The answer to this depends largely on the answer to the following three questions:
1. First, the final destination of the ticket may determine what law applies
2. Second, the location where the accident occurred may determine the applicable law and
3. Lastly, where the victim and responsible parties involved lived may be determinative.
If the accident occurred inside the United States, the person injured in an aircraft accident may bring a claim along with his or her spouse, who is entitled to compensation for the loss of support, services and other benefits that married couples provide to each other.
In the case of death, most U.S. states including Tennessee provide that the decedent’s spouse and children, if any, are entitled to sue for damages. Some states like Kentucky provide for individual suits by each minor for damages for loss of parental consortium.
The damages recoverable for wrongful death cases vary widely among states and countries. Some states such as New York only permit recovery of financial losses that the estate suffered had the deceased not been killed. Some states allow recovery for loss of love and affection and others do not.
For accidents involving international flights or domestic flights where the final destination of the trip is outside the continental United States, the Montreal Convention often will apply. This treaty restricts where the airline can be sued and what types of damages are recoverable. The passenger’s travel itinerary becomes very important in these cases. Only an experienced international aviation lawyer will be familiar with the law in this area.