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Who is responsible for airplane crashes?

Planes do not crash often in Pennsylvania or in the United States as a whole, but the accidents that do happen can cause many injuries. Even things that are relatively minor, such as a plane sliding off of an icy runway, can injure dozens of people in seconds. When this happens, who is responsible?

This is the biggest question asked after an accident, and the truth is that there are a number of potential parties that could be responsible, depending on the type of accident. Naturally, pilot error could be to blame. Pilots are human, and they can sometimes make very unfortunate mistakes and cause accidents.

Additionally, the airline itself could be held responsible, especially when negligence comes into play. Airlines are expected to train their employees well, to enforce regulations and to do all in their power to make sure people are not hurt.

Negligence just means doing something or failing to do something and putting passengers at risk. For example, a pilot who decides to ignore a warning light could be negligent, as could a ground-based inspector who cleared a plane to fly when it was in no condition to fly.

In some cases, injuries may still occur even if the airline isn't negligent. For instance, an act of God could cause a crash that couldn't have been avoided, even by a well-trained pilot doing his or her very best. However, many accidents can be traced back to simple root causes that put blame on the pilots, the crews, other airline employees and the airlines.

Those who are injured in aviation accidents should know what legal steps to take to seek compensation.

Source: FindLaw, "In-Flight Injuries on Airplanes," accessed June 10, 2015

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