Aircraft Accidents: Ms. Aishwarya Priyadarshini

AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS

Traveling is life, it makes people healthy. People explore the world, visit new places and create memories. Everyone is eager to explore new things but no one knows about the future action. An accident is common in life. Nobody can assure about future. So, it is quite important for people to be always attentive and be prepared for any kinds of mishap. When we think about the aircraft accident, we think about the loss to our body or the loss we suffered in life. Basically, Aircraft accidents can occur on an aircraft or during boarding. Airlines have a duty of care to passengers and employees to ensure best possible safety at all times. When negligence needs to be proved in order for an aircraft accident compensation claim to  proceed , involving international laws and conventions that affect claim outcomes, with claim proceedings best undertaken by highly-reputable and professional Aircraft Accident Compensation Lawyers. It is more important to know about the responsibility of the accident caused by any of the aircraft. We need to focus on the family of the victims who had suffered the loss of their near and dear ones. Certain cases and judicial reforms also matters in a great deal to different kinds of accidents.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ACCIDENTS:

When a commercial airliner goes down, families will almost always be able to recover compensation from the airline and its insurance carrier. This will mostly like be the case whether the crash was due to pilot error, a malfunction in the plane itself, or an act of God, such as lightning in a storm. Even when the airline would not normally be responsible for an accident, such as when the plane is shot down by terrorists or suffers some other unforeseen event, it usually makes better business sense for an airline to settle claims based on the accident rather than fight them in court.

Legal responsibility for a private airplane or helicopter crash is normally more complicated than it is for a commercial accident. Unlike large airlines, who have a business interest in settling cases quickly and without litigation, the liability for small craft accidents can be much more contentious.

First, most airplane accidents are caused by pilot error. Negligence on the part of the pilot can mean that the pilot is personally responsible for any injuries or damages caused. Most pilots protect themselves financially by purchasing insurance, much like drivers with auto insurance. Damages caused by the pilots negligence are usually taken out of this insurance.

Next, the plane or helicopters owner may be responsible for damages, if the person or company failed to maintain the plane, or negligently hired a pilot who caused an accident. Like pilots, many companies and plane owners will also purchase insurance, especially if their aircrafts are rented out to the public.

Finally, the planes manufacturer or the aircrafts maintenance crew may be responsible if there were manufacturing or repair issues which caused the accident.

Liability – Owner or Operator

Aircraft owners and operators are held to high standards when it comes to the legal “duty of care” owed to others. If carelessness or recklessness can be proven, then the owner will be held liable for the damages suffered by injured parties — including passengers, people on the ground, and even the pilot. Even if the owner was not operating the aircraft when the accident occurred, the owner may still be held liable under a legal theory called vicarious liability. This theory is similar to the way in which employers may be legally responsible for the actions of their employees in certain situations.

Liability – Manufacturer

The manufacturer of an aircraft can be held liable if the victim of an accident can prove that a defect in the product (the aircraft) or a component part caused his or her injuries, under a legal theory known as “strict liability”. It is important to remember that liability laws differ from state to state. (More on product liability in aviation accident cases).

Liability of Owner/Operator and Manufacturer – Comparative Fault

In many cases, both the pilot and the manufacturer may be held liable for an aviation accident. This raises a legal issue called “comparative fault,” meaning that the judge or jury during trial must determine the percentage of liability attributable to each of the defendants. For example, a pilot may be 35 percent at fault for losing control of an aircraft, but a manufacturer may be 65 percent at fault for defective landing gear. Only a few states bar recovery from a manufacturer if the pilot’s negligence contributed to a crash; most states use comparative fault and distribute the blame between the two parties

COMPENSATION TO THE VICTIMS:

The Montreal Convention applies to international flights between nations that honor the regulation. It was signed and is recognized by more than 120 countries (and counting) around the world, including the US and the EU. Most major airline markets are members with a few notable exceptions (e.g. Sri Lanka and Vietnam).

When a commercial airliner goes down, families will almost always be able to recover compensation from the airline and its insurance carrier. This will mostly like be the case whether the crash was due to pilot error, a malfunction in the plane itself, or an act of God, such as lightning in a storm.

Even when the airline would not normally be responsible for an accident, such as when the plane is shot down by terrorists or suffers some other unforeseen event, it usually makes better business sense for an airline to settle claims based on the accident rather than fight them in court.

 “Accident includes any unusual or unexpected event, from a bolt of lightning to pilot error to a terrorist attack,”. Carriers are “strictly liable” for proven damages up to 113,100 special drawing rights, an artificial currency worth around $160,000 at today’s rates, that figure can rise.

“Strictly liable” means that the airline cannot blame anyone else for the accident. Under Article 21, the carrier will not be liable for damages above 113,000 SDR if it can prove that “such damage was not due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the carrier or its servants or agents or such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.”.

According to Article 21 of the Montreal Convention, in case of death of passengers, the airline is liable to pay up to 1,13,100 Special Drawing Rights for each passenger. This works out to approximately $1,74,000 at current rates. (In Indian rupees this works out to approximately Rs 1.04 Crore). If there is demand for compensation higher than this limit, the airline can contest it. If it is proved that such damage was not due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission or the airlines, its staff or agents, or if such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party then the airline is not liable to pay the higher amount. But it cannot contest if the claim is within the limit.

If there is a request for compensation that is higher than the maximum value under the Montreal Convention treaty, the airline can contest the request. Should it be proven that the damages caused by the accident were not the result of a wrongful act or negligence on the part of an airline, the airline’s agents or staff, the airline may not be required to pay a higher amount of compensation. In this case, it must be proven that the damage was caused completely by the negligence or wrongful act of a third party. An airline is not able to contest a compensation claim that is within the maximum value under the Montreal Convention treaty.

Recommendations and Conclusion :

 Technology and new systems can improve the aircraft performance and help pilots to take the right decision.  companies should review its maintenance system and procedures. companies should review its monitoring procedures and training exercises.  Aircraft crashes must be studied and analyzed to correct anomalies in order to avoid any futur accident. Inspite of accidents, the international air traffic is still growing and new machines: powerful, larger, faster, more modern and sophisticated are under production to transport passengers safely and smoothly .If we believe in a future without accidents, we will be able to make the air transport more popular, less expensive and more reliable.  Aircraft crashes are not the result of one error but of several errors done by the different actors of the accident.

1 thought on “Aircraft Accidents: Ms. Aishwarya Priyadarshini

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *