Helicopter accidents may not be as common as other types of vehicle crashes, but they can be devastating when they do occur. Falling from the air or crash-landing can lead to serious and fatal injuries to the pilot, passengers, and anyone on the ground. Equipment failures, incompetent pilots, and lack of safety training have all caused deadly helicopter crashes in the past. If you or someone you know needs legal help after a helicopter accident in Georgia, come to Butler Wooten & Peak LLP.
One of the most common causes of helicopter accidents is negligence. The company that owns the vessel may not have kept it properly maintained, causing it to be unfit to fly. In this case, the maintenance crew or company may be liable for damages. There are dozens of federal and state laws that mandate how aircraft must operate. Breaking any of these laws can make an aircraft dangerous for the air, putting passenger lives at risk.
In other cases, the pilot may not be qualified to fly the helicopter. Incompetent or careless pilots run the risk of failing to control the aircraft, miscalculating the weather, or collisions with terrain. Failures to warn passengers of risks or to guide them safely off and on the aircraft are also examples of pilot negligence. These circumstances can injure and kill passengers – all due to a pilot’s lack of skill. It may be possible to bring a claim against the individual pilot or the company he/she is working for, depending on the situation.
Helicopters are complex machines with hundreds of delicate components working together to make it operate safely and efficiently. Just one defective part can dismantle the entire system, causing a terrible crash. Our team will investigate for faulty transmissions, main drive shaft failure, engine failure, drive belt failure, or other common causes of helicopter accidents due to equipment issues. These accidents may take the form of product liability cases against negligent manufacturers. Unsafe products may have manufacturing errors, dangerous inherent designs, or lack of adequate instruction/warning labels.
A federal employee may be liable for the helicopter accident if he or she failed to prevent a midair collision. Misrouting air traffic is a fatal mistake that may trace back to individual negligence or improper air traffic controller training. An intoxicated air traffic controller, for example, may be guilty of gross negligence for a subsequent helicopter collision. Cases against government employees and companies have different filing requirements than other types of cases. You must act quickly if you plan to sue the government in Georgia – typically within six months of the incident.
Over the last few decades, our aviation accident lawyers have represented victims of helicopter crashes, from private excursions to sightseeing tours with public companies. In our experience, we’ve learned that timely investigation is key for the preservation of evidence. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner you’ll be on your way toward potential financial recovery. After any helicopter accident, contact Butler Wooten & Peak LLP for a free consultation.