Be Ready. Be Covered. Be Sure.

When tragedy befalls us, there are many ways in which people deal with grief. One of the questions asked a lot is ‘who is at fault?’ Though it will not rewind time and undo the tragedy, the understanding the matter can bring peace of mind following troubled times. And while compensation will also not fix the larger misfortune, it can help remove some of the burdens of loss and signify legal satisfaction to an otherwise trying engagement.

It was well-known that Kobe Bryant preferred to trek the greater Los Angeles area by helicopter. It was his way to avoid lengthy LA traffic waits and be able to spend more time with his family. For years it had become common place transportation for the retired NBA star, so it was with great shock then that the public learned he, his daughter Gigi, and 7 others perished in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020.

At this time, days since the crash, it seems likely that a lawsuit will be filed. But who is liable in this instance? As witness testimonies and recording come out, a thorough investigation will help courts determine blame. There are number of parties that could be culpable, but that cannot yet be concluded.

With plane and helicopter crashes it is normal to first look at the pilot or pilots. It was a foggy day in Calabasas but there are various regulations to deal with flying in poor weather. Did the pilot, one who flew with Kobe consistently over the years, make a drastic mistake or was there mechanical failure beyond his control? The flight path and conversations between the pilot and air traffic controllers will help investigators understand. If the pilot is in fact found culpable, whether he worked for individual clients or for a specific company may point to different conclusions.

If the pilot is found not to be at fault, then the aircraft itself needs to be examined. While Kobe’s helicopter may have been solely designated for his use, the ownership fell to a holding company: Island Express. The company runs aerial tours of Catalina Island and has dozens of employees. Determinations must be made as to if the pilot was an Island Express employee, what coverage does Island Express have, and if any extraordinary circumstances occurred during the flight.

As air traffic is strictly managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it will be important to know their instructions as well. If the FAA had given false guidance that lead to the crash, then the US government will be financially liable. If the pilot, though, continued to fly without visual reference, that is illegal and he would be at fault. Knowing the interchange between the pilot and air traffic control will be vital to comprehending responsibility.

Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, but being able to comprehend the loss and avoiding financial or emotional pitfalls moving forward can help a lot. Furthermore, having comprehensive coverage for a business will help to avoid major monetary settlements becoming a hindrance to continued operations.