Loss of life and personal injury

Rules on liability of carriers for loss of life and personal injury of passengers are based on international agreements and conventions, which vary greatly between the states which are flown to and from and the carriers which conduct flights.

According to the Aviation Act no. 60/1998 with subsequent amendments, the following rules apply to all domestic flights, all Icelandic air operators wherever they fly, as well as to transport carried out by the Icelandic state, state agencies, and other public parties which conduct flight operations.

The carrier shall be liable in the event of death, bodily injury or damage to health suffered by a passenger aboard an aircraft or in the course of embarking or disembarking. The carrier shall carry no-fault liability for the damage of each passenger corresponding to an amount of 113.100 SDR or less. However, the carrier shall be freed from liability for amounts in excess of 113.100 SDR if it is proved that:

  • such damage was not due to the negligence, omission or other wrongful act of the carrier, the carrier's employees, or agents; or
  • such damage was solely due to the negligence, omission, or other wrongful act of a third party.

Compensation in incidents of damage causing disability or death shall be determined pursuant to legislation on liability in tort.

The carrier shall without delay, and in any event not later than 15 days after the identity of the injured or deceased person has been established, make such advance payments as may be required to meet immediate economic needs on basis of circumstances. This payment shall not be less than the equivalent in ISK of 16.000 SDR per passenger in the event of death.

This advance payment shall not constitute recognition of liability and may be offset on the final settlement of compensation for the accident. It is not returnable, however, except in the cases when the carrier proves that the passenger caused or contributed to the accident, and in the event that the recipient of the amount paid proves not to have been entitled to it by law.

(See further in Chapter X in the Aviation Act no. 60/1998 with subsequent amendments, in addition to provisions of the Warsaw Convention from 1929, supplementary agreements, annexes, and protocols (“Warsaw system”) and the Montreal Convention from 1999.)

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