The victims who have been injured in a plane crash and the families who have to deal with the tragedy of their relatives who died in a plane crash, are entitled to compensation.

Aviation accidents are usually examined by government experts from the country where the accident took place, by the experts from the country where the aircraft was manufactured, as well as the experts from the country where the aircraft is registered. Typically, an official investigation is focused on finding the causes of the accident, without analysing the issue of fault or liability. In Poland, the State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation, which operates with the minister responsible for transport, investigates aviation accidents and incidents, but it does not determine the issue of fault or liability.

The passengers themselves can have life insurance or travel insurance, under which they or their relatives can obtain the specific amount of money set forth in the insurance policy in case of death or serious injury during air travel.

However, these amounts may be relatively low compared to the potential compensation to victims or their families that can be obtained from:

  • the airline or aircraft operator
  • the company that owns the leased aircraft (if the aircraft is leased by the airline or another operator),
  • an entity carrying out maintenance or aircraft overhaul,
  • the aircraft manufacturer,
  • the manufacturer of the aircraft parts, such as engine, avionics, control systems,
  • the airport where the accident occurred,
  • the fuel supplier or aircraft ground handling,
  • the provider of air traffic control of the region where the accident occurred.

Typically, all of the above entities have special aviation insurance, covering liability for damages caused by them, as well as the liability vis-à-vis third parties – including passengers.

In accordance with article 209 of the Polish Aviation Act, the users of aircrafts, carriers and other entrepreneurs who operate the airlines are required to insure themselves against civil liability for damage caused in connection with – respectively – the use of aircraft, air carriage or carrying out other aviation activities.

The insurance obligation rests on the aircraft carrier under the Regulation (EC) No. 785/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 April 2004 on insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators. This Regulation determines the minimum level of civil liability insurance for aircraft and the third parties.

Despite the obligation of insurance, usually those liable to pay damages, including, above all, the insurers, seek to limit their liability and to reduce the amount of compensation due to the victims, therefore it is generally necessary to take legal action.

If you are interested in obtaining compensation for an aviation accident, please contact BFP law firm on telephone number: +48 12 428 00 70 or

Karolina Kolary