to investigate the accident and find the underlying cause. The NTSB is an independent agency that has no regulatory power. When a plane accident happens outside of the U.S., the investigation is headed by the country the aircraft was in when the incident occurred. To date, the NTSB has investigated over 132,000 aviation accidents.
Why Are Airplane Accidents So Complex?
While the NTSB’s investigations find the “probable cause” of aircraft crashes that happen in the United States, the NTSB is not required to look at or make recommendations on all causes of aircraft crashes. Retaining an aircraft accident lawyer can help you navigate through the findings of the NTSB and delve further into all of the causes of a crash. Aviation cases are often complex because they may involve multiple victims as well as possible causes that are tied to negligence. In many cases, that negligence can include the negligence of the pilots, the airline’s training protocols, product defects, or component part failures.
All airline pilots, crewmembers, and handlers are required by law to adhere to specific safety standards set in place by the Federal Aviation Administration that ensure no harm comes to passengers, cargo, or employees. Commercial airlines owe their passengers the highest duty of care. When these standards are not met and a pilot is careless when operating a plane, for example, or makes a critical mistake that could have been avoided, that pilot may be found to be negligent and at fault for the crash.
The same goes for all other airport employees, handlers, and crewmembers. Other types of aircraft and airline negligence include the following:
- Piloting errors
- Poor pilot training
- Air traffic controller negligence
- Defective or malfunctioning equipment
- Aircraft technology or software failure
- Airplane maintenance deficiencies
- Runway maintenance deficiencies
- Manufacturing defects
- Component part failures
By law, all audio is required to be recorded in the cockpits of major airlines and aircrafts. After a major plane crash happens, the NTSB is required to release a transcript of these cockpit recordings. When negligence is suspected, legal teams are then able to use these transcripts to figure out why the accident happened and what was happening inside the cockpit at the time of the crash.
Our Chicago Aviation Accident Lawyers Go the Extra Mile
At Krzak Rundio Law Group, we believe that cockpit transcriptions are not always enough to determine the causes of many major airline crashes. When necessary, our Chicago airplane accident attorneys will file a court order and insist on obtaining the original cockpit recordings which let us get a better picture of what happened in the cockpit as the crash occurred and what emotions the pilot and crew were experiencing. When the actual recording is released for purposes of litigation, it places the victims who are not part of the NTSB investigation on equal footing with the airlines and manufacturers who are parties to the NTSB.
We believe that transcriptions are often not enough to get a true image of these emotions because transcriptions don’t consider voice inflections, volume, and tempo. The transcriptions are prepared by the NTSB Cockpit Voice Recorder team which includes airline staff members who may not consider the impact that emotions have on voice recordings. By obtaining the original recordings, we can discern with our highly qualified experts whether pilot error truly occurred and in what capacity.
The above example is just one reason our injury attorneys will not hesitate to go the extra mile to make sure our clients learn what caused the airplane crash they or their loved one was injured or lost their life in. In every case we take to settlement or trial, we work hard to ensure our clients’ stories are heard and more than just heard—understood. We also do everything on our power to fully understand our client’s goals in hiring us and assisting them in getting closure to the great loss that they have suffered.
If you or someone you love has had their life impacted by injuries sustained in an airplane or aviation accident of any type, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Illinois airplane accident attorneys today. We can bring your family the peace of mind you deserve and will work tirelessly to make your voice and story heard. Understanding and achieving your goals is vital to providing you the appropriate representation. We make it our priority to understand your goals.