Can I Claim Compensation for an Accident on an Airline?
If you suffer a personal injury while boarding, travelling aboard or disembarking an aircraft, you may be entitled to make a airline accident claim for compensation.
That’s because many airlines and tour operators are bound by a set of regulations called the Montreal Convention, which states that the airline is responsible if a passenger has an accident or is injured during an international flight.
Our specialist Holiday Claims Solicitors take on compensation claims involving holidaymakers and passengers who suffer an accident on board an aircraft, and have successfully helped clients secure damages. For example:
Contact us for free, initial legal advice and we’ll take a look at the details of your case. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Common Airline Accidents suffered by Passengers
Types of accidents that take place on a commercial aircraft can include:
- Items falling from overhead lockers
- Burns and scalds after the spillage of hot drinks
- Slipping and tripping accidents
- Injuries caused by extreme unexpected turbulence
- Aircraft crashes and collisions
According to the Montreal Convention, an air accident must be “caused by an unusual or unexpected event or happening that is external to the passenger”. That means a person can’t claim if the injury is the result of their own “internal reaction to the usual, normal and expected operation of the aircraft”.
It also means that the air carrier doesn’t necessarily have to have been negligent in order to face legal action.
So if, for instance, the accident was caused by another passenger on the plane, the air carrier would still ultimately bear responsibility in legal terms and be required to pay compensation. Similarly, there may be nobody to blame in situations such as a passenger being injured in extreme unexpected turbulence during a flight, but the airline would still be responsible for their wellbeing and therefore have to pay them compensation.
Your Legal Rights
The Montreal Convention operates in favour of aircraft passengers and imposes a strict liability on the airline. So it’s not always necessary to prove that someone was at fault – the fact that an accident happened is often sufficient.
Under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, the air carrier is responsible if a passenger suffers an injury or has an accident at any stage of the flight, including embarking and disembarking the aircraft.
It’s important to know whether or not the Montreal Convention applies if you’re involved in an aircraft accident on holiday. The Montreal Convention only allows an injured person 2 years in which to make a claim for compensation – and it also places limits on the amount of compensation that can be claimed for personal injury and death.
Our Holiday Claims Solicitors can advise you whether you’re eligible to make a claim and help you maximise the amount of compensation you could receive.
Who Does the Montreal Convention Apply To?
The Montreal Convention applies only to those countries who have signed up to the convention, which includes the UK and the European Union.
Tour operators and airlines who fly between countries which have signed up to the Montreal Convention include:
- Aegean Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Europa
- Air France
- Air India
- Air Malta
- Air Mauritius
- Air Namibia
- Air New Zealand
- American Airlines
- Atlantic Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- British Airways
- Bulgaria Air
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Croatia Airlines
- Olympic Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
For free legal advice, call our Holiday Claims Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.