Governed by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Air Traffic Organization handles an average of 45,000 registered flights daily. Hundreds of these flights share limited space for takeoffs and landings at major airports. Unfortunately, even the slightest miscommunication between air traffic controllers and pilots can have devastating consequences for a plane’s passengers.

Although airport and air traffic control errors in Houston are rare, anyone who is injured or loses a family member because of one may have grounds to demand substantial compensation.

If you were injured in an air traffic control mishap, a skilled airplane accident lawyer could guide you through the civil claims process and ensure you get the payment you deserve for the harm you suffered.

How Do Air Traffic Control Accidents Occur?

Air traffic controllers have important and complex jobs. Because of the high stakes riding on everything they say, they must undergo extensive vocational training and remain focused during their shifts. Any controller who directs air traffic while impaired by drugs, alcohol, prescription medicine, or simple fatigue and stress has violated a duty of care to all passengers and pilots. If their actions directly result in an accident, they could be liable for damages.

However, an air traffic controller does not necessarily need to be overtly reckless to be held liable for ensuing injuries and losses. For example, if a controller makes a mistake while dealing with multiple flights at once, their carelessness could still constitute legally actionable negligence if it is the primary cause of an aviation accident.

Likewise, the companies and organizations that employ air traffic controllers—including the George Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports in Houston—can often be held vicariously liable for negligence by their employees. A company responsible for an employee’s recklessness could substantially increase available compensation from a lawsuit or settlement demand. During a consultation, our diligent attorneys at Roberts Markland could explain negligence in more detail and offer guidance on what types of damages you might be able to recover after an air traffic controller incident.

Time Limits for Seeking Civil Restitution

No matter how severe the losses caused by an air traffic control or airport error are, plaintiffs only have a certain amount of time to file suit before they are barred from recovering compensation. For most personal injury claims in Texas, this deadline is two years after the date an accident occurs.

However, if an accident occurs because of negligence by a federal air traffic controller, the Federal Tort Claims Act would govern the lawsuit rather than state-level laws. The filing deadline under the FTCA is also two years, but there are several restrictions and rules for filing. A hardworking and knowledgeable lawyer could explain these rules and file your civil claim.

A Houston Attorney Could Help Sue Over an Airport or Air Traffic Control Error

Negligence by anyone involved with the safe operation of commercial or private planes can have life-changing repercussions. Unfortunately, misconduct by air traffic controllers can often affect multiple planes—and all the people inside them—resulting in devastating losses.

If you believe an airport or air traffic control error in Houston directly led to your injuries or a loved one’s premature death, discussing legal options with an airplane accident attorney should be a top priority. Call today to schedule a consultation with our lawyers at Roberts Markland LLP.