Helicopter Crashes

Miami and Florida Helicopter Crash Attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo

The helicopter is certainly a unique and special creation. It has the ability to lift off the ground vertically, and then fly horizontally – in any direction. Probably the most unique attribute of the helicopter is its ability to hover in the air. The helicopter has become essential in our society, has a plethora of functions, and has saved countless lives.

Unfortunately, the helicopter is also more likely to crash than any other type of aircraft, and when it does crash – often just plopping to the ground – the results are often deadly. And in crashes that are not deadly, the vertical drop often crushes the spine, resulting in severe and permanent disability.

If you were injured in a helicopter crash, or if a loved one lost their life, you may potentially pursue monetary compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo is a highly experienced personal injury who represents victims of helicopter crashes in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and throughout Florida.

Helicopters Have Many Uses

Helicopters have many purposes, including the following:

  • Personal transportation
  • Business transportation
  • Commercial aerial services such as photography and mapping
  • Sightseeing and air tours
  • News reporting
  • Traffic reporting
  • Emergency rescue
  • Air ambulance services
  • Land assessment
  • Disaster relief, rescue and evacuation
  • Firefighting and police
  • Agricultural work
  • Utilities patrol
  • Instruction and training
  • Rescue services at sea
  • Military operations
  • Transportation to and from oil rigs
  • Transportation to and from watercraft
  • Many others

Helicopter Crashes and Fatalities Statistics

The Federal Aviation Administration reported the following number of helicopter crashes and fatalities in the US during the past three years:

  • 2016 total accidents: 106
  • 2016 fatal accidents: 17
  • 2015 total accidents: 121
  • 2015 fatal accidents: 17
  • 2014 total accidents: 138
  • 2014 fatal accidents: 21

Accident rates vary, and in 2016 there were 3.19 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. While that number may sound relatively small, helicopter crashes are amongst the most deadly and dangerous of all aircraft.

What Causes Helicopter Crashes?

There are many causes of helicopter crashes, including human and mechanical error:

  1. Pilot or human error (operational error, decision-making errors, etc.)
  2. “Controlled Flight Into Terrain” - CFIT
  3. Mechanical malfunction – most often, engine failure
  4. Design flaw
  5. Manufacturing flaw
  6. Flight manual error
  7. Weather-related issues, including flying in prohibitive, inclement weather
  8. Electrical malfunction
  9. Communication error
  10. Maintenance error
  11. Failure to adequately inspect helicopter before flight
  12. Flight planning error
  13. Pilot insufficiently trained
  14. Ground crew error
  15. Negligence in safety-related aspects –  “weak safety culture”
  16. Quality control issues
  17. Overloading or improper loading
  18. Fuel-related issues, including running out of fuel
  19. Failure to abide by FAA regulations
  20. Failure to include a crash-resistant fuel system
  21. Failure to include crash absorbing seats
  22. Cooling and/or lubrication system errors
  23. All others not listed

Helicopter Crash Liability

Helicopter and aviation crashes are investigated and assessed by two agencies, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Unlike many other types of aircraft, most helicopters do not have black boxes, usually resulting in complex investigations. Investigations are absolutely necessary, not just to determine the cause of each particular crash, but because a mechanical failure on one helicopter model may represent a design or mechanical flaw affecting all other similarly manufactured helicopters. In some cases, entire fleets are grounded until the design or manufacturing defects are found.

Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo and his team of attorneys at The Law Offices of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A., will utilize the services of the most highly skilled aeronautical investigative engineers, accident reconstruction experts, weather experts, medical experts and others in pursuit of justice and compensation for his clients.

Questions must be answered:

  • What caused the crash?
  • Was the pilot at fault?
  • Was the pilot properly trained?
  • Was the pilot healthy?
  • Was the pilot intoxicated?
  • Was there a design flaw in the helicopter?
  • Was there a mechanical malfunction in the aircraft that the helicopter company or pilot should have known about, and/or was there one in similar models?
  • All questions relevant to the determination of negligence, liability and fault will be pursued.

Liability may potentially be shared by numerous individuals and entities, such as the manufacturer, design team, underwriters, sales and distribution companies, insurance companies, pilot, airport, administrators, and others. When there is negligence resulting in injury or death, the victim or survivors may pursue compensatory damages.

Compensation for Injured Helicopter Crash Victims and Families of Deceased Victims at The Law Offices of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A., in Miami and Throughout Florida

Damages for injured helicopter crash victims – in a personal injury lawsuit - may include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage and more.

Damages for survivors of deceased helicopter crash victims – in a wrongful death lawsuit – fall under two categories. The surviving heirs may pursue compensation for mental pain and suffering, lost support and services, loss of decedent’s companionship and protection, lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance and more. The estate for the deceased victim may pursue compensatory damages for lost accumulations, lost earnings and medical and funeral expenses. Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo will explain this to you as it applies to your case.

There Are No Legal Fees Unless The Law Offices of Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A., Wins or Settles Your Helicopter Crash Case

Since opening his law office in 1994, Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo has successfully represented thousands of clients in a wide variety of negligence cases. It is Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo’s intention and honor to zealously and compassionately represent his clients in their most difficult times. Compensatory damages can help helicopter crash victims and the families of deceased victims go forward in their lives.

Damages are often significant in helicopter and aviation crash cases. There are no legal fees unless Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo successfully settles your case or obtains a court award. A free consultation is available to discuss your case.

You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

Source

http://www.ihst.org/portals/54/symposium/2016/Presentation%20IHST-CIS_2016.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=87406

https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsid=84168

https://www.aea.net/events/rotorcraft/files/US_Rotorcraft_Accident_Data_And_Statistics.pdf

http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/helicopters/air-ambulance-safety-closer-look#page-2

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.21.html