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Offshore Helicopter Accident Lawyer in Louisiana

A helicopter on an offshore platform

After an offshore plant explosion, fire, or other industrial accident, helicopters are often the only way to get the injured to safety and treatment. However, even helicopter transportation is more dangerous than you might think: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that transportation accidents accounted for over half of oil rig deaths, with a full three-quarters of those accidents happening on board helicopters.

Since helicopters are also used to transport workers, supplies, and other essentials to and from the rigs, many oil companies require accident survival training for workers and visitors to offshore platforms. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a helicopter accident, the only thing that matters is recovering the compensation you need to heal from your injuries.

What Causes Offshore Helicopter Accidents?

There are a number of reasons behind the high failure rate for helicopter journeys in the Gulf of Mexico, ranging from dangerous weather to a lack of training and mechanical failure. While some of these are uncontrollable, they can all be mitigated with proper planning and protocol, which sadly many companies lack.

Mechanical Failures

Regular maintenance is important for any machinery to continue functioning properly. The same is true of safety equipment and other safeguards in case of an accident—and it’s on the crew of the helicopter and the destination rig to ensure their equipment is safe and functional.

Of course, some mechanical failures could be caused by faulty components or other issues that are the responsibility of the aircraft’s manufacturer or other parties. Determining liability after an accident can be complex, which is why an experienced helicopter accident lawyer is an important asset to have.

Precarious Weather Conditions

A helicopter flying next to large clouds

The Gulf of Mexico, home to hundreds of offshore rigs, is also home to dynamic and varying weather conditions. Adverse weather conditions are listed as a contributing factor in many helicopter accidents, and winds and rain are some of the worst offenders.

Even though bad weather can make flying, and especially landing, a helicopter on a platform dangerous, safety of the passengers is always the responsibility of pilots and crew. The majority of accidents are caused by pilot error, though thankfully the number of fatal accidents continues to decline due to advancing technology.

Human Error

The vast majority of helicopter crashes can be attributed to human error. Maybe the pilot made a bad call in deciding to take off in inclement weather. Maybe the ground crew neglected to stock the proper safety gear in the helicopter before take-off. Or maybe various crew members on both the helicopter and platform were improperly or incompletely trained for safety protocols.

However it happened, if you or a loved one were injured in a helicopter crash off-shore, you deserve compensation for the cost of the injuries you’ve sustained. You need a dedicated offshore injury lawyer to help you recover that compensation from the liable parties.

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Common Injuries in Helicopter Crashes

Helicopter crashes are often traumatic and even catastrophic. Many victims of helicopter crashes don’t survive the ordeal, and even those that do are left with long-term injuries, including

Often, these injuries can result in a decreased ability or total inability to work for months, years, or even for the rest of the victim’s life. They also generate thousands of dollars in hospital bills, the ongoing costs of treatments and therapies, assistive devices, and more.

Chances are that if you were involved in a helicopter crash, there is someone who you can hold accountable and who should pay those costs. However, you need an experienced maritime attorney to help you determine who can held liable for your injuries, and to take them to court to recover the damages you’ve suffered.

Why Do I Need an Offshore Helicopter Accident Injury Lawyer?

Depending on where the helicopter crash happened, different laws might apply. Because helicopters regularly travel between the land and sea, they travel between where maritime law or common law (or Napoleonic law in Louisiana) apply.

Oftentimes, determining which jurisdiction to try a helicopter injury claim is one of the most complex factors of the case:

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  • If the crash was related to maritime activity and happened less than 12 miles from shore, the Jones Act could apply.
  • If the accident happened further out to sea, the plaintiff may be able to sue under the Death on the High Seas Act.
  • If the accident is judged not to be related to maritime activity, however, it could be under the jurisdiction of state or federal personal injury or wrongful death law.

Maritime law is distinct from other areas of law, and requires a nimble lawyer to navigate. The maritime injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have years of experience in this area of law, especially Jones Act claims.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime helicopter accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries from the people responsible. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free legal consultation today at 888.501.7888. A dedicated lawyer will work with you to recover what you’re owed.

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