Liability Laws For International Airplane Accidents

Liability Laws For International Airplane Accidents

Laws that determine airlines' responsibility in the event of an accident.

Aviation accidents can be devastating for the victims and their families and determining who is liable and pursuing compensation after the accident is complicated. Going up against an international airline can feel overwhelming for the victims' families. Governments and the aviation industry have established a set of rules that determine a carrier's responsibility in the event of an accident. These regulations set a procedure on how an accident victim can file a claim, what can they pursue compensation for and the time frame they have to submit a lawsuit. The first set of laws was the Warsaw Convention established in 1929, later to be updated and replaced in 1999 by the Montreal Convention. 

Warsaw Convention

The Warsaw Convention, originally signed in 1929, was an agreement between international airlines that established parameters on how to transport passengers, cargo and personal luggage. Under certain conditions, this law held the carrier responsible for damages resulting from aviation accidents. The Montreal Convention replaced the Warsaw Convention in 1999, but it was a precedent on how to determine liability in airplane accidents and established a procedure for filing a claim as a victim.

Montreal Convention

Adopted in 1999, the Montreal Convention is a framework stating an airline passenger’s rights and their ability to pursue financial compensation in the event of an aviation accident. If a passenger was injured or lost their life aboard the aircraft or while entering or leaving the aircraft, airlines are strictly liable for damages. They are responsible for damaged or lost baggage and cargo. The Montreal Convention has a statute of limitations of 2 years, a passenger cannot file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed.

An airplane accident, whether it's on a commercial airline or a private plane, is complicated to represent and requires a skilled and knowledgeable injury lawyer to accurately determine liability and recover compensation for the victims. 

Related Guides