What Laws Govern Aviation Accidents and Plane Crashes?

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February 18, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

Miami Aviation Attorney on the Montreal Convention

Major aviation accident victims can seek compensation from negligent airlines under the Montreal Convention, which is an international treaty regarding plane crashes. The Montreal Convention is actually beneficial to passengers who have been hurt on airplanes or involved in an international accident, as it calls for strict liability on the part of the air carrier. In this video, Miami aviation accident attorney Curtis Miner explains the Montreal Convention and the ways in which it protects plane crash victims when they file claims against negligent airlines.

If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a plane crash, call us at 305-476-7400 or fill out our online case review form.

Video Transcription:

The Montreal Convention is a treaty enacted in Montreal, hence its name, that applies to international flights between countries that are signatories to the Montreal Convention. And the Montreal Convention did one thing that’s very beneficial for passengers. It made it much easier for passengers to establish that they’ve been harmed, and it did this by creating strict liability for the airline if an accident has occurred on an international flight. And what that means is that the passenger doesn’t have to prove what the pilots did wrong, what the airline did wrong. The rationale behind that is, well, in aviation cases we know it’s not the passenger’s fault, and it’s exceedingly difficult for a passenger to try to prove in a complex case what the pilots did wrong, what the airline did wrong. So the Montreal Convention establishes strict liability for airlines where accidents occur in planes. Now, on the other side, it also put some restrictions on the types of damages that passengers can recover. For example, if your case is governed by the Montreal Convention, you can’t recover punitive damages. Another area that’s hotly litigated, hotly contested in the courts is to what degree you can recover damages for purely mental trauma or purely mental distress as a result of having been through a plane accident and these are areas where you will need the representation of experienced counsel in this area to make sure your rights are being protected.

Contact our lawyers at 305-476-7400 or contact our website at Colson.com for more information.