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International Plane Crash Claims

After being hurt in an international plane crash, you are at the beginning of a complex journey to gain compensation for your injuries. Despite your living in the U.S., your legal issue may not touch the states or familiar law. It is possible that you were on a flight owned by a foreign airline that took off and crashed in other nations. With so many countries involved, it is not surprising then that an international plane crash can lead to significant jurisdictional issues and questions of controlling law.

To navigate the rocky waters of an international plane crash, it is best to work with a highly experienced Houston aviation accident lawyer. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we offer the knowledge, experience, and resources you need to successfully seek compensation through an international plane crash claim. Call us today at 281-283-8500 to find out how we can help you.

Common Causes of International Plane Crashes

International commercial flight accidents happen for a number of reasons. However, the most common causes include:

  • Pilot error, often in response to a mechanical failure or poor weather
  • Mechanical equipment failure
  • Electrical failure
  • Sabotage
  • Maintenance or other personnel error
  • Weather conditions
  • Air traffic control error

We have experience working with aviation agencies and industry experts to investigate the accident and determined what caused the crash.

Liability for International Plane Crash Claims

The most common parties liable for international plane crashes include the:

  • Air carrier
  • Aircraft maintenance provider
  • Airport personnel
  • Pilot
  • Airplane part designer or manufacturer

Common Legal Issues Associated With International Plane Crashes

It is common for jurisdictional questions to arise from an international plane crash. The airline may be headquartered in one country, while the flight took off from another nation, only to have an accident in a third country. When an international plane crash touches so many different authorities, which may not include the U.S., there are questions of where you and other victims should file your legal claims and which country’s law controls the incident. It may not be possible to sue the responsible party stateside. Bringing a lawsuit in another country is difficult and may be eye-opening as to how unique legal systems can be. The legal process may be considerably different in another country.

Additionally, when you must file a claim in another country, the law controlling your situation may not be that country’s analogous personal injury or wrongful death statutes, which would apply if you were part of a domestic flight within that nation. Your right to seek compensation for your injuries or loss may be governed by an international treaty, such as the Montreal Convention.

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an international plane crash, speak with the experienced Houston aviation accident lawyers of The Krist Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible to learn about jurisdiction and controlling law in relation to your situation.

The Montreal Convention

As of June 2016, 120 countries were part of the Montreal Convention, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Mexico. This convention controls your personal injury and wrongful death claims after being in an international plane crash. It provides guidance on where you can file a claim, who can be held liable for the crash, and governs the type and amount of compensation you can gain.

An important provision of this convention is that it entitles you to file a claim where you live. If you were involved in an international plane crash overseas, you will not have to deal with lawyers and lawsuits in other countries. If the Montreal Convention applies to your situation and the responsible air carrier does business in the U.S., you can file a claim in Texas.

To hold the air carrier responsible, you and your attorney must prove that there was an accident, it occurred between embarking and disembarking, and that you suffered a bodily injury or death.

Due to the Montreal Convention, air carriers are strictly liable for provable damages up to 100,000 special drawing rights (SDR), which is a type of asset, like a currency, created and regulated by the International Monetary Fund. An SDR represents a right to currency by a participating country and has an exchange rate with the U.S. dollar. Only when the damages you seek are more than 113,100 SDR can the airline seek to prove it was not negligent and therefore not responsible for your injuries or loved one’s death.

Damages You Can Seek Under the Montreal Convention

You have a right to seek compensation related to your injury or a loved one’s death under this convention, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of earning capacity or income from the decedent. You can also seek damages for physical pain and mental anguish. You will need to provide evidence of your damages to recover compensation. You cannot recover for a psychiatric injury that is not connected to a physical injury. Therefore you can only recover compensation for your mental anguish and suffering related to your physical injuries from the crash. Additionally, punitive damages, those that seek to punish instead of compensate, are not allowed.

How a Houston Aviation Accident Lawyer Can Help

After being hurt or losing a loved one in an international plane crash, you do not have to take on the burden of fighting for compensation alone. Dealing with your recovery or loss places enough on your shoulders. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we want to help you gain the compensation you deserve following a tragic event. We have years of experience representing individuals in both domestic and international plane accidents. We understand the jurisdictional and legal issues these claims face and are ready to tackle whatever obstacle that arises.

Call us today at 281-283-8500 to schedule a free consultation and learn about how we can help.