A helicopter crash brings to mind all kinds of devastating injuries, including fatalities for all those on board. However, even survivors end up with serious injuries like paralysis, traumatic brain injury, punctured organs, and third degree burns. Helicopter manufacturers have a duty to prevent such accidents by making sure their aircrafts are as safe as possible. When they use defective parts, ignore repeated complaints, or sell unsafe helicopters, they are responsible for any injuries resulting from their negligence. If you have been injured in a helicopter accident or lost a loved one to a helicopter crash, you are entitled to sue the responsible parties for compensation. However, most victims are tricked into low settlements by manufacturers who put profits over human lives. Manufacturers can also be extremely stubborn and refuse to admit liability for the accident.
Legal representation is critical to knowing how much compensation you deserve, and not being pressured into a low-ball settlement. Below is some information regarding the average value of helicopter accident cases. But please keep in mind that this is general information that may or may not apply to your specific case. Each helicopter accident lawsuit is different and requires an examination of many factors, including the type of injury, how the injury affects the victim’s life, and the manufacturer’s involvement in the accident. That’s why it’s impossible to give you an approximate case value without speaking to you in person. However, we want to give you an idea of what may be recovered, including the types of compensation that are available to you.
Here are some of the questions we will go over:
Compensation in a Lawsuit for Helicopter Crash Injuries
- How much is the average award for a helicopter crash?
- What can I ask for if my family member or loved one died in a helicopter crash?
- What kind of expenses can I include in a helicopter crash lawsuit?
As the victim of a helicopter crash, you are entitled to damages for a variety of losses. These losses include:
- Medical bills for hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy and other treatments.
- Lost wages if you’ve lost your job or had to change careers because of your accident.
- Pain and suffering to manage PTSD, anxiety, and other forms of emotional trauma.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also qualify for punitive damages. This is an additional amount that the courts award on top of a standard settlement. It’s given out in cases where the responsible party’s actions caused extreme harm to the victim. There’s no limit on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in California. As a result, it’s challenging to know how much to ask for, or if you should ask at all. Our lawyers believe that victims should ask for and receive every form of compensation they’re entitled to. We can determine whether you qualify for punitive damages and ensure that you receive the full value of your helicopter accident case.
Compensation claims are a bit different for the loved ones of a helicopter crash victim. In that case, you are suing to recover losses that occurred as a result of your loved one’s death. This is known as a wrongful death compensation claim, which allows you to recover the following:
- Medical bills incurred by the deceased person.
- Pain and suffering to deal with the emotional trauma of your loved one’s passing.
- Loss of income or inheritance that the deceased person would have provided.
If you are the spouse or registered domestic partner of a helicopter crash victim, you may also be able to sue for loss of consortium. This form of compensation refers to the love, comfort, and companionship you shared with your significant other. The losses covered under loss of consortium include loss of sexual relations and the ability to have children. Whether you qualify for loss of consortium depends on personal circumstances within your relationship with the decedent. A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can guide you in this area and figure out an appropriate amount to ask for.
Liability in a Helicopter Accident Lawsuit
Now that you know what types of losses you can recover, let’s talk about liability. This refers to who is responsible for your injuries or the death of your love one. In order to hold a manufacturer responsible in a helicopter crash accident, you would need to show that something they did or didn’t do resulted in the accident that caused your injury. For example, if the manufacture knew about a defective part but sold the helicopter anyway, they are liable for the injuries resulting from their negligence. This is harder to prove than you think, since major aircraft manufacturers like Robinson, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas will do everything they can to put the blame on someone else.
Without skilled legal representation, victims often give into the pressure and go after individuals that are easier to sue. This will result in lower compensation amounts than if they had sued the manufacturer and may not be enough to cover the victim’s losses. So you can see why liability is absolutely critical to winning a lawsuit for helicopter-related injuries. But as we mentioned, establishing liability with major corporations can be overwhelming for the average person. Our attorneys have the skill and experience to uncover the truth and recover payment from the responsible parties.
Sample Case Values for Helicopter Crash Settlements
The value of a helicopter accident case is made up of various amounts relating to your losses. Some losses, like your medical bills and the wages you lost out on, are easier to calculate. Others, like the effect on your mental health, are much harder to calculate. You also have to consider future medical treatments and the income a person will lose out on for the rest of their life. If you’re the loved one of a crash victim, then you have to factor in emotional losses like loss of consortium. That’s why it’s difficult to give an “average” case value for a helicopter crash lawsuit.
Having said that, we can give you an idea of the amounts we ask for, and the reasons why. Here are two samples of helicopter accident case values.
Sample Award for Helicopter Injury Victim
Laura is a 40-year old nurse, who sustained third-degree burns over most of her body due to a helicopter crash. She will require surgeries, pain medication, physical therapy and counseling for the rest of her life. Laura can no longer work as a nurse due to constant pain and loss of function following her accident.
Medical costs: $750,000
Lifetime medical treatments: $150,000 per year times 30 years = $4,500,000
Pain and suffering: $500,000
Lost wages: $80,000 per year times 30 years = $2,400,000
Lifetime Prescription Costs: $72,000
Future Rehabilitation Costs: $450,000
Total approximate value of her case: $8,672,000
Sample Award for Helicopter Crash Wrongful Death Claim
Michael lost his domestic partner, John, in a helicopter crash. Prior to John’s death at the age of 26, he was in a coma for two weeks before Michael decided to end all forms of life support. A few months before the accident, the couple had put in an application to adopt a child.
Medical Costs: $46,000
Funeral Expenses: $15,000
Loss of expected income: $40,000 per year times 40 = $1,600,000
Pain and suffering: $500,000
Loss of consortium: $350,000
Total approximate value of his case: $2,511,000
It should be noted that these samples cover only the basic types of compensation. For example, punitive damages would add to the total value if the accident was due to gross negligence by the manufacturer. And compensation types like pain and suffering or loss of consortium vary greatly from client to client depending on the unique circumstances in their lives. Thus, you should speak to an attorney to find out what is a fair and reasonable compensation amount for you.
Finally, keep in mind that these examples are based on extremely serious injuries, and your injury may not be as severe. Still, even minor injuries can take a long time to heal and cause you to miss time from work or lose your job altogether. A back injury, for example, can make it impossible for you to resume your job duties if you work in a warehouse. In short, there’s a lot to think about when you decide on a case value for your lawsuit. Consult one of our helicopter crash attorneys and make sure you are not cheated out of the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose DTLA
Frankly, most people are aware that having a lawyer gives you the best chance of winning a personal injury lawsuit. But many of them try to handle things themselves because they’re afraid of being stuck with huge legal bills. We can’t deny that high quality representation doesn’t come cheap, but you as the victim should not pay for it. With our Zero fee guarantee, you will never pay upfront for any of our services. If you decide to file a helicopter accident or wrongful death claim, we will do all the work for free, including arguing your case in court if need be. Once we win your case, all our legal fees will be paid for by the manufacturer, not you. And if we don’t win, we eat the costs because that’s how much we believe in our clients.
Our free services include free second opinions if you already have an attorney. Maybe you’re not happy with your lawyer’s service or feel like the case value they quoted you is too low. We will be happy to review your case and verify if your lawyer is doing everything they can. Regardless of whether you want to work with us, we believe in treating all victims with the respect and honesty we would want for ourselves.
Call DTLA Law Group to learn more about what you could receive from a helicopter crash lawsuit.