Serious accidents and injuries on flights are uncommon, but unfortunately they can and do happen. Something as serious as being injured on an aircraft a long way from medical attention can be a very scary experience, so it’s important that you get the help and support you need to recover from this.
If you’ve suffered an accident or injury while flying on a commercial aircraft or airline and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
Why Should You Use Simpson Millar?
Our experienced Holiday Claims Solicitors have successfully helped many holidaymakers and passengers make a claim after suffering an accident on board an aircraft.
Between them, our team of Travel Law Solicitors have over 80 years’ experience and many of them have worked in the travel industry for several years. So you can be assured that your case is in the strongest hands.
To find out if you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation, get in touch for free initial legal advice. Ask us if we can deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Common Airline Accidents
Aeroplane accidents can cause anything from a minor to severe physical injury. They can also have an effect on your mental wellbeing if you’ve had quite a traumatic experience.
Generally, some of the most common airline accidents include:
- Injuries from items falling from overhead lockers
- Injuries caused by the back of a seat collapsing
- Burns and scalds from hot food or drinks being served or a slip caused by a spilt drink
- Allergic reactions or food poisoning from the food service
- An air crash
- A collision on the runway
- Unexpected heavy landings
- Injuries inflicted by other passengers
Lots of unexpected injuries can happen on flights that are not considered an airline accident by law.
Some examples are:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) caused by in-flight immobility
- A perforated ear drum caused by normal decompression
- An allergic reaction to insect spray
- Seat belt injury caused by the ordinary process of deceleration on landing
We understand that every situation is different and we’ll always tailor our legal advice and support to your personal circumstances.
The Montreal Convention
The Montreal Convention is a set of regulations that state that an airline is responsible if a passenger suffers an accident or injury on one of their flights. This doesn’t just cover accidents taking place on board the aircraft, but also any accident you have while embarking or disembarking the aircraft.
The convention applies to any country that has signed up to it, which includes the UK and European Union.
Some of the airlines who fly to countries 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 Airways
- British Airlines
- Bulgaria Air
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Croatia Airlines
- Olympic Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Claiming Compensation for International Flights
The Montreal Convention applies to international flights. So if the accident happened on a flight between two countries that are signed up to the convention, and you’ve got grounds for a claim, you’ll be eligible for compensation.
If you have an accident on a domestic flight, this can make things a little more complicated. For example, if you’re just flying from Belfast to London, then the convention will not apply.
But if you’re flying from Belfast to New York via London, and you suffer an accident on the Belfast-London flight while disembarking in London, then you may be able to claim compensation.
In order to make a successful personal injury claim under the Montreal Convention, the accident must meet the criteria stated in the regulations - there must have been an unexpected, unusual event or happening that was external to the passenger and directly caused the injury.
If a direct cause and effect is established, then the airline is strictly liable.
This means that a person can’t claim compensation if their accident was caused by their own internal reaction to the normal operations of the aircraft.
Accidents on aeroplanes aren’t always the fault of the airline. Sometimes there’s no one to blame for an accident, such as injuries caused by severe, unexpected turbulence. Other passengers can also be at fault for causing injuries to others. But in both these cases, the airline is still legally responsible and required to pay compensation.
How Long Does it Take to Make a Claim?
You have exactly 2 years from the date the accident took place to make your claim. Ideally, it’s best to get legal advice as soon as you can after the accident.
How long the compensation process takes will depend on a few things:
- How serious your injuries are
- Whether the airline accepts responsibility or not
Our Holiday Claims Solicitors can give you an idea of how long the claim might take and will advise you on your best course of action. Even if your case is more complicated, our Solicitors will aim to help you claim your compensation as quickly as possible.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
The amount of compensation you can claim will depend on the nature of your injuries and how long it’s going to take you to recover. We’ll discuss your situation with you and help you get the best possible outcome. We can also help you claim money back for any earnings you’ve lost because of your injury, and to cover the cost of any medical treatment or rehabilitation you need.
Am I Entitled to Make an Airline Compensation Claim?
As long as you’re a UK resident who flew with an airline under the Montreal Convention, you’re eligible to make a compensation claim if there’s a case. If the airline you travelled with has an office in the UK, then this will also support your claim.
The first thing you should do when you’re back home from your holiday is get in touch with a Holiday Claims Solicitor. They’ll be able to assess your situation and let you know if you’ve got a strong case.
People We’ve Helped
One of our clients got £12,250 compensation for injuries she suffered on a flight from Tel Aviv to London Heathrow after being hit by someone else's luggage falling from an overhead locker. See Case Study.
Another client received £7,500 compensation after getting burnt by a hot coffee on a flight to Mexico. See Case Study.
Another client got £2,200 compensation for an injury on a Ryanair flight when the carpet gave way and he injured his knee. See Case Study.
Funding Your Claim
Don’t let money be another worry on your mind. Our Holiday Claims Solicitors can often work on a No Win, No Fee basis. Just ask us for details.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Southport.