At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we are here to help investigate what happened and help you get the compensation you need. Let our Las Vegas helicopter tour injury attorney get to work today.
Helicopter tours have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and many thousands of people take tours around Las Vegas in them. However, when something goes wrong on a tour, and people are injured or killed, you need to know where to turn.
Helicopter tour injuries are going to require skilled and experienced attorneys. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, you can count on having decades of experience by your side.
The damages caused by helicopter tour accidents can be extensive. If you have suffered a severe injury, you will require medical care and time away from work, which means bills start to pile up. The financial strain can affect all aspects of life – yours and your family’s. Dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company on top of that can be overwhelming. Insurance company adjusters may seem nice and as if they will be fair, but that is often not the case. They are trained to settle claims for as little money as possible.
When a personal injury attorney is representing you, the adjuster is more likely to take your claim seriously. Unless there is a threat of a lawsuit, it may be wrongfully denied, delayed, or significantly undervalued. In addition, helicopter tour incidents are going to become complex cases and involve multiple parties. This could include the:
An experienced helicopter tour injury lawyer will work to obtain all evidence related to the case in order to determine who is liable for what happened. They will negotiate with all parties involved in order to secure the compensation you are entitled to. If the defendant(s) does not offer a fair amount, your Las Vegas helicopter tour injury attorney will fully prepare the case for a trial. Industry studies show that injury victims who hire a lawyer generally receive three and a half times more compensation in settlements or awards, even after paying legal fees.
Victims of helicopter tour accidents have the right to recover the following types of compensation:
Reimbursement for actual financial losses, such as:
Compensation awarded for subjective losses rather than specific financial losses, for instance:
Depending on the tour owners or operators’ degree of negligence, the court may also award punitive damages, which is a type of compensation meant to punish actions that were intentional or morally reprehensible.
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years. This means that any helicopter tour accident victim who wishes to file a lawsuit against those responsible must do so within two years of the injury. If you fail to pursue one within that time frame, your case will likely be dismissed by the court, and you will be barred from recovering compensation. Two years may seem like a long time, but the sooner you begin the process, the better. The reasons are:
Lastly, your legal options may be limited if you are close to the deadline, as many attorneys will not take on cases at that point.
Who is liable for a helicopter tour injury will depend on a case-by-case basis. Some examples include:
The helicopter tour company can be liable if their negligence contributed to the accident. For instance, failure to maintain the aircraft, properly train pilots, or ensure tours stop when there is a risk of inclement weather conditions.
The pilot themselves, or in addition to the company they work for, can be responsible for the injury if a failure, incompetence, or reckless behavior caused it.
The owner of the helicopter may be different from the pilot or tour company. In cases caused by mechanical malfunction or improper maintenance, liability may fall on the owner.
When a defective part causes a helicopter tour accident, the parts manufacturer and any other party involved in the distribution chain may be partially or entirely responsible.
Air traffic controllers are responsible for telling pilots where to travel, how fast to go, and when to take off and land. Therefore, they must change flight plans immediately to prevent deadly collisions and mistakes. If a negligent action causes an accident, an air traffic controller can be held liable.
It is possible and typical for more than one party to be liable for a helicopter tour accident.
Nevada applies the law of modified comparative negligence to helicopter tour accident cases. Under this rule, fault is divided among the parties involved. Each is assigned a percentage of fault, and to recover damages, the plaintiff (victim) cannot be more than 50 percent to blame for their injury.
For example, suppose you are injured in a helicopter tour accident, and it was found that there were two other culpable parties. Party A was the helicopter operator, and Party B was the tour owner. Let’s assume Party A was 50% responsible, Party B was 40% at fault, and you were 10% to blame. The court awards you $500,000 for damages. Under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law, your award will be reduced by 10% due to your contribution. Therefore, you will receive $450,000. However, if the court finds you 51% responsible, you will not be able to recover any compensation.
Helicopters crash for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes are as follows:
One of the leading causes is negligence or human error. For example, the company that owns the helicopter may not regularly or properly maintain the aircraft, ensure the pilot is qualified, perform a background check, etc. Alternatively, the maintenance crew or company hired to perform repairs on the helicopter can make an error or perform the wrong repairs.
Pilots can make operational mistakes, such as failing to spend enough time on inspections pre- and post-flight, failing to appropriately respond to weather conditions, engaging in risky behaviors, making a mistake on flight schedule planes, and others. Some accidents are also caused by air traffic controllers, who may fail to prevent a midair collision by making a misrouting error.
Hundreds of delicate components must work together to make a helicopter operate safely. If only one part is defective and fails, it can destroy the entire system, and the pilot may lose control, resulting in a devastating crash. Common defective parts that cause accidents are the drive belt, main drive shaft, engine, transmission, and gearbox.
Since helicopters fly at lower elevations, they are already at a greater risk of running into a structure. Pilots can crash if they are not paying attention or fly too close to a landmark.
When fuel fails to reach the engine, or the helicopter is running out of usable fuel supply, it can be disastrous if the pilot is unable to make a quick emergency engine-off landing. These accidents often occur due to improper planning, technical failure, or a stuck fuel gauge needle.
Bad weather, such as snow, rain, fog, or other environmental factors such as birds, can quickly impair visibility and lead to an accident.
Often there are multiple causes that contribute to a helicopter tour accident; when one occurs, it can be made worse by the other. For instance, heavy rain can increase the chances of a pilot making an error.
The very nature of helicopter tours makes them risky. That is why these companies often require you to sign a waiver or liability before getting on board. However, these waivers to not shield tour companies from instances of gross negligence. Some of the most common causes of helicopter tour injuries include pilot error and poorly maintained helicopters.
When a helicopter crashes, injuries are often severe. It is not uncommon to see the following after a crash:
These injuries can result in significant losses for victims and their families, and they regularly cause permanent disabilities for victims.
In some cases, the crashes result in fatalities. If this happens, family members of the deceased may be able to recover compensation in a wrongful death or survivor lawsuit with the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, when a helicopter tour accident happens, they often cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If a loved one was fatally injured in a helicopter tour accident, surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Nevada law allows a claim to be pursued by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate or a family member based on intestate succession laws. The potential types of compensation available in a wrongful death claim include:
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) actions were intentional or extremely reckless. Unlike other types of compensation, punitive damages are granted solely to punish the defendant.
If you or a loved one have been injured on a helicopter tour due to the negligent actions of a tour operator or pilot, please seek legal assistance today. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we will dedicate ourselves to determining what happened so we can secure the compensation you deserve.
When you need a Las Vegas helicopter tour injury lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case.