Updated on: 2/22/2019
After the Asiana Airlines plane crash that occurred at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on July 6 – which resulted in three deaths and 181 reported injuries to passengers on board the flight – legal experts across the country knew that the company would face a challenge in attempting to appropriately compensate the accident victims and their families for the losses suffered in the plane crash.
Plane Crash Victims Offered $10K Initial Compensation
Asiana Airlines came out with a statement shortly after the plane crash occurred, claiming that it was offering $10,000 to each individual victim. According to the statement, “Regardless of the degree of the injury, we are offering $10,000 to everyone. There could be situations when the money is urgently needed and this could reduce inconveniences.”
However, some of the accident victims have rejected that initial compensation offer from Asiana Airlines for a number of reasons. First being that the victims and their families felt offended and concerned that the offer had not been made in writing. Another reason was that there could potentially be conditions attached to the compensation offer – such as limiting or preventing the possibility of future lawsuits – and the victims did not feel comfortable taking that risk.
The fact that the airline is providing humanitarian aid was initially promising to the victims of the plane crash, as it is a sign that the company intends to assist the injured passengers at least to some degree. But shortly after it was announced that the company was offering the compensation, the situation took a turn for the worse.
In a legal filing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco response to the first lawsuit stemming from the plane crash at SFO, the company denied responsibility for the passengers’ damages and even went as far to say that passengers contributed to their own injuries. All of this despite the fact that the airline had made the initial offer of $10,000 to compensate victims of the crash.
Attorney Chris Davis Provides Legal Insight
Attorney Chris Davis, who founded Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S. and has represented countless accident victims in Washington state, says that the airline’s response to the plane crash is not surprising to him in the least.
“It’s a standard response from a big corporation like that,” says Davis, who has experience in representing victims in lawsuits against large corporations. “The initial compensation offer is more of a public relations tactic, while the denial of responsibility is an attempt to avoid being found liable in the event of future lawsuits.”
Davis also says that the plane crash victims who denied the company’s offer likely made a smart decision that could benefit them greatly in the end.
“Those settlement offers will often have conditions attached to them, and sometimes the condition can be that the person who accepts the offer will be barred from bringing any future legal action against the corporation, which is troubling for accident victims who may not fully understand their legal rights,” Davis added. “The decision to reject that offer may cause the company to increase the amount of money being offered as compensation, or put more pressure on them to adequately settle the large amount of claims that will likely be coming.”