Factsheet – What to do if you have been a victim of an aircraft accident?

by | 6 Jun 2022

Here are the different steps to follow if you or one of your relatives has been the victim of an aircraft accident: 

  • Contact your accident/death insurance as soon as possible: the indemnification of the damage caused to your loved one or to yourself is likely to be at least partially covered by an insurance policy. As soon as possible, you should declare the accident to your insurance and prepare all the documents that justify it. Do not hesitate to ask your lawyer: he/she is competent to analyze your insurance policy and check any exclusion clauses alleged by your insurance company, if any. 

  • Be prepared to answer questions from the police officers specialized in aircraft accidents, called in French “Gendarmerie des Transports Aériens” (“GTA”): this specialized French gendarmerie unit systematically intervenes following aircraft accidents in France, or abroad when French victims are involved. Its role is to investigate and determine possible criminal liability. In this context, the investigators collect all the useful testimonies and may want to collect yours.  The conclusions of this investigation are very important to later demonstrate any negligence in the context of a claim for compensation. 

  • In the event of death, if your loved one lived in France, your should contact a French notary (“notaire” in French): he/she will draw up an inheritance declaration, and will take care of all the legal procedures that must be undertaken following a death. If your deceased relative has minor heirs, the notary is competent to contact a guardianship judge to manage their rights in the estate. 

Le Tutour Avocats has extensive experience in aircraft accidents in France and abroad. 

The firm currently represents: 

  • Direct and indirect victims of helicopter, commercial aircrafts, light aircrafts and paragliding accidents 
  • Pilots
  • Instructors