Helicopter Crashes

Helicopter Crash Attorneys

Nationwide Lawyers Helping Families Affected by Devastating Helicopter Accidents

Helicopters are highly complex machines requiring intricate design, construction, maintenance, and skills in operation. Because these machines require such precision in order to ensure safe manufacture and use, the smallest problem could lead to a disastrous helicopter crash. A tiny part malfunction or a momentary negligent act could result in serious injury or death. With so many possible contributing factors involved in a helicopter crash, it is often difficult to identify the true cause of the accident or who is ultimately responsible for it.

At Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, however, our lawyers have extensive experience in performing a thorough helicopter accident investigation and pursuing full and fair compensation on behalf of the victims and their families. Based in California, our firm works with some of the best experts in helicopter safety, design and manufacturing, in order to find the answers that victims and their families need and the justice they deserve.

In the past, our firm has handled cases involving nearly 800 passengers and crew injured or killed in aviation accidents, including helicopter crashes across the U.S. and abroad.

Get started with a free case evaluation. Give us a call today at (855) 948-5098 or submit our online form to speak with a helicopter crash lawyer.

Contact Us Today

No Fees Unless We Win
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • +1
    Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • A Major US Plane Crash $17.5 Million
  • A Major US Plane Crash $14 Million
  • Helicopter Crash $12 Million
  • A Major Foreign Plane Crash $10 Million
  • Best Law Firms 2021
    Best Law Firms 2021

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • California Powerhouse
    California Powerhouse

    Law360 recognizes law firms that have a strong regional presence, working on important matters within their home state. “[Baum Hedlund] possesses a David v. Goliath-sized slingshot while seeking justice for everyday citizens it believes were harmed or killed through corporate wrongdoing.”

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • Verdicts Hall of Fame
    Verdicts Hall of Fame

    The National Law Journal inducted Baum Hedlund into the Verdicts Hall of Fame for obtaining the $2 billion landmark verdict in the Roundup cancer case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto. The verdict was #1 in California and #2 in the U.S. in 2019 and is #9 in American history.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
    AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Board Certified Attorneys
    Board Certified Attorneys

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is one of the nation’s largest and oldest private board-certification organizations for attorneys. Two of our shareholders are certified in multiple specialties.

  • Top Jury Verdict in <br> CA and USA
    Top Jury Verdict in
    CA and USA

    TopVerdict.com ranks our $2 billion verdict in Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto as the biggest verdict in California and the second largest verdict in the U.S. in 2019. It is the ninth largest verdict in U.S. history.

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
    Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers

    Published annually, the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list recognizes the “best of the best” in this area of the law through nominations, research, and review by a board of their peers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Product Liability Practice Group of the Year
    Product Liability Practice Group of the Year

    In 2020, Law360 honored the law firms ”behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry.” It recognized our success in several landmark cases.

  • Top Personal Injury Jury Verdict in California
    Top Personal Injury Jury Verdict in California

    In 2018, our $289 million Johnson v. Monsanto verdict was the largest personal injury verdict in California. TopVerdict.com also ranked it #2 among all verdicts in California and #10 in the nation.

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.

/

What Causes Helicopter Crashes?

After decades of experience in this field, we have seen many reasons why helicopter crashes occur and we have worked hard to improve helicopter safety by bringing many of these issues to light. Because of our unique experience, our attorneys understand how to investigate the causes of helicopter accidents and identify responsible parties and hold them accountable.

Among the most common causes of a helicopter crashes are:

  • Manufacturing defect/product liability
  • Pilot error or other human factors
  • Aircraft design defect
  • Aircraft maintenance negligence
  • Air traffic control — government or contractor error
  • Helicopter pad operator negligence
  • Obstructions
  • Poor weather conditions

According to helicopter safety statistics, helicopters crash more often than small planes and vastly more often than large airliners. At Baum Hedlund, we have found that there are several factors that contribute to the higher accident rate. Helicopters are a unique kind of aircraft capable of vertical flight. They can effectively move back and forth, hover, and quickly change altitude in ways that airplanes cannot. Due to these differences, a helicopter can operate low to the ground and in areas that require a high level of maneuverability, such as between buildings, or near mountain ranges. However, many of these ideal uses for helicopters have inherent dangers of their own.

Military or medical helicopters are often flown into dangerous and stressful situations where the potential for pilot error is heightened even further. Flying low through buildings in order to rescue an accident victim is not easy – and these sensitive operations are made even more difficult when you consider that most helicopters don’t have a set flight path or the controlled environment of an airport runway and air traffic controllers to assist them. Even with the assistance of air traffic control or helicopter pad operators, human error can play a part in causing helicopter crashes. Inaccurate information or a brief moment of inattention can bring about disaster when there is so much at stake.

Since helicopters are so tricky to operate and maintain, even leisure activities involving helicopters, such as sightseeing tours, have particular dangers associated with them. Many exciting sightseeing destinations, like Hawaii, have very unpredictable weather patterns and helicopters are naturally more vulnerable to bad weather than planes.

Another important factor that may add to the higher helicopter crash rate is that helicopters have many more moving parts than a plane, which means there are more parts that can potentially malfunction. Each individual moving part is essential to the operation of the aircraft and if any one of those parts is improperly designed or manufactured, deadly helicopter crashes can be the result. Additionally, because these parts are in constant motion they wear out faster than most plane parts and require very specific inspection and maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. If the helicopter maintenance provider is negligent and skips steps or fails to notice an issue with the aircraft it can easily lead to helicopter accidents.

Leading Advocates for Helicopter Safety

While we work tirelessly to seek appropriate compensation for our clients, we also make it a priority to help improve helicopter safety by exposing bad business practices and fighting against improper aviation laws that put lives at risk. One case that exemplifies our efforts was a helicopter air ambulance case that we took to trial, changing aviation law in the process. The case involved a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter picking up a girl seriously injured in a car accident. While the helicopter air ambulance was transporting the girl to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, the tail rotor fractured and broke apart, causing the helicopter to crash in Griffith Park. Three paramedics and the injured girl were killed.

Although the helicopter company knew previously of the tail rotor problem and in turn notified the military to change all of the helicopters’ maximum flight time, civil aviation was not notified. Our firm changed aviation law when we argued that a life is a life and that where the identical part is used in both civil and military aircraft, the manufacturer must notify the FAA of a parts failure even if the failure occurs in a military aircraft. The Appeals Court agreed. The result: manufacturers can no longer hide dangerous parts from the FAA and operators of aircraft. This allows for remedial action not otherwise possible.

More Examples of Our Helicopter Crash Cases

Below are some additional examples of our helicopter crash cases. We’ve also provided a complete list of our helicopter crash case history for your reference.

A/MH-6M “Little Bird” Military Helicopter Crash, Ft. Benning, Georgia, 2011

On August 8, 2011, two accomplished military pilots were operating an AH-6M helicopter in a routine training exercise when an unexpected malfunction lead to a fatal helicopter crash that killed both of the officers. We filed suit alleging that manufacturing flaws and quality assurance failures, lead the aircraft and parts manufacturers to provide an unreliable, unsafe, defectively manufactured helicopter that had safety issues with the engine, fuel control system, and other flight components.

Maryland State Police Helicopter Crash, Forestville, Maryland, 2008

After an automobile crash on September 27, 2008, Maryland state police sent a helicopter to pick up a 17 year-old who was injured in the accident and transport her to a nearby hospital. During the trip to the hospital the helicopter was forced to divert due to adverse weather and ended up crashing in a wooded park area. The helicopter crash killed four people on board, including the injured patient being transported. The National Transportation Safety Board conducted an investigation and found that a combination of factors, including outdated weather information from the air traffic controller, caused the crash.

We sued the FAA alleging that the air traffic controllers were negligent in their communications with the helicopter, and additionally that the controllers were unresponsive and inattentive when the pilot asked for help. Also, the State of Maryland filed a lawsuit against the FAA alleging that the air traffic controllers were not able to handle ground-based radar guides and therefore gave the pilot of the medevac helicopter weather information that was about five hours old.

Classic Helicopter Corp., Charter Helicopter Crash, near Easton, Washington, 2007

On August 2, 2007 just outside of Easton, Washington a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff in mountainous terrain. Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter takeoff and ascend to approximately 30 feet, then after about 100 feet of travel, the tail started swaying side to side, and the pilot had to get it down, albeit with a hard landing. A post-crash fire consumed the helicopter and those onboard. All four passengers sustained fatal injuries. Our helicopter crash lawsuit alleged that a design flaw in the helicopter lead the occupants to burn to death after a very survivable, low impact helicopter accident. The work our firm performed in this case helped lead to safer design of the fuel tanks in the R44.

Heli USA Airways, Sightseeing Helicopter Tour Crash, Kauai, Hawaii, 2005

An Aerospatiale Helicopter operated by Heli-USA Airways Inc. crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kailiu Point on September 23, 2005. The helicopter was in the process of a sightseeing helicopter tour when the pilot continued to fly in adverse weather conditions. This resulted in the loss of control after an encounter with a microburst. Also contributing to the accident was the inadequate FAA surveillance of operating restrictions and a lack of flotation equipment on the helicopter. Three passengers suffered minor injuries, and three others were drowning-related fatalities.

Complete list of our past helicopter cases:

* Aviation cases handled by Ronald Goldman before joining Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman

Contact a Helicopter Crash Lawyer

Our skilled helicopter crash lawyers are experienced in aviation law as well as the technical operations of an aircraft. We understand how to investigate the causes of helicopter accidents and identify all responsible parties. Several Baum Hedlund attorneys are described in Aviation Counsel Magazine’s 2001 list of Recommended High Flyers (considered by International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Legal Department as one of “the most elite lists of aviation law practitioners ever produced”) to be “among the best aviation lawyers in the world by the aviation legal community.” Collectively, we have also won at least half a billion dollars on behalf of aviation accident victims.

Contact our experienced helicopter accident attorneys for thorough investigation and aggressive pursuit of helicopter crash claim.

Firm Reviews

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm

    “Multiple lawyers recommended Baum Hedlund to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.”

    - Best Law Firms Survey
  • They Are About Changing the Systems...

    “Baum Hedlund are not only amazing attorneys but more importantly, they are activists. They are about changing the systems which got us into trouble in the first place. They understand their role in the process of making change.”

    - Kim Witczak
  • Top Legal Minds in the Country

    “The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • Diligent & Professional Representation

    “Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.”

    - W.T.
  • Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List

    “A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.”

    - G.C. & C.C
/