National & International Helicopter Crash Lawyers
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC aviation attorneys investigate ALL types of helicopter crashes across the globe and provide counsel to passengers, pilots, crew, and surviving family members should such victims seek justice through personal injury and wrongful death civil lawsuits in the United States.
Specialized Helicopter Knowledge & Experience
A rotary-wing aircraft—a helicopter—is designed, maintained, and flown differently than a fixed-wing airplane. The only way to truly understand the differences is to fly both. Our Aviation & Attorneys are consulting aviation expert witness who habe actual airplane and helicopter experience flying a variety of mission profiles, with and without night vision devices, including: medical evacuation, search & rescue, external lift, wire inspections, and shipboard operations. Napoli Shkolnik see crashes from the pilot’s perspective, not just from what the wreckage, maintenance records, and design and other publications show. We then assemble the right team of experts to help us rule in or out each and every possible cause of the crash.
Medical & Air Ambulance
Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) or Life flights have the highest crash rate in US aviation. In 2014, and after extensive Congressional hearings, the FAA made changes to the minimum requirements for Helicopter Air Ambulance Operations. Some of these changes are being phased-in over time. The crash rate remains high. There is inherent high risk in this type of on-call mission. Yet, US Air Ambulance Operations generally fly these missions single-piloted, even at night.
Seeing the sites in a helicopter is often the highlight of a vacation. These tours often involve flights into busy airspace, cities, or near picturesque obstacles. Operators work at a high tempo, on a tight schedule, usually carrying multiple passengers, occasionally in marginal weather conditions, and almost exclusively in single engine aircraft. One tour helicopter crash is too many. Unfortunately, there are several fatal tour helicopter crashes in the United States each year.
Helicopters routinely transport workers to and from offshore oil rigs and platforms. Helicopters are also used for ocean search & rescue and commercial fishing operations. When a crash happens, a lawsuit will likely involve complex admiralty/maritime, aviation, and possibly international law. Napoli Shkolnik aviation attorneys are well-versed in admiralty and international law & offshore helicopter operations.
Helicopters are permitted to fly closer to terrain and land in areas where airplanes cannot. These advantages expose pilots and their passengers to hazards such as improperly marked powerlines and towers and unmaintained landing zones. Almost all helicopters used for flight instruction or recreational use are single engine. Our lawyers understand these unique hazards, fly helicopters, and know how to investigate helicopter crashes & litigate helicopter crash cases.
Logging & External Lift
The ability to hover and pick up/drop off cargo by long-line or sling load makes helicopters indispensable in commercial logging & complex construction operations. Conducting these external lift operations often require pilots to fly at high gross weights, with minimum power margins, and in reduced visibility situations. When something goes wrong, the crew and people on the ground are in immediate danger & property could be destroyed. Product liability, negligent maintenance, negligent supervision, and negligent flight operations could all be implicated in a logging or external lift accident or crash.
Powerline & Utilities
Helicopters are used by utility and power companies to inspect, maintain, and mark existing powerlines. These activities require helicopter pilots to fly and hover in close proximity to powerlines and towers—the very same hazards that can be difficult to see and that cause helicopter and airplane crashes. Wire Strike Protection Systems have been developed and are in use, but their effectiveness is questionable even with an inadvertent wire strike in forward flight.
Getting Helicopter Crash Victims Full Compensation
The Napoli Shkolnik practice group is led by Hunter Shkolnik, a thirty-year trial lawyer, with proven results in state and federal courts across the United States. Contact us for a free consultation and preliminary investigation.