Helicopters offer a fast way to move around large cities and make it easier to access places where aeroplanes cannot land such as oil rigs, remote islands, and mountains. While most helicopter trips are perfectly safe, accidents involving helicopters do sometimes occur. When they do, they can lead to very serious life-changing injuries as well as fatalities. Importantly, if you’ve been injured in or by a helicopter, you may be eligible to make a helicopter accident claim for compensation.
We offer a free consultation where you can discuss a helicopter accident compensation claim. During your call, we’ll review what happened, consider your chances of receiving compensation, and explain your options for free. If you decide to proceed with a claim and a personal injury solicitor from our team is happy to help, you’ll receive No Win No Fee legal representation. Therefore, you’ll only pay legal fees if compensation is paid to cover your suffering.
You can call 0800 6524 881 to discuss your claim or read more of this guide for further advice on helicopter accident claims.
Table of contents
- What Is A Helicopter Accident Claim?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Helicopter Accident Claim?
- Examples Of Injuries Caused By Helicopter Accidents
- How Much Compensation For A Helicopter Accident?
- Evidence To Support A Helicopter Accident Compensation Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Helicopter Accident Compensation
- Starting The Helicopter Accident Claims Process
Helicopter accident claims may be possible if somebody in the helicopter or on the ground is injured or killed as a result of the accident. Some examples of how helicopter accidents occur include:
- Helicopter failure linked to poor maintenance or testing.
- Pilot errors such as flying in unsuitable weather conditions.
- Inaccurate information from air traffic control.
- A lack of support for newly qualified pilots.
- Visual distractions such as lasers or smoke.
Investigating a helicopter accident can involve complex evidence which many of us wouldn’t have the skills to understand. Therefore, your solicitor will discuss this with you before deciding whether to proceed with the claim.
As we’ve shown above, there are various ways in which helicopter accidents can happen. If one of our solicitors is to take on a helicopter accident claim, they’ll need to be confident that:
- The defendant in your claim owed you a legal duty of care; and
- As a result of their negligence, the defendant caused a helicopter accident; and
- The claimant was injured as a direct result of the accident.
There are many parties that might be to blame for a helicopter accident but, in general, the claim will usually be made against a public liability insurance policy rather than any individual that caused the accident. This liability insurance might be held by the pilot, the helicopter’s operator or your employer (if you were in a helicopter for work purposes).
It can’t be stressed enough that to win such a claim, it will need to be proven that negligence caused the accident to occur in the first place. That means that if a helicopter crash was unavoidable, our solicitors wouldn’t be able to offer to help you.
Later in this guide, we’ll explain the types of evidence your solicitor may use to strengthen your claim if it is taken on.
While some helicopter accidents do cause fatalities, it is possible to survive a helicopter crash. However, when that happens, it is nearly impossible to avoid injuries some of which may be catastrophic. Some examples of the types of injuries that could lead to helicopter accident claims include:
Whatever type of injury you’ve sustained in the helicopter accident, please let us know if you’d like to see if you could be compensated. It’s important to go through this process as any compensation could help you on the path to recovery or cover any costs you’ll incur in the future because of your injuries.
To help calculate how much compensation for a helicopter accident you could claim, the extent of any physical suffering will need to be verified independently. Therefore, you’ll need to meet with a medical expert (generally arranged by your solicitor) during your claim. They’ll produce a report detailing your injuries and prognosis and your solicitor will use it to help determine the appropriate level of compensation.
The figures related to general damages in our compensation calculator give an insight into potential compensation figures for helicopter accident claims:
You may also be entitled to other forms of compensation following a helicopter accident including awards that cover:
- Private hospital treatment for your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of any hobbies affected by your injuries.
- The cost of a carer if needed.
- Lost income (including long-term losses).
- Travel costs.
- Home adaptations to try to make it easier for you to cope with any ongoing disability.
- Flashbacks, PTSD and other forms of psychological injuries.
Your solicitor will aim to ensure that all aspects of your suffering are considered before your claim is filed. This is important as usually, you’ll only get the opportunity to file one personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, many helicopter accidents result in fatalities. We realise that you won’t necessarily want to discuss compensation right away but if you do decide to seek justice for your loved one, we are here to help.
You could make a fatal accident claim on behalf of your loved one’s estate to cover their death and any suffering they endured during and after the helicopter crash. Costs could also be awarded to you if you had any expenses to pay including funeral costs.
Furthermore, if you relied financially on the deceased’s pension, income or other benefits, compensation could be awarded to cover this loss.
If you would like to discuss your case with a specially-trained member of our team, please get in touch. There’s no obligation to proceed and we’ll advise you of your options no matter what you choose to do.
If you start a helicopter accident claim, your solicitor will need evidence to try and determine the cause of the incident and how you were injured in it. The types of evidence that might be used include:
- Police and accident reports. If the helicopter accident was reported to the police or any other authority, a copy of the accident reports can provide an objective account of what happened.
- Witness statements. Anybody who saw the accident could provide a statement about what they witnessed which could help establish how the accident happened and who was at fault.
- Medical records. Your records can prove what injuries you sustained in the helicopter crash and the treatment you required. These records can also show the prognosis and expected future medical costs.
- Photographs. Photos and/or videos from the scene of the helicopter accident can provide visual evidence of your injuries and potentially the circumstances leading up to the incident.
- Maintenance and inspection records. If the accident was caused by a technical fault or poor maintenance, records from the helicopter’s upkeep can be essential. This includes logs of any recent repairs or checks.
- Flight logs and pilot records. These can help establish if the pilot followed protocols and had the necessary qualifications and experience to fly the helicopter.
- Communication records. Any communication between the pilot, co-pilot, air traffic control, and other relevant parties during the flight can provide insights into the moments leading up to the accident.
- Weather reports. If weather played a role in the accident, meteorological data from the time of the incident can be vital in understanding any contributing factors.
- Financial records. Evidence of lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and other financial losses can help quantify the financial impact the accident has had on the victim.
- A diary. If you’ve kept a personal account of the aftermath of the helicopter accident, it can help to highlight the emotional and psychological toll on the victim or their family.
In many cases, evidence will need to be gathered from many sources to try and get a full understanding of what went wrong. If you work with a solicitor from our team, they’ll manage this process for you and control all aspects of the helicopter accident claims process.
Generally, if you’re injured in an accident, the time limit for starting a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date of the helicopter accident. If your child has been injured, the time limit is not relevant until their 18th birthday so you can make a claim for them as a litigation friend before then without worrying about the limitation period.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a helicopter accident, you will also have 3 years to claim if that’s what you’d like to do. In this case, the limitation period starts from the date your loved one died or, alternatively, from the date you found out about your loss.
We believe that the claims process is usually easier the sooner you begin it. By starting as early as possible, your solicitor should have enough time to secure evidence, medical records, and witness statements to support your case.
Our team is on hand if you’ve any questions about helicopter accident compensation claims. By calling 0800 6524 881, you’ll be offered free advice after your case has been assessed by a specialist advisor.
You’re not obliged to make a claim with us after your initial consultation but we could partner you with one of our personal injury solicitors if your claim is strong enough. The important thing to note here is that all claims that are taken on are managed on a No Win No Fee basis. As a result claimants only have to pay legal fees where compensation is achieved.
We can also provide free advice about helicopter accident claims via our live chat service so please feel free to use it.