After a deadly tourist helicopter crashed in the East River in New York, many began to seriously question the safety of helicopter travel. Many people have a mistaken perception that helicopter travel is inherently safer than other forms of air travel, but in fact the opposite is true. Helicopters are about 35% more likely than the average aircraft to be involved in a crash.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a helicopter accident, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately, as it is likely that you have a viable legal claim for compensation. While helicopters are less safe than airplanes generally, helicopters do not just drop out of the sky for no reason. Normally, some mechanical defect or maintenance issue caused the crash, which can result in legal liability.
Types and Causes of Helicopter Crashes
Helicopter travel and motor vehicle travel are dramatically different, but many of the same problems that cause fatal automobile accidents can occur in helicopters as well. The bigger differences are the stakes involved in a crash. Helicopters are designed to land safely in an emergency situation, but these safety measures do no always work, which can result in severe injuries.
The following examples of crashes and their causes can serve as the basis for at least some form of legal compensation in court:
- Pilot Error: If the helicopter crashes into an obstacle, during landing, or into another aircraft, pilot negligence may have occurred.
- Improper Maintenance: A helicopter is a complicated machine and must be meticulously inspected each time it flies. While maintenance mistakes do happen, the law recognizes that the high stakes involved in helicopter crashes require pristine maintenance.
- Defective Components: Helicopters are extremely complex machines, but it only takes one or two defective pieces to cause a catastrophic incident. Companies that manufacture helicopters and their components can be held liable for either mistakes made on the assembly line or poorly designed systems.
- Defective Safety Equipment: Reports from the recent New York crash have pointed to defective safety harnesses as the explanations for passenger deaths. Poorly manufactured safety equipment is unfortunately all too common in dangerous machinery.
Available Compensation in Cases of Helicopter Crashes
Victims of accidents can seek a variety of different types of legal compensation to assist them in recovering from their injuries. The responsible party could be forced to compensate the victim for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a crash resulted in a death, additional civil damages could be awarded to the surviving family to help them cope with the emotional tragedy caused by the loss of a family member.
To ensure the maximum amount of possible recovery, you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in investigating helicopter crashes. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Texas for filing personal injury lawsuits is only two years. If you have a legal claim, do not sit on your rights. Due to the complexity of this particular piece of equipment, having prior experience up front will save time in the litigation process and produce a better result if the case goes to trial.
Have Questions? Schedule a Free Consultation with a Houston Helicopter Accident Injury Lawyer
To discuss your legal options with an experienced Houston helicopter accident injury attorney, contact Michael P. Fleming and Associates today 713-221-6800. You only have a finite period of time to take legal action against the negligent party. This means you should not delay speaking with a lawyer about the best path forward.