Oil rig work is dangerous, and transportation to and from the oil rig can be as well. Oil rig helicopter transport injuries and fatalities are a serious concern for industry workers.
The Haun Mena maritime injury lawyers in Houston explain oil rig helicopter transport injuries and what you need to know if you’re hurt.
A Real Threat – Oil Rig Helicopter Crashes
Crashes of oil rig helicopters are a serious threat. On December 15, 2022, a helicopter crashed into the Gulf of Mexico while attempting a landing on an oil rig platform. There were three victims, one of which sustained serious injury. The victims managed to board a life raft, and they were rescued 30 miles south of Louisiana.
Four people were killed in the Arabian Sea in June 2022 when their helicopter crashed a mile away from an oil rig. The helicopter sank after crashing. Five others survived the crash, including both pilots.
In 1986, in one particular incident, an oilfield helicopter crash resulted in the deaths of 44 people. The crash resulted from a mechanical fault from two rotor blades colliding.
Oil Rig Helicopter Crash Injuries and Your Legal Rights
Why do these accidents occur? What rights do workers have when they are injured in a helicopter crash? How do they protect their rights?
Causes of oil rig helicopter crashes
- Safety checks are not completed before operating
- Weights and balances are calculated improperly or not considered
- Operator training is poor
- Routine maintenance is lacking
- Damage to the rotor blade or loss of control of the tail rotor
- Warning signs and indicators are ignored
- Operator error, loss of situational awareness, or panicking in signs of distress
- Component and system failures
- Defective parts
- Collision with another helicopter or aircraft
- Weather conditions or visibility is poor, but the trip is not postponed
- Errors in air traffic control
There are many ways that a helicopter crash can occur. Sadly, many causes could be prevented by exercising reasonable care and caution when taking flight.
Injuries from oil rig helicopter crashes
Common injuries from helicopter crashes include:
- Broken bones, especially to the back, skull, and ribs
- Brain trauma and concussion
- Cuts and bruises
- Paralysis, numbness, and loss of mobility
- Internal organ damage and failure
Injuries from oil rig helicopter transport can be serious and life-changing. Victims need serious legal representation to protect their rights and interests.
Legal Rights of Oil Rig Helicopter Crash Victims
A victim of an oil rig helicopter crash, or their surviving family, may receive compensation. There may be several bodies of law to rely on to claim compensation, including the Jones Act. Multiple entities may be responsible for providing a payment to a victim, including the employer or a third-party company involved in operations.
If you are in a helicopter crash, you should first address immediate safety concerns to prevent additional injury. Then, seek medical attention. Know that serious injuries are common in helicopter crashes. Even if you don’t think you are injured, have a medical professional rule out serious injury.
One thing to address with your medical care provider is your return to work. Document your injuries in medical records and communicate with your doctor about symptoms. This will verify your ability to work in case there are questions in later litigation.
Next, talk to our oil rig helicopter transport injury lawyers as soon as possible. You may receive compensation,, including payments to help with your personal expenses. Our team can assist you by:
Ensuring your injuries and related medical expenses are appropriately documented
Identifying laws that may be used to access compensation, the requirements of these laws, and the types of compensation available
Understanding who may have liability and how fault is addressed between an employer and third parties
Knowing the legal procedures to claim compensation
Discussing possible courses of action and preparing a legal strategy
You may receive compensation, but the process isn’t always easy. Those responsible want to pay as little as possible. We are experienced lawyers who advocate for victims of oil rig accidents. We are knowledgeable about the laws and the rights of victims.
When you need help following a helicopter crash, we are skilled professionals here to advocate for you.
Addressing injuries in oil rig helicopter transport
With a high accident and injury rate in oil rig helicopter transport, industry leaders and workers alike are left wondering how to improve safety in operations.
HeliOffshore is a safety association working to improve safety in offshore helicopter operations. They offer resources and recommendations. It is their mission to improve tools, techniques, and training that will result in reduced injuries and better outcomes.
HeliOffshore reports that 51% of fatal accidents result from two primary causes. The first is controlled flight into terrain or accidentally flying into the water, the ground, or a structure. The second major cause is the loss of helicopter control in flight.
Some suggestions to improve the safety of oil rig helicopter transit operations include:
Training in the particular conditions and risks that are unique to oil rig operations
Continuing to improve crash warning and fault recovery systems and redundancy of critical operating components
Prioritizing maintenance and adequate testing to ensure helicopter safety and reliability
Proper vetting of operators
Improving the culture of safety in the industry
Creating and implementing minimum standards for training, maintenance, and operation
Thoroughly investigating each incident for possible causes and adjustments to prevent similar problems
Providing ample sick time and the ability of operators to call in sick or fatigued
Responding appropriately to reports of negligent operation and unsafe practices
Giving those in the industry a place to report safety concerns
Updating parts and equipment when necessary
Helicopter oil rig transit safety requires ongoing vigilance. It should be proactive to identify problems before harm occurs and reactive to prevent similar accidents from happening repeatedly. Manufacturers, owners, operators, and companies utilizing transit services must all be a part of the commitment to safety.
Get help from an experienced Houston-area lawyer
Have you been hurt in a helicopter crash? Have you tragically lost a loved one? The experienced maritime injury lawyers at Haun Mena want to help.
Contact us today for a free review of your case. Start your claim for compensation today.