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Airline Liability

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When Can an Airline Be Held Liable?

There are a wide range of activities for which an airline may be liable. These include:

  • Injury or death resulting from a crash, accident, or equipment failure
  • Emotional distress resulting from experiencing a near crash or accident
  • Assault or battery resulting from "air rage"
  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis
  • Poor customer service or breach of contract
  • Damage to cargo or baggage

What Is the Standard of Liability?

An airplane is considered a common carrier, like a bus or train. So an airline has a duty to ensure that its passengers reach their destination safely. While the specifics of this duty may vary from state to state, generally an airline must act reasonably to prevent harm to its passengers. This reasonable care standard may be weighed against industry standards to see if a particular airline, or its employees, acted properly.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue an Airline?

Most airlines have a contract each passenger, which may limit the airline's liability or limit the states in which a lawsuit may be brought against an airline. Often the terms of such contracts are printed on the passenger\s ticket. To see if you may be able to get around these clauses, contact an attorney. For example, an attorney may find that a clause on your airline ticket is unconscionable.

Can an Airline Limit Its Liability?

Aviation law is a complex and constantly changing area of the law. If you have been injured by an airline, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover damages for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can also help you recover for damage to your cargo or luggage.

Photo of page author Kristen Johnson

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 09-05-2017 11:37 PM PDT

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