Aviation law and
Aircraft accident compensation
You also may be able to claim dependency damages if someone in your family has died in an aircraft accident.
Depending on the case, the organisation liable for the damages could be the aircraft operator, manufacturer or maintenance engineer; the airport corporation or other airport site operator; or another agency, such as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Our expert lawyers can guide you through the complexities of aviation law and airline accident compensation, especially if domestic and international laws apply. Australia has a two-year time limit to make a claim for commercial flight accidents. We recommend filing your claim as soon as you're able—preferably within a year of the accident. Your lawyer can help ensure that your claim is made within the time limits for international cases.
Why Maurice Blackburn?
We know this is a difficult time. Our aviation law experts will get you the best outcome possible and the support you need, which includes pushing to resolve your claim as quickly as possible.
We pursue our own independent investigations and will help determine how much you should claim. For international cases, we navigate the domestic and international laws for you and can take care of any overseas legal action required.
Your first consultation with us is free. We also offer a 'no win, no fee'* payment schedule, which means you don't pay our fees unless we win your case. Talk with us today—we have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 can guide you through the complexities of this area of law. Airliners, light aircraft, hot air balloons, seaplanes, helicopters and drones are considered aircraft.
Sometimes aviation safety authorities investigate aircraft accidents to work out what contributed to causing the accident. We investigate independently to determine whether you are eligible to make a claim. If so, we'll move your claim forward as quickly as possible.
Which party 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 potentially can claim for immediate and future pain and suffering, and for loss of income and/or financial loss (including superannuation).
In addition, benefits available may 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 amount 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 making a claim for interstate and intrastate (within a state) 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 approximately one to three years to resolve from the date of the accident.
This might seem like a long time, but it is important not to 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. At Maurice Blackburn, we'll 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 we win your case. 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.