Who’s Responsible for an Aviation Accident?

Who’s Responsible for an Aviation Accident?

Understanding Liability in an Aviation Accident

Liability in an aviation accident can involve multiple parties. Depending on the cause of the accident, such as pilot error or mechanical failure, there are some variables that need to be considered. The following parties could be held liable for an aviation accident.

Owner/Operator Liability

Aircraft Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that all passengers, as well as flight crew in the air (and on the ground), are safe in flight as well as before and upon landing. An owner or operator who acts carelessly or recklessly, and did not uphold their “duty of care,” they may be held liable for an aviation accident.

Common Carrier Liability

Commercial airlines are held to high safety standards and are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). When a commercial aircraft operator or owner fails to comply with FAA rules and regulations, and an accident was a result, they could be held responsible.

Manufacturer Liability

A manufacturer of an aircraft can be held liable for an aviation accident if it is proved that the aircraft or component of the aircraft was defective and caused a crash.

How to Determine Liability

To be able to determine who is responsible for an aviation accident, the following must be investigated:

  • Duty of care - this involves proving that the negligent party had a duty to ensure the safety of all passengers before taking off.
  • Proving a breach in the duty of care - this involves determining if the parties involved did not uphold the duty of care. For example, a pilot failed to complete the required safety checks before take-off.
  • Proving the breach resulted in an accident - this involves determining if failure to provide care caused the accident. For example, the aircraft was not fueled properly before the flight and crashed due to running out of fuel.
  • Proving the accident directly caused the injury - this involves showing that the accident directly caused victims to sustain an injury.

Injured in an Aviation Accident? Contact Us Today

Determining liability in an aviation accident is complicated. However, having an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of the aviation industry and safety protocol can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

At The Beasley Firm, LLC, our managing partner, Jim Beasley, Jr., is an accomplished stunt pilot with multi-engine instrument ratings and is one of the few pilots in the world that is qualified to operate a high-performance World War II fighter aircraft. Due to his extensive training and experience, you can rest assured knowing that your case will be handled by an aviation expert.


We want to help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact The Beasley Firm, LLC today at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation.

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