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Who is liable for commercial airline accidents?

Commercial airplane accidents can be devastating. If they do not result in complete loss, they often result in severe personal injury and extensive financial damages. If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial airplane accident in New York, you may have several questions, one of which, who is liable for your damages?

Determining liability in these types of accidents is important for several reasons. On the one hand, it helps victims and their family members know who to sue for compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other harms. On the other, it helps airlines and regulators better understand what went wrong to cause the accident and what they can do to prevent crashes in the future.

According to FindLaw, airlines are often held liable for commercial airline accidents and the ensuing injuries. Airlines have a heightened duty of care to their passengers because they are common carriers. When airlines breach their duty, they become easy targets for lawsuits. Some accidents for which airlines may assume responsibility include those caused by maintenance issues, pilot error or other lapses within the chain of command that may have caused the crash.

Courts have also held manufacturers of airplane parts and components liable for injuries and damages sustained in airline accidents. Thanks to theory of strict liability, manufacturers in American are responsible for damages caused by defective products and parts. If a design is defective, if errors occurred within the manufacturing process and/or if a manufacturer failed to warn consumers about potential dangers, injured parties may sue the manufacturer and possibly win.

The information in this post is for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice.

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