When a plane crash occurs, who is responsible for the accident, and who can be held liable for the losses and damages suffered by the victims or their dependents?
The answer to that may not be so straightforward as it depends on the circumstances of the crash. There may be multiple parties that can be potentially liable for a plane crash, as discussed below.
An airline owes its passengers a reasonable duty of care. As such, the airline may be liable for a plane crash if it failed to maintain the aircraft properly, hired unqualified or negligent pilots or crew members, violated safety regulations or procedures or acted in a way that contributed to the crash. The airline may also be liable for the actions of its employees or contractors.
The parts manufacturer
The manufacturer may be liable if a defective or faulty aircraft component caused or contributed to the crash. For example, the manufacturer may bear responsibility if the engine or landing gear fails to work as intended due to a design or manufacturing defect leading to the crash.
The maintenance provider
Planes must undergo regular maintenance and repair schedules to ensure they are in good condition before a flight. The maintenance provider may be held accountable for the crash if it fails to inspect, repair, replace or test the aircraft or its components according to industry standards and manufacturer’s instructions.
These are some of the potentially liable parties in a plane crash. However, determining liability in a plane crash can be a complex and technical process that may require extensive investigation and evidence. As such, it’s best to seek legal representation to help protect your rights, identify the liable parties and pursue compensation for your harm or losses.