Plane crashes are rare, significantly less common than motor vehicle accidents. Some odds say your chances of being in a plane crash are about one in 11 million. However, when plane crashes do occur, they often end in devastation. Even a small plane crashing can leave untold damage, both to passengers and to those on the ground, especially in densely populated areas.

You may have seen numerous movies about plane crashes, and many of them involve a domino effect of mishaps and mistakes. In real life, there are a handful of causes that lead to most plane crashes, but most of them have a common denominator: human error.

Accounting for human error

Less than one quarter of plane crashes occur because of weather, especially thunderstorms. Strong rain and unpredictable wind can make a plane difficult to handle, even for an experienced pilot. It is not always possible to avoid these situations, but those who make the decision to fly when weather conditions are dangerous may hold some responsibility if a plane gets into trouble. This is one way in which a seemingly natural event can still point to human error.

Human error is not limited to pilot error. In fact, it may be difficult to count the number of people responsible for the safe takeoff, flight and landing of a commercial airliner, but some estimates suggest about 80% of accidents involving planes result from mistakes someone made along the line. Those who may ultimately contribute to a plane going down include:

  • The manufacturer of critical components of a plane’s engines and safety features
  • The mechanics responsible for the maintenance and repair of the plane
  • Air traffic controllers who may be poorly trained, distracted or incompetent
  • The airline that failed to adequately train, vet or supervise the pilots
  • Pilots who make critical errors or fly when they are unfit, such as when they are ill, impaired or emotionally unstable

If you or a loved one is injured in a plane crash, or if you lose someone you love, you want answers to your many questions. Perhaps the most pressing questions are why did this happen and who is responsible. With the right legal advocate, you may be able to get to the root causes of the accident that left your family suffering. A skilled Georgia attorney will know how to hold accountable all those whose recklessness or negligence contributed to your loss.