Claiming airline injury compensation
Why claiming airline injury compensation is different to other types of accident claim
Airline injury compensation can be claimed under the Montreal Convention. Airline accidents are treated differently to accidents occuring elsewhere and it is very important to understand the key differences. Although it is easier to recover compensation for an airline injury compared to, for instance, a road accident, the limitation period is shorter; being two years rather than the standard three years.
Airline injury compensation and the Montreal Convention
Accidents that occur on an aircraft are governed by the Montreal Convention 1999. The Convention even applies to some accidents that occur on the ground at an airport.
Article 17 of the Montreal Convention states:
“The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.”
Importantly, under the Convention a passenger may be entitled to airline injury compensation without having to prove that the airline was at fault if the accident occurred either on board the aircraft or while in the process of getting on or off the aircraft.
What is an ‘aircraft’?
Most people assume an ‘aircraft’ would only include an aeroplane or a helicopter. However, the definition under the Convention is in fact a lot wider and has even included a hot air balloon.
What is an ‘accident’?
For the purposes of the Convention, an accident is a distinct event which is not part of the usual, normal and expected operation of the aircraft. The accident must occur independently of anything done or omitted by the passenger themselves.
So this definition of ‘accident’, for the purposes of claiming airline injury compensation under the Montreal Convention, may include:
- Baggage falling from overhead lockers;
- Trolley accidents;
- Excessive turbulence;
- Trips and slips while embarking or disembarking the aircraft; and
- Allergic reactions,
What should I do if I have been involved in an airline accident?
If you have an accident on an aircraft or at the airport and wish to make an airline injury compensation claim then you should:
- Report the accident to the aircraft operators;
- Obtain details of any witnesses;
- Take photographs of your injuries;
- Keep all travel paperwork, such as booking confirmation forms and flight tickets; and
- Contact an experienced airline injury compensation solicitor as soon as possible.
What could prevent me claiming airline injury compensation?
There are strict time limits on bringing a claim for an airline injury. The Montreal Convention states that an injured adult must bring their claim within a period of two years, or their right to damages shall be extinguished.
It is therefore essential that you speak to one of our specialist lawyers as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss this two year deadline as delay could be fatal; to your claim.
How can we help you claim airline injury compensation
The vast majority of claims we deal with are funded on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that if you are unsuccessful in your claim, for whatever reason, you will not be required to pay any legal fees. We operate a free legal helpline which you can call for a free assessment of your airline injury compensation claim. Call freephone 0333 888 0404 or send details to us at [email protected]