June 1, 2019

4 Reasons People File Suit after a Helicopter Accident

Helicopter rides are a favorite summertime carnival activity or transportation for a sightseeing adventure. They are also a popular mode of transportation for celebrities, and VIPs as well as for medical evacuations.

While the helicopter accidents we hear or read about are usually militarily related, there has been a recent rash of civilian crashes such as the crash on top of the New York building that killed the pilot, Tom McCormak.

If you or a loved one has been affected negatively by a helicopter accident, you might be considering filing a suit against the person, people, or the company who caused the collision with the help of an airplane accident lawyer.

There are a number of specific reasons that defendants can be sued over a helicopter accident. Here are some of the more common reasons that people will file a suit regarding a helicopter accident after it has occurred.

1. Poor craft design or a manufacturer defect

The makers of aircraft parts have a responsibility to their customers to make sure their designs are manufactured correctly and without any defects. If such a flaw exists, and it causes harm to others while in use, the manufacturer is responsible for this harm.

In some situations, the pilot of an aircraft can complete all safety checks accordingly and fly on their route without a single mishap, and still, the defective part can cause an accident. The same can also be said for aircraft owners who are diligent about care and upkeep of their craft: If a part of the aircraft is defective, it can be impossible to avoid an accident.

It is also possible that an aircraft may be manufactured without a defect as a whole, but one of the component parts of the machine may not be functioning properly or designed correctly. If a part is designed to fit snugly into another part of the aircraft and its dimensions are just slightly off, it could spell trouble in the future for a potential accident. The fault in such a case would rest on the makers of the part.

2. Air Traffic Control or government error

If your accident is a result of poor communication or wrong instructions given out by Air Traffic Control, an airplane accident lawyer can help you determine where the liability lies and can assist you should you want to file a claim against the liable party.

3. Human factors

The National Transportation Security Board, or the NTSB, is in part responsible for investigations into aircraft accidents. Their data reveals that out of all the aircraft accidents they have investigated, 88% of them can be at least partly attributed to the errors of the pilot. A pilot’s loss of control is one of the most frequent causes of airline accidents, and this holds true both for general and private aviation. Around 50% of airplane accidents on commercial airlines are due to pilot error as well.

Corporate negligence on behalf of companies using these aircraft is often to blame for any human error in the cockpit, due to the pressures that can be heaped upon pilots and cabin crew by their superiors. These pressures can lead to fatigued pilots or undertrained crew members staffing aircraft, which makes the possibility of an accident much larger.

Human factors is the legal field of study examining the relationship between humans and the machines they operate. However, when operating aircraft, the stakes of any human error are much higher and more complex than with other machines on the ground.

Common human aviation factors can include complications from the man-machine interface. A small mistake on behalf of one human in the cockpit can have large consequences on the function of the aircraft itself. Crew coordination (communication breakdowns and chain of command issues between the cabin crew and the cockpit), and loss of situational awareness (forgetting to maintain surveillance of other potential issues while dealing with another problem) are also human aviation errors.

4. Helicopter pad operator negligence

If your helicopter is unable to make a proper landing due to a lack of care and diligence on behalf of the helicopter pad operator, the blame will rest with them and with the help of an airplane accident lawyer you may be able to file a claim against them. If you are looking for legal representation, book a FREE consultation with Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. today by calling 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529). We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.

Ms. Barry is studying Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She has won multiple awards both for her persuasive and creative writing and has written extensively on the topics of medical malpractice law, personal and birth injury law, product liability law. When she’s not researching and writing about these topics, she edits a literary magazine and tutors students at Penn’s writing center.

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