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What Are the Rights of the Injured Asiana Passengers?

New tragic reports continue to surface a week after the Asiana Airlines 214 crash. Though both Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia were killed immediately after impact, officials just confirmed last Friday that one of the girls was run over by a fire truck responding to the crash. It has not yet been confirmed whether this incident was the primary cause of her death.Later on Friday, a third passenger, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng died of complications resulting from the crash. In addition to the three victims that were killed, there are many more passengers who are still suffering serious injuries in the crash. Two passengers remain in critical condition.Though experts like Kevin Hiatt of the Flight Safety Foundation have reported that it might be several years before the NTSB determines the cause of the crash, it is important for the families of the victims to consider how will they be able to pay for their medical care. Can they be compensated for their pain and suffering? For disabilities that will last their lifetime?The United States, along with China and 128 other countries around the world, has adopted a law that was written specifically to help victims of accidents like the Asiana crash. This law holds airline carriers responsible for damages resulting from accidents up to $175,000 per passenger. This means that the Asiana victims will have their medical bills paid by Asiana Airlines up to $175,000, regardless of which party is ultimately found liable for the crash. With this law in place the passengers of Asiana flight 214 and their families are ensured the peace of mind of knowing that at least the first level of medical care will be compensated for.For all damages above $175,000, the crash victims will be able to recover in full unless Asiana is able to prove that it was not at fault. Although it now appears Asiana bears responsibility for this tragedy either because of technical malfunction or pilot error, you can be sure that the airline will most likely post a vigorous defense to avoid having to pay for the victims’ injuries. Because there are many victims with injuries that will require much more that $175,000 to cover their medical bills, the attorneys representing these victims have their work cut out for them to prove Asiana’s liability.Sources: USA Today, “Third Victim Dies from Asiana Crash; Runway Reopens,” July 12 2013.News10, “Determining Cause of Asiana Crash Could Take Years,” July 6 2013.

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