Cars, trains, boats and planes — what do they all have in common? Aside from their ability to carry passengers from one point to another, these modes of transportation are also man-made inventions that most trust their lives with. Many Texans might assume that any fatal accident involving transportation such as an airplane likely was the fault of the operators in charge. Yet there are a plethora of ways a plane can malfunction, and mistakes are not always at the hand of the captain.
Plane crashes and levels of repayment are hardly a new topic of debate. A 2015 article in Market Watch highlighted the issue of plane crashes and compensation for victims’ families, pointing out that there is no clear basis for repayment. According to the article, compensation depends on the country in which the accident took place. As for fatal accidents, officials treat liability and damages as two separate entities, but repayment generally requires some level of negotiation. This could predict the amount of compensation; amounts could decrease if officials prove the crash was fault of the pilot’s instead of a mechanical failure. And while some accidents are difficult to determine, most U.S. airlines enforce a policy in which no pilots are able to be left alone in cockpits.
An article in TIME also weighs in on the tricky topic of fatal airplane crashes and compensation, looking to statistical data to show the price that some airlines place on victims’ lives. The 2015 crash of the Germanwings Flight 9525 sparked much debate over repayment amounts, especially after considering the fact that the accident could have been intentional. TIME shares that the amount of a settlement can often depend on the victim’s age, salary and life expectancy — the highest settlements for the U.S. averaged at $4.5 million. Still, no amount of money can ever bring a loved one back, and some victims’ families from the Germanwings flight are outraged at the suggested compensation offers. While nothing can be done to replace the real damage, TIME adds that most airlines stick closely to their policies of immediate compensation.