Helicopter Crash FAQ

While commercial airlines are considered common carriers, helicopter pilots are not required by federal law to maintain a strict standard of care toward passengers. Helicopter pilots are held to a standard called “common negligence standard.” This standard requires helicopter pilots to use “due diligence and reasonable care to prevent an accident or injury.” He or she is expected to possess the same knowledge and skills as a commercial pilot. His/her actions will be compared to how a “reasonable pilot” would act under the same circumstances. Under “vicarious liability,” when a pilot causes a plane accident, the injured party can sue the aircraft owner as well.

Boeing researched and discovered that 48% of fatal crashes occurred of plane accidents happen during the final descent and landing. The second-most deadly part is take-off and the initial ascent.  This happens in  13% of fatal accidents. Experts describe these stages as the “plus three minus eight” rule. This means that a majority of plane crashes take place during either the first three minutes or the last eight minutes of a flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates all airline accidents in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also sometimes investigates aviation accidents, particularly when airline accidents involve violations of FAA regulations.

Regardless, make sure someone is investigating the accident with your best interest.

Sometimes, it is better to negotiate with the airline than the insurance. However, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney to figure out the difference.

The statute of limitations dictates how long after an accident you have to make a claim. This time period varies. It depends on state or federal.

After suing the airline, surviving families can recover financial compensation for loss of support, and children can recover for loss of a parent’s nurture, care and guidance. Some states permit damages for grief and suffering of family members. Depending upon the circumstances, damages may be recovered for the victim’s pain and emotional suffering prior or during the crash.

Damages depend on the income of the deceased passenger and the support he or she gave the family. 

There isn’t a limit or cap on damages. Thus, surviving family members can often sue for a variety of damages for airline accidents in the United States. This includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, grief and emotional distress.

The lawsuit usually can be filed in a victim’s home state where the flight originated or the intended destination. However, sometimes, it is more advantageous to bring the lawsuit in the place where the airplane crashed, or where the airline has its main office. There are states with better damage laws, and this is why having a knowledgeable attorney is important.

Inexperienced lawyers propose deeply reduced percentages of the final settlement. This is because they will bundle multiple cases together for a quick settlement with the insurer. This maneuver can lower the settlement you are owed. 

The airplane industry has convinced travelers that flying is completely safe. However, aviation accidents do happen. When they do, it is usually devastating. This includes loss of life, injuries, and property damages. We have over 20 years helping victims and their families. There can be complex litigation rules involved. It is important to pick a litigation team that will fight for you and your loved ones.

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