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Passenger Liability Waivers: Who’s responsible?

signing liability waiverOk, so you’ve purchased your aircraft and you’re ready to fly. You’ve got your insurance, received all the proper clearances from the FAA, and even planned on taking up some friends with you on your first flight in your new plane. But what happens if something goes wrong? What happens, God forbid, if one of your passengers is seriously injured, or even killed? Who is legally held responsible? The answer lies in liability waivers.

Liability waivers are an important part of covering yourself from potential legal action should something go wrong while taking people with you on a flight. Even if you’re flying with your best friend, the importance of having EVERY passenger sign a waiver before takeoff cannot be casually ignored. Should an accident happen while the aircraft is under your control, YOU may be responsible for any physical damage to your passengers, and in the case of death, liable to their estate. With a certified, signed, legal waiver, your passengers are agreeing to remove you from any liability involving injuries incurred by them, should something go wrong during the stated flight.

This waiver needs to be made in accordance with what type of aircraft you are flying and your flight certifications. It should detail, in writing, that in the case of accident or death you as the pilot and proprietor would not be held legally responsible. It is also important that you stipulate where you plan on flying, as different states have different laws regarding aircraft liability. Make sure that you specify that the passenger will also be signing on behalf of their estate. Without this their estate can still sue you even if they have signed off on liability as an individual. Lastly, remember to keep all signed waivers on the ground, not with you in the airplane.

A skilled aviation attorney should always handle these types of legal documentation for you. If you need one contact us for a simple yet thorough liability waiver for you at a reasonable cost. Covering your bases and staying out of legal trouble is a crucial part in safe flying. Paying attention to details makes all the difference in the world.

Close Call In Maryland

Wisely choosing not to further pressure private aviation businesses, the Maryland legislature defeated a measure that would have imposed a 1-percent luxury surtax on aircraft costing $36,000.00 or more, plus 2 percent of amounts above $90,000. This was a wise decision (as in other close-call states) on the Eastern Seaboard given the proximity to Maryland of states such as Massachusetts, which charge no sales tax on aircraft, or Connecticut, which charges no tax on larger aircraft and exempts all maintenance activity from sales tax as well.

Welcome to The Aviation Tax Attorney

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