Aviation Law & Aircraft Accident Compensation
FAQs - your questions answered
If you have been injured or a relative has died in an aircraft accident, it is very important that you seek advice from a legal expert. Our aviation lawyers will be able to explain and guide you through the complexities of aviation law.
Sometimes aviation safety authorities investigate aircraft accidents to work out what contributed to causing the accident. We pursue independent investigation, to be able to tell you whether you are eligible to make a claim. If so, we'll move your claim forward as quickly as possible.
The party that pays compensation depends on the application of various domestic and international laws, together with the results of investigations we conduct, and those performed by a variety of official aviation safety investigative authorities. In many cases, this means that the aircraft operator is liable for damages; however, other parties may be held responsible, such as the:
- aircraft's manufacturer
- aircraft's components manufacturer
- airport corporation or other operator of an airport site
- aircraft's maintenance engineer
- Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) or another agency
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you can potentially claim for immediate and future pain and suffering, and loss of income and/or financial loss (including superannuation).
In addition, benefits available include:
- Medical expenses
- Impairment benefits
- Dependency damages (in death cases)
The amount of money you will receive will depend on what kind of injuries you sustained, how severe they are, and how much they impact your employment and lifestyle in the long term.
Other factors include your age, the amount of lost income and expenses for any care you need now or in future.
In the case that a relative has died in an aircraft accident, the amounts claimable will depend on whether:
- Any relevant international conventions apply
- The claim is being pursued in Australia or overseas
- A faulty product was involved in the accident
In Australia, there is a two-year time limit to make a claim for interstate and intrastate (ie, local) commercial aircraft accidents, but we recommend lodging your claim earlier – preferably within 12 months.
For international cases, we'll make sure that your claims are made within the time limits for the country or Convention involved, and we'll take care of any overseas legal action that may be necessary.
After making your claim, it may take from 1-3 years to resolve from the date of the accident.
This might seem like a long time, but it is important to not finalise your claim before the full extent of your losses can be properly assessed. Sometimes, whether an injury will fully resolve or require ongoing treatment can only be determined after some time has passed.
Nevertheless, it's best to seek legal advice as soon as possible – as soon as you are comfortable doing so after the accident. We will push to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, and we're happy to discuss timeframes with you.
Maurice Blackburn offers a 'no win, no fee' payment schedule, so you won't have to pay our fees unless you win your case at the end of the claim. The total fee will depend on how much work was required to resolve your claim, and you can enquire about this at any time.
Your first consultation is free of charge, so we encourage you to book an appointment so we can advise you on your situation.