What compensation have relatives of plane crash victims historically received?

Last updated on May 16, 2023

The suffering of relatives of airline crash victims is immeasurable. On top of the immense grief, many survivors of these tragedies also face financial hardship as a result of their loved ones’ death. That said, are there any existing legal avenues of financial compensation for these families? In this article, we’ll discuss the various forms of compensation airline crash victims and their families have historically been entitled to, as well as the criteria for claiming them.

Victim Compensation under the Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention is an international treaty created to ensure uniform compensation for airline crash victims and their families. Under this law, airline liability for plane crash victims is limited to proven economic losses. Common examples of compensation that can be pursued under the Montreal Convention include economic loss due to loss of support and wages, bereavement, or funeral costs incurred after a family member’s death. The baseline liability limit imposed by the Montreal Convention is approximately USD$150,000; this can be increased depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Highest Settlements for Airline Crash Victims

In many cases, victims and their families have seen far higher levels of compensation than those stipulated by the Montreal Convention. The highest settlements for airline crash victims have been awarded based on special circumstances, such as a plaintiff’s age, level of dependency, the uniqueness of the deceased’s career, or the existence of factors such as pre-existing medical conditions that could have affected the victim’s quality of life. In the U.S., parents of a child who died in a plane crash have seen settlements in the millions of dollars. The U.K. and other countries that follow common law principles may also award higher compensation to relatives of airline crash victims in certain cases.


In conclusion, the Montreal Convention clearly outlines the minimum amount of compensation airline crash victims and their families can pursue in a legal setting. However, in certain cases these settlements may be increased if the victims’ unique circumstances are considered. Ultimately, the amount of compensation awarded in each individual case depends on the specifics of the accident and the applicable laws.

Ultimately, when you are familiar with air passenger rights and believe you may be entitled to delayed or cancelled flight compensation, find out which best flight compensation companies can help you. You may also fill out the claim form and one of the agencies will check your flight and take your case.