Domestic carriage – liability for passenger injury or death

Governing laws

What laws in your state govern the liability of an air carrier for passenger injury or death occurring during domestic carriage?

Liability of carriers for death or injury to passengers during domestic carriage by air is governed by the Turkish Civil Aviation Act, which was promulgated in 1983.

Nature of carrier liability

What is the nature of, and conditions, for an air carrier’s liability?

The carrier’s liability is strict liability and it is very similar to the liability regime laid down in the Montreal Convention. The carrier is liable for death or injury as a result of an accident if the accident has occurred in, or while embarking or disembarking an aircraft.

Liability limits

Is there any limit of a carrier’s liability for personal injury or death?

The carrier’s liability is limited under the Civil Aviation act, and the limitation is by reference to the Montreal Convention. The limits of liability laid down in the Montreal Convention are applicable. An exception provision exists that gives the power to the President of the Turkish Republic, to amend the limits in cases where currency fluctuations warrant such amendment. This provision has never been invoked to this date.

Main defences

What are the main defences available to the air carrier?

The carrier can be exonerated from liability if they can prove that they, or their agents, have taken all measures to prevent the damage or that it was impossible to take such measures.

Damages

Is the air carrier’s liability for damages joint and several?

In situations where the damage was caused jointly by the carrier and other persons, the air carrier’s liability for damages is joint and several.

Rule for apportioning fault

What rule do the courts in your state apply to apportioning fault when the injury or death was caused in whole or in part by the person claiming compensation or the person from whom the right is derived?

If the injury or death was caused in whole or in part by the person claiming compensation, the compensation for which the carrier is liable must be appropriately and equitably decreased. There are no set rules or percentages to apply, every situation shall be judged on its own merits. The judge is to use his or her conscience as a guideline.

Statute of limitations

What is the time within which an action against an air carrier for injury or death must be filed?

The limitation period for bringing action is two years from the date on which the aircraft arrived at its destination, should have arrived at its destination, or when the carriage was stopped. However, in cases where the accident requires an official air accident investigation to be conducted and a report to be prepared by the Center for Transportation Safety Investigation, the limitation period starts running on the date the report is made available to the public by announcement in the Official Journal.