Due to international conventions, including the Montreal Convention of 1999, it is very difficult for an airline to escape responsibility for passenger deaths and set a “strict liability” in the event of a crash at around $170,000 per victim. Families can submit additional compensation claims, including for loss of support and suffering, far in excess of that sum. Most claims are settled out of court. The definition of an accident is broad and can include any unusual or unexpected event that plays a part in a deadly crash.
In the United States, payouts of more than $10 million can be exempted for families depending on the passenger’s specific circumstances, age, occupation and earning power.
How much a family can expect to receive in compensation will vary. Passengers with children or dependents who have left families behind would be entitled to larger payments than those of older elderly passengers or passengers with no children or dependents.