Air Carrier Liability: The Montreal Agreement
Air travel is the safest form of transportation, moving three billion passengers
and millions of tons of cargo safely by air. However, accidents can still
occur. The Montreal Agreement exists to establish air carrier liability
in case there is an accident that results in injury, property loss, or death.
The Montreal Agreement (MC99) was created to replace the Warsaw Convention
and first took effect in 1999. This new treaty modernized provisions concerning
compensation for victims and families of aviation accidents. It also helped
re-establish uniform rules related to passengers, baggage, and cargo engaged
in international travel. In short, the agreement was designed to unify
different airline treaties that have developed since the Warsaw Convention
in 1929, making one single set of rules that can be followed by airlines
all over the world.
The Montreal Agreement only applies to international travel that includes
a point in the U.S. as its origin, stopping place, or final destination.
Under the Montreal Agreement, passengers are protected by a two-tier system
of liability which makes an airline absolutely liable for up to $75,000
per passenger without the need to prove willful neglect by the airline.
It also specifies the following:
- Carriers must carry liability insurance.
- Victims or family members of aviation accidents can sue foreign carriers
where they maintain residence.
- Victims are unable to receive compensation for psychiatric injury without
proving that it resulted from a physical injury.
- Passengers receive compensation for lost baggage though a fixed rate instead
of by weight. The air carrier’s maximum liability for lost baggage
is a fixed 1,131 SDR per passenger (approximately $1,595).
To date, there are 113 countries who abide by the convention.
The San Francisco catastrophic injury attorneys at Scarlett Law Group have
substantial experience proving liabilities and damages in aviation accident
cases, and can possibly bring our clients two to five times more compensation
than they might receive from an insurance company. We are available to
represent victims of aviation accidents around the world.
To speak to a lawyer, please
contact our firm at (415) 688-2176.