Aviation Accident Attorneys | Airlines | Helicopters | Military

Located in Los Angeles, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C., is a nationally recognized law firm entrusted with providing experienced legal representation in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits throughout the United States and internationally. We handle aviation accident lawsuits involving commercial airliners, single engine aircraft, passenger jets, helicopters and other aircraft.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has represented aviation accident victims in some of the worst aviation disasters in history.

Our experience has led to successful resolutions on behalf of aviation accident victims and their families in all types of aircraft accidents, including those involving:

An Experienced Team That Can Identify All Causes of an Accident

Our 40 years of experience handling plane crashes and other mass disasters has provided our team with a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively investigate and prepare for trial or settlement. We meticulously investigate accident causes and pursue accountability against the airline, aviation company, airport, manufacturer, or other negligent parties.

Examples of aviation accident causes include:

Over the years, our law firm has handled many major U.S. airline accidents and international air disasters. Learn more about specific airline or helicopter maker’s crash history and cases handled by Baum Hedlund (this list only includes a portion of our case history):

Some of our top settlements and verdicts include:

  • $17.5 million settlement for the death of a passenger in a major US plane crash
  • $14 million settlement for the death of a passenger in a major US plane crash
  • $12 million settlement for an injured passenger in a helicopter crash
  • $10 million settlement for the death of a passenger in a major foreign plane crash
  • $7.5 million settlement for the death of passenger in a helicopter crash
  • 136 aviation cases settled for $1 million or more
  • Caused first known public apology from a major airline

Any aviation-related lawsuit may well involve more than one state’s law or court system. Numerous complex choices and decisions may have to be made to maximize recovery or streamline procedures. Baum Hedlund has routinely made these choices and has the extensive experience needed to recognize and resolve complex aviation accident cases.

We have found from our decades of experience handling aviation accident cases, that passengers represented by an attorney receive far more than passengers attempting to resolve claims on their own. Time and time again we have seen that, despite assurances from insurance adjusters and the airlines’ attorneys that they want to quickly and fairly compensate the families for their losses, an insurance adjuster has allegiance only to his or her firm, the airline and its insurance carrier, as they urge a quick settlement or threaten to prolong the process if their offer is refused.

Many people feel that they are victimized twice by the aviation industry: once by the tragic event and then again by being put through the grueling process of proving their damages. We understand the complex issues, the defense tactics, and what it takes to successfully prevail on our clients’ behalf. We work hard do ease our clients through this most difficult time by assisting them in all aspects of their preparation and by standing ready at all times to answer all questions. We make it a priority to hold the negligent parties fully accountable by leveling the playing field and fighting for a full measure of justice.

Ronald L. M. Goldman, Pursuing justice

Our past performance, verdicts or settlements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of future legal matters.  Past results obtained or overall performance must be confined to that particular case, its factual and legal circumstances and legal surroundings.  Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Baum Hedlund was more than we ever hoped for after previously having a particularly bad attorney. Here we found respect, courtesy and care. Our views were respected, our wishes were followed and our goals were met. What we wanted had not been done before and our attorneys explained why. We let them know that was still our goal and they said, “OK, we’re up for it. We’ll try hard and see where it goes.” Our only acceptable alternative was to go to court, so they began prepping for that as well. They gave us good advice. They allowed us to speak for ourselves in mediation, always helping us to not jeopardize our case. They did not advise us to settle for less than our goal. In the end, we were successful due to BH’s professional skills and personal service. They were attentive to our emotional needs, our family values and needs. I cannot write enough praise here for the services Baum Hedlund gave and continue to give. We will always be thankful for our team. Always. — Tereasa Shepherd – Read more from our clients

Many aviation accident victims or their families hire our firm because of our decades of experience and success in handling airline, other commercial and general aviation accident litigation. Our firm is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and maintains an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, obtained through a rigorous process conducted by the leading international lawyers’ directory. According to Martindale.com, and AV rating is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are “the gold standard in attorney ratings, and have been for more than a century.”*

The Press Looks to Baum Hedlund’s Extensive Experience

Our attorneys have extensive experience with relevant state, federal and international laws.  We are experienced in pursuing claims in the complex area of international aviation law, and have represented personal injury victims and heirs in wrongful death cases in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.  We are one of the more experienced aviation accident law firms in the world.

We are proud to have resolved major aviation accident cases against Airbus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Aero Mexico, Asiana Airlines, British European Airways, Boeing, Bombardier, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Airlines, EgyptAir, Germanwings, Honeywell, JetBlue, Korean Air, McDonnell Douglas, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Raytheon, Singapore Airlines, SAS-Scandinavian Airline Systems, Southwest Airlines, SwissAir, TACA Airlines, TWA, United Airlines, US Airways, among others.

Our team has over 40 years of extensive aviation accident litigation experience. Ronald L. M. Goldman started his career in aviation accident law in 1972.  Other principles of Baum Hedlund began litigating aviation cases in 1985.

  • 255+ aviation crashes/incidents
  • 70+ different airline crashes
  • 30+ international aviation crashes
  • Over $4 billion recovered firm wide; over half a billion for aviation accidents
  • More than 700 passengers and crew represented over the past 40 years
  • Represented clients from six continents; 29 countries
  • Major honors and recognition for our achievements
  • 200+ cases handled involving Boeing aircraft
  • 48 cases handled involving Airbus aircraft
  • Cases handled against all major US airlines that have had a crash since 1985
  • Handled cases against the majority of all U.S. aircraft parts manufacturers
  • Crashes handled against 15 foreign air carriers.
  • Among our attorneys are two pilots and engineers
  • We have successfully negotiated with all the major aviation insurance companies
  • Appointed to 15 commercial aviation Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees and leadership positions
  • First U.S. law firm to get an official public apology from an airline for a crash

Are First Class Seats Safer than Economy Seats on Airplanes?

As an economy traveler, there are things about your flying experience that you know will be different from those flying first class — a smaller seat, less leg room, more lines to use the facilities, and probably the food is not as good. What many don’t expect to be different are the safety features of an economy seat versus a first class seat. Based on some of the information that has been gathered following the Asiana crash, however, we are seeing that there is indeed a discrepancy between the safety features in first class and economy.

Eugene Rah, who was sitting in the first class section of Asiana OZ214 when the tail section of the Boeing 777 slammed into a seawall at SFO, issued the quote above in the aftermath of the crash. He credits the shoulder strap of his seat’s safety belt for saving him from serious injury, and rightfully so. The people seated in the economy section of the passenger cabin sat in seats that only had a lap band seat belt. Do shoulder belts provide more protection? If you were to pose that question to a survivor of Asiana OZ214 that was seated in the economy section, the answer would probably be a resounding ‘yes,’ because many economy passengers suffered serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, abdominal trauma and spine fractures.

A surgeon at San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Medical Center told the Wall Street Journal that he treated an elderly crash victim brought to the hospital with major spinal fractures. “Because there was no shoulder component to his seat belt, that allowed him to violently slam [his] forehead into the seat in front of him, and then this resulted in some head trauma,” said Dr. Dimitriy Kondrashov. The blunt force of this blow to the head “dissipated across his neck, and that’s why he sustained a very unstable fracture of his cervical spine.”

Airlines have long dragged their feet on installing shoulder belts in the economy cabin because, according to Time Magazine, they feel that “there simply isn’t the data to support that adding a chest strap would protect passengers from further injury.” The industry also believes that adding shoulder belts to economy seats would require the economy section to be drastically redesigned to include a heavy mounting system and the seats themselves would need to be heavier. This added weight, of course, would add to fuel costs for the airlines, which is likely the biggest reason that airlines have been reluctant to install shoulder straps in economy — they don’t want to pay for it.

This certainly defines second class — it is not economy for the passengers at all, but economy for the airline. The airlines are saving money by refusing to do the hard work of designing shoulder belts for the majority of passengers. Or maybe they believe the wealthy passengers in first class are more worthy of protection? No one should ever have to pay extra to be safe.

Aviation Accident Support Resources

ACCESS, AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services



Aviation Safety Week

Federal Aviation Administration

National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB’s Most-wanted Aviation Safety Improvements

Contact your federal legislative representatives:

Trust in the attorneys and team of Baum Hedlund to provide exceptional legal representation with genuine personal support.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation Regarding an Aviation Incident

Our law firm has offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., and we represent families of fatal crash victims as well as individual survivors with serious injuries in aviation crashes, both nationally and internationally.

For immediate assistance, or to schedule an initial free consultation or case evaluation with an experienced aviation or plane crash lawyer, please contact us online or call 800-827-0087.