Because of constant maintenance and inspection, an airliner crash is seldom caused by defective or worn-out parts on the airplane. Airliner crashes are usually caused by an outside influence or by pilot or staff error.
Outside influences include terrorism or weaponry smuggled aboard for the commission of a crime, including hijacking. Pilot errors include improper de-icing, or landing or taking off on the wrong runway. Staff errors include errors committed by staff in the control tower—if an airline controller directs one airliner into the path of another airplane or helicopter, a crash may result.
Certain errors may be a result of negligence. Negligence could be indicated if alcohol or drug use was found to be involved in the accident.
If negligence is found to be the cause of the airliner crash, you or your loved one may be entitled to punitive damages. An airliner crash attorney has access to various field and medical experts to help determine whether there was negligence involved in the airliner crash.