Aviation Accidents

Rock Onstad’s experience as a Navy Aviator in the Marine Corps led to a particular interest and expertise in aviation accident cases.


Aviation accidents often have devastating results and are usually the result of more than one thing going wrong. Very few are due solely to pilot error. Additional factors can be a defectively designed component, a defectively manufactured component, negligent maintenance, negligent weather report, or negligence on the part of air traffic controllers.  In order to make a significant recovery of money damages, the claimant usually will need expert testimony in one or more of the following areas:  pilot procedure, aircraft design, aircraft accident reconstruction, failure mechanics, metallurgy, weather and/or air traffic control procedures.

It is highly advisable for the victims to retain counsel early so that they can be represented as the National Transportation and Safety Board investigates. The NTSB investigates all serious crashes and it usually utilizes aircraft manufacturers to analyze their own airframe or components, and to provide technical expertise to the NTSB.  If the survivors suspect pilot error or defective components, a representative of the victim should be close to the crash investigation as soon as possible to protect critical evidence and to make sure things are handled in a fair and objective manner.  As seen below, Rock Onstad has prevailed for the victims in many airplane and helicopter accidents.

There are no fees unless we win - so don't hesitate to contact us about your case.

VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS in which Rockne W. Onstad was Lead Counsel or Co-Counsel

Gross Amount Client Recovery Attorney Fee Expenses Nature
$13,650,000 $8,055,000 $5,460,000 $135,000     Product Liability, Apache Helicopter Gear Box, Spinal Injuries (settlement)
$9,200,000 $6,320,064 $2,760,000 $119,358     Product Liability, Defective Aircraft Carburetor, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$4,300,000 $309,000 $138,000 $13,000     Pilot Error, Airplane Crash, Wrongful Death (jury verdict)
$3,235,000 $2,361,250 $808,750 $65,000     Brain Injury, Federal Tort Claim, FAA Negligence (verdict) affirmed on appeal
$2,950,000 $1,731,000 $1,180,000 $39,000     Defective Design of Helicopter, Paralysis & Wrongful Death (settlement)
$1,900,000 $73,000     Pilot Error, Helicopter Crash, Wrongful Death (jury verdict-no insurance coverage)
$1,500,000 $847,000 $600,000 $53,000     Defective Aircraft Component, Military Aircraft, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$1,000,000 $630,000 $333,000 $36,000     Defective Military Aircraft, Manufacturing Defect, Wrongful Death (settlement)
$1,000,000 $600,000 $400,000 $0     Product Liability, military helicopter crash, parents of adult son
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