Part 23 Reform & What it Could Pose

The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) are rules set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governing all aviation activities in the United States. The rules includes Part 23, which details airworthiness standards required for issuance and change of type certifications for certain airplanes, as well as determines special aspects of aircraft performance.

In 2016, the FAA released a final rule to streamline the certification process, and it was deemed a victory for many in the aviation world, providing groundbreaking provisions for aircraft manufacturers. The new rule allows manufacturers to use performance-based standards in place of prescriptive manufacturing methods that have slowed down development of new designs and technologies and caused aircraft certification costs to sky rocket. The new certification process will remove certification categories, such as utility and aerobic and, instead, use four levels of performance and risk testing based on the aircraft’s seating capacity.

Despite the advantages to the aircraft manufacturers, Part 23 reform could pose some serious consequences for the rights and safety of passengers. Under the new rule, if an aircraft meets the airworthiness requirements set forth in the Part 23 certification process, the manufacturer will not be held responsible if a crash occurs due to defective parts, dangerous designs, negligence or failure to warn of a known hazard.

Part 23 aircrafts are also known to have a history of accidents and safety issues. The reform of this rule would take away the ability to hold manufacturers liable for defective parts and allow them to continue producing unsafe aircrafts. The reformed certification is meant to bring much needed technological and safety improvements; however, there has been very little light shed on its dangers to consumers, which should have been weighed heavily in this decision.

The attorneys at Slack & Davis have handled many cases involving Part 23 aircrafts. If you or a loved one have been involved in an aviation accident and need help, call us for more information at (800) 455-8686.

Slack & Davis in Best Lawyers® Business Ed.

Partners Mike Davis, John Jose, Ladd Sanger, Michael Slack, and Of Counsel Paula Sweeney were included in the Best Lawyers® Business Edition for their plaintiffs’ work in personal injury litigation.

For more than three decades, Best Lawyers® has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal professionalism and excellence around the globe. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey where more than 52,000 leading attorneys cast 5.5.million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in more than 130 practice areas.

Read the full Business Edition.

Common Construction Site Injuries

Common Construction Site Injuries

A report released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that over 9 million Americans worked in the construction industry in 2014. Unfortunately, construction frequently lands on lists of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. In fact, one in five fatalities that occurred on the job in 2014 took place on a construction site. We’ll discuss which injuries are most common in this line of work and what workers can do if they experience an injury on a job site.

Each day, almost six and a half million construction workers head to over 250,000 sites across the country. Working in construction involves manual labor and the use of a variety of hand and power tools. Although the specific tasks can vary, workers might clear and prepare sites for new builds, build bridges, create trenches, set up support braces or scaffolding, operate heavy equipment, pave roads, demolish existing structures and clean up debris and rubble. The dangerous nature of these tasks makes construction workers particularly vulnerable to a wide range of injuries.


Working with electrical wiring, chemicals, leaky pipes and many different types of machinery can expose construction workers to the risk of fires, which can lead to burns and scarring.

Head Injuries

The reason that you often see construction workers wearing hard hats is that injuries to this part of the body are common while on the job. Falling objects, tools and materials can lead to cuts, concussions and traumatic brain injuries, among other conditions. Workers who are involved in digging or building a structure from the ground up are particularly at risk for these types of injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The activities most commonly associated with spinal cord injuries at a construction site involve falling off ladders, scaffolding or other elevated platforms or areas. Sadly, these situations can result in partial or full paralysis, damage to the brain and lasting and debilitating disabilities.


Not surprisingly, lacerations to the skin are a common construction site injury. Some of the more common construction site hazards that can lead to cuts include defective or poorly maintained tools and machinery, equipment that is not properly secured and exposed nails. If not properly treated, these wounds can become infected, requiring further medical attention. Wearing protective clothing and gear can help reduce these types of injuries.

Bone Injuries

The use of heavy machinery can lead to broken, fractured or even crushed bones. Equipment like bulldozers and cranes can cause serious damage to workers on a construction site if used by someone with improper training. Additionally, this type of equipment can lead to accidents if not properly secured when not in use.

Loss of Limbs

Damage to a construction worker’s extremities can result in the loss of a finger, toe, arm or leg. Heavy equipment and machinery can crush these body parts. In some cases, limbs or digits are so damaged in a construction accident that amputation is required.

Hearing Loss

Construction sites are loud places. The noise generated from heavy equipment and machinery can lead to construction workers’ hearing damage or loss. Workers can experience damage when operating jackhammers and other loud equipment without ear protection or if struck on the side of the head or on the ear by an object or falling materials.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

The manual labor required in the construction industry involves repetitive motion, whether it’s lifting materials or tools or bending down. Repetitive stress injuries frequently cause back problems, which can prove to be debilitating for construction workers.

Heat Stroke

Working outside year-round can expose construction workers to heat-related health problems. A throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea and cramping can indicate that a worker is experiencing heat stroke. If an individual does not seek treatment, heat stroke can lead to organ damage and failure and eventually death.

Loss of Vision

Construction workers are exposed to a variety of chemicals, gases and other materials at job sites which can damage eyesight. In the most severe cases, exposure to these materials can lead to partial vision loss or even blindness.

Avoiding Injuries on the Job Site

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established by Congress to set and enforce workplace safety standards and provide training. OSHA recommends that companies include all necessary safety equipment and tools when estimating the cost of a job. Workers should receive proper training in the use of all heavy machinery, equipment and protective gear. All tools should be well-maintained and in proper working condition. Regular safety inspections can spot potential problems before workers are put at risk.

What To Do If You or a Loved One is Involved in a Construction Site Accident

Damages sustained as a result of a construction site injury can be serious and long-lasting. In most cases, a victim can submit a claim under their state’s workers’ compensation program. However, in some cases, they may be eligible to seek additional compensation through a “third party claim.” These cases may involve the wrongful act of someone else, such as when a tool or machine malfunctions or if an individual is involved in a motor accident on the job.

The dedicated professionals at Slack & Davis can help advise victims on all of their options. In some situations, they may be entitled to compensation to help offset the financial loss if they are unable to resume work, if they have a lasting disability or if they suffered a more serious injury, paralysis or even death. The attorneys at Slack and Davis understand how serious injuries can impact a worker and their family’s day-to-day life. We have worked with many victims to help them get them the compensation they deserve to meet their immediate and long-term needs.

Are Helicopters Safer Than Airplanes?

Are helicopters safer than airplanes

If you’ve ever taken (or considered taking) a helicopter ride, you might be wondering: Are helicopters safer than airplanes? How safe are helicopters, in general? Helicopter vs. airplane safety statistics published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) paint a complicated picture, especially since helicopters and airplanes are often operated for different reasons and under different conditions.

Many other factors also come into play when you are comparing statistics. Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not oversee the safety of tourist helicopter companies, for example, there can be a wide range of training and experience levels among helicopter pilots. Read on to learn more about helicopter vs. airplane safety.

How Safe Are Helicopters?

Statistics show that smaller aircraft, including private planes and air taxis (a category that includes helicopters), are more accident-prone than larger commercial flights. According to the NTSB, in 2015, there were zero fatal plane accidents involving commercial airlines in the United States. Of the 415 aviation fatalities in the U.S. that year, 100 percent involved general aviation aircraft, air taxis, commuter planes and foreign or unregistered planes.

Of the three air taxi helicopter accidents in the U.S. which occurred in 2010, two resulted in serious injuries and significant damage to the helicopters. – Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents, 2010  

Why is there such a difference in fatal accidents between commercial airlines and smaller aircraft, including helicopters? There are several factors that can help explain this discrepancy. First, in any category of aircraft, the majority of accidents occur during takeoffs and landings. Second, regarding helicopters specifically, the biggest factors affecting flight safety are weather conditions along with pilot training, experience and skill. Since helicopters typically land and take off far more often than larger aircraft, and since general aviation pilots aren’t required to have as much training or experience as commercial pilots, helicopter flights are more prone to accidents, including fatal ones.

Other Factors Affecting the Risk of Helicopter Flights

Unlike airplanes, helicopters do not require a runway for landing, so they are able to land almost anywhere; this is one reason why they are often used in high-risk military or medical rescue missions. Helicopters also fly at much lower altitudes than most other aircraft, which brings hazards like the sudden, unexpected appearance of buildings, landforms or other aircraft into play.

More than half of air tour helicopter accidents between 2007 and 2009 involved system or component failures.  – Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents, 2007-2009

Furthermore, since helicopters have far more controls than airplanes for pilots to learn in navigation, the accident rate during training sessions is twice as high for helicopters as for airplanes. The overall rate of helicopter crashes, however, is only slightly higher than that of airplane crashes, and the fatality rate is actually slightly lower for helicopters.

There are also different risk factors among the various types of helicopters themselves. Personal helicopters, which are often operated by less experienced pilots, have a higher crash rate than professionally operated commercial helicopter taxis. Lower-quality helicopters also crash more often than higher-end models, likely due to differences in mechanical quality along with pilot experience and training. Helicopters certainly have more moving parts than airplanes, which means more parts that might fail mechanically, causing an accident.

Most helicopter accidents involved a loss of pilot control, collisions during takeoff or in flight or system failures.  – Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents, 2007-2009

Weather and other conditions of the flight also make a difference. Emergency flights, such as military or medical rescue flights, have a higher crash rate than flights for business or pleasure, since they often fly regardless of weather and other conditions.

How Safe Are Helicopter Tours?

Discovering a new area from the unique vantage point of a helicopter is an enticing opportunity. Gaining that aerial view of the terrain below, perhaps to observe or admire animals or landforms you might never have spotted from the ground—it’s no wonder many people love exploring by helicopter. Even helicopter flights close to home are exciting for the new perspective and information they can provide. But how safe are helicopter tours?

Let’s look at the facts and statistics:

  • Helicopter tours operated by a more experienced and highly trained pilot are safer than those piloted by someone with less experience and training.
  • If you are considering taking a tourist helicopter ride, check the company’s safety ratings and customer reviews before you book your flight.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on weather reports on the days leading up to your flight, so you’ll know if it’s best to cancel or postpone. (Of course, reputable pilots won’t fly in adverse conditions like rain or wind.)
  • Finally, helicopter tours are one area in which the old rule of “You get what you pay for” certainly applies.

Companies charging lower rates for a tour are likely making up costs by hiring less-experienced helicopter pilots who require less pay than a more experienced, highly trained pilot. While you can never receive 100% assurance of a safe flight, it may be a good idea to spring for a more expensive helicopter tour with an established company that has high safety ratings and excellent customer reviews.

The Aviation Attorneys At Slack & Davis Can Pursue Your Case

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen when you least expect it. If you or someone you know is involved in an aviation accident, whether it’s a commercial flight, air ambulance, helicopter or other aircraft, our attorneys at Slack & Davis have deep experience in aviation law and can advise you on the best course of legal action. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Truck Accident Causes and What To Do If You’re Involved in One

Truck Accident Causes

Vehicle accidents of any type always carry the potential for grim outcomes. But when a car is involved in an accident with a large truck, such as a semi, tanker or 18-wheeler, the outcome is especially likely to be serious, if not fatal. Smaller vehicles hardly stand a chance against larger trucks that outweigh them by many thousands of pounds—and unfortunately, many times, the truck is to blame for the accident.

One of the most common truck accident causes is driver error due to fatigue, inexperience, or driving under the influence. Other common truck accident causes include equipment failure, speeding, unsafe highway or weather conditions, and trucking company policies that may prevent alert, well-rested drivers.

What Truck Driver Accident Statistics Show

According to the Federation of American Scientists, rates of truck accidents, injuries and fatalities have been rising since 2009. This rise led to federal regulations which went into effect in 2013 that were intended to limit truck sizes, as well as truck drivers’ time spent on the road, but the Senate Appropriations Committee has since moved to suspend many of those regulations. Most recently, in March 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) abandoned its proposed “restart rule,” which would have required truck drivers to take a 34-hour rest period at least once per week.

The FMCSA has also proposed other rules that have faced opposition and have yet to become law, such as stricter training standards for drivers and trucks being equipped with speed limiters to prevent speeding on roadways. Both drivers and motor carriers have protested regulations like these due to the constant push for greater productivity and wages. The suspension of these regulations, however, may contribute to truck drivers spending longer hours on the road in longer, heavier trucks, both of which can put truck drivers and other vehicles at greater risk of being involved in a serious or even deadly accident.

Common Truck Accident Causes

In the early 2000s, the FMCSA, together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, conducted a study examining the causes of nearly 1,000 serious crashes involving large trucks that occurred across 17 states. According to the results of this study, the leading causes of truck accidents include: brake problems (29%), speeding (23%), unfamiliar with the roadway (22%) and roadway problems (20%). Driver fatigue, drug use, and inexperience were also contributing factors.

Overall, there are five primary causes of truck accidents:

Truck driver impairment due to fatigue or driving under the influence

Spending long hours on the road leads to fatigue, which impairs alertness and driving ability; fatigue can also push some drivers to rely on stimulants and other substances to stay alert, despite the fact that these also can impair their ability to drive.

Equipment failure

A piece of a truck’s mechanical or electrical equipment can fail, which can result in a catastrophic injury. Brake failure or even a tire blowout can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a devastating crash.

Highway or weather conditions that make driving less safe for everyone

The heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes for the driver to bring that vehicle to a complete stop, especially when roadways are wet or iced over. Similarly, sudden slow-downs and stops necessitated by construction, accidents or other roadway hazards are more difficult for longer, heavier vehicles to navigate or respond to quickly.


Exceeding recommended speeds is a major factor in many roadway accidents, whether involving trucks, cars or other vehicles.

Trucking company policies

Some company policies push drivers to spend longer hours on the road, thereby creating unsafe conditions for everyone. Many truck drivers are subject to pressures such as strict deadlines and low hourly pay, leading them to push onward on the road instead of stopping to rest.

What to Do if You or Someone You Love Is Involved in a Truck Accident

When you or someone you know has been involved in an accident involving a truck, the injuries can be serious and the resulting medical bills can be staggering—not to mention the damage to your vehicle and any wages lost while you’re out of work. When there is a tragic loss of life due to a truck accident, the financial and emotional toll can be even more severe.

The personal injury attorneys at Slack & Davis are compassionate and experienced in the area of truck accident injuries. We take a personalized approach to pursuing the compensation our clients deserve after experiencing a devastating truck accident. Whether you personally or someone you know was involved, call Slack & Davis for legal advice on your particular situation. Our attorneys will help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve.