Should the families who have lost their loved ones in the crash be represented by a lawyer or can they try to solve all the issues on their own?
Yes, you need to seek help from a lawyer. Even for those who do not want to delay, attracting a lawyer is a good idea. The airlines and insurance companies with which they work will be represented by lawyers. You need to have the same protection to be with them on an equal footing.
Who is the recipient of compensation in cases where one of the family members dies?
Spouses, children, parents, even brothers and sisters. We know the case when the whole family died, and only uncle and cousins remained alive.
If the family agrees to accept a certain amount from the insurance company, does this mean complete refusal of all claims and excludes the possibility of further prosecution if later in the course of the investigation the responsibility of other third parties will open?
In general, our answer is yes, the airline will first try to compensate for the victims. The damage caused, then turn to the part of the money that will be paid by other potentially responsible parties, such as aircraft manufacturers. In our experience, a quick settlement, which includes the signing of a global release, always involves getting a smaller amount than if you will achieve better conditions through negotiations. To maximize the value of the case, we advise you to wait as long as possible, following the instructions of your lawyer, in order to achieve the optimal amount of compensation and optimal conditions for signing a waiver of all requirements. If your lawyer recommends that you wait until all potentially responsible parties are established, this is a sign that you are dealing with a “real” expert in the field of aviation affairs. This aviation case expert will conduct his own investigation, not relying solely on the results of the official investigation.
Why should families who have lost their loved ones have to contact a lawyer from the USA?
Ideally, families need to hire a local lawyer, wherever it is, in Lebanon, in the Comoros, in France or in Brazil, and their local lawyer will contact an American law firm specializing in aviation matters. This kind of dual legal competence provides the client with the strongest position, which is the professional application of local and international law, as well as the wealth of experience in the conduct of aviation litigation. Countries and corporations coexist in a complex, complex jurisdiction. Therefore, competence in the field of legislation of another country is essential for achieving effective results.
Where does the money come from for compensation?
Airlines are insured from all sides. Compensation is paid by insurance companies, or rather, by a group of insurance companies, each of which carries a portion of insurance coverage. In addition, the minimum insurance coverage depends on the directives of two international agencies, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and IATA (International Air Transport Association).
What are these agencies and what is the difference between them?
ICAO is the UN agency that determines the rules governing international aviation. ICAO is responsible for developing intergovernmental treaties, such as the Montreal and Warsaw Convention, which are agreements defining the limits of compensation on international flights for loss of life and loss of baggage (currently giving families the right to receive at least $ 150,000 per passenger before negotiation of additional payments)
IATA is an industry group consisting of international air carriers that have agreed on the basic principles and standards for doing business, defining the areas of security and compensation. IATA agreements stipulate a compulsory initial payment of about $ 24,000 for each victim.
Based on these basic compensations, our lawyers will begin negotiations on additional payments in respect of each of the families that hired them, individually. All information is provided by customers under confidentiality. An individual lawsuit is filed for each of the dead. The lawyer will also help collect evidence to compensate for material and non-material (including the loss of the ability to enjoy life, the pain and suffering of the deceased at the time of the previous death, as well as the pain and suffering of other family members) damage.
What does the Latin expression “forum non conveniens” mean and why is it so important?
The expression “forum non conveniens”, translated from Latin, means “an inconvenient place for consideration of a case” and is a doctrine that gives the right to courts to allow or not to allow consideration of a case in the United States, based on whether the United States is the most suitable . Such a decision is made at the discretion of the judge. The judge may decide that the case is not the jurisdiction of the United States and send it back to the country where the tragedy occurred.
The decision on jurisdiction is at the discretion of the judge who is considering the case, therefore it is extremely important to prepare all available information so that the case can be fully represented.
Consideration of the case in a US court gives victims the opportunity to receive huge compensation and is a worthy alternative. But this is just one of the alternatives.