Many tourists in New York enjoy helicopter sightseeing tours that provide a stunning birds-eye view of the Big Apple. Many local residents also enjoy this unique experience. However, a string of accidents in New York has raised important questions about safety regulations. Operators may be taking advantage of loopholes that allow them to relax safety restrictions and put their customers’ lives at risk.
Do these loopholes impact someone’s ability to gain compensation for damages? If a company uses these loopholes to get around accusations of gross negligence, can they still be held accountable? These are all important questions, and your best bet is to ask a qualified personal injury attorney if you want answers. Our legal professionals can help you file a personal injury claim, and we will fight for your rights as a victim.
Helicopter Sightseeing Deaths are Becoming All Too Common
Back in 2018, five people died after a helicopter sightseeing tour gone wrong. The helicopter lost power in mid-flight and ended up in the East River. Tragically, all five occupants drowned because they were secured by tethers and seat belts that they could not undo. These tethers had not been approved for use according to universal safety standards.
But that concern about the seatbelts was just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, researchers discovered that the operator had technically classified his flight as an “aerial photography” flight. This meant that the sightseeing company did not have to follow commercial aircraft rules - rules that are carefully designed to protect peoples’ lives. One might assume that when you board a helicopter with four other people, you are under the same jurisdiction and safety standards as a commercial airline. But as New Yorkers are now discovering, that just is not the case.
In fact, more than 40 people have been killed since 2016 in similar instances, and the companies involved were all exempt from commercial aviation safety regulations. While authorities nationwide and in New York have announced plans to crack down and enact tighter restrictions, these companies continue to operate without much oversight. It is important to understand that when you sign up for virtually any type of “flight-for-hire,” you are entering the “wild west” of aviation where safety regulations are not a priority.
Can I Still Sue These Companies?
When suing a company for personal injury, your attorney’s job is to establish negligence. In order to do this, you have to determine what kinds of safety standards the company should be held to. When there are clear safety regulations in place, this is easy. You simply refer to the relevant safety rules, and explain that they were violated by the guilty company. Then, you point out how these violations led directly to your injury. However, things become tricky when companies use loopholes to avoid certain safety regulations. You may need expert testimony and other tools to determine that certain safety standards should have been respected by a reasonable individual, regardless of loopholes.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in New York
If you are serious about holding a business accountable for your injuries, you need to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If a business has been taking advantage of loopholes in order to relax safety requirements for its customers, it is even more important to hire a skilled attorney who can fight them efficiently in court. Reach out to The Glassman Law Group today, and you can depend on us to help you get the compensation you deserve.