For many people, airline flights are something to look forward to. Often they are associated with going on holiday, jetting off to exotic places and leaving your cares behind. But if you are injured whilst travelling as an aeroplane passenger, it could affect more than just your holiday. You may suffer injuries which have a significant effect on your life. However, you may be able entitled to claim compensation for the injuries and other losses you have suffered, including loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
Since our founding in 2012, a large proportion of our work has been in representing airline employees, as well as some passengers.
Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation. It was recently heralded that 2017 was the safest year in history for airline passengers with no passenger service jets crashing during the entire year – despite an ever-increasing numbers of flights.
This is all good news, but sadly accidents can still happen on a flight which may lead to you suffering an injury. Fortunately, it is very unlikely that these will be sustained in anything as dramatic as a plane crash. There are other ways an injury can occur however:
- Trips and slips, on the stairs or in the aisle.
- Suffering an illness, such as food poisoning.
- Physical assault.
- Injuries sustained during a bad landing or turbulence.
- Burns and scalding injuries from hot drinks.
- Injuries from luggage falling out of storage bins.
But if you have been injured as a passenger on an airline flight, you may wonder how you go about claiming compensation. After all, airlines are based all around the world and cover all of it in their flights – does UK law apply?
- For domestic flights, i.e. flights to and from locations in the UK, the relevant domestic law will apply – either the law of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland.
- For international flights, making a personal injury claim will rely upon the Montreal Convention 1999.
If you suffered an injury on a flight which was part of a package holiday, the Package Travel Regulations 1992 will allow you to claim against the package tour operator.
Alternatively, if you work for an airline, for example as cabin crew, and you have suffered an injury whilst on a flight your claim is more likely to be directed against your employer rather than relying upon the Montreal Convention. This is because employers owe duties of care to their employees to keep them as safe as reasonably possible in their workplace. If you have been assaulted at work or had an accident at work, your employer may be liable.
Claim aeroplane accident compensation with Truth Legal
A compensation claim can provide many benefits following an accident – a time when you may be most in need of them. For example, a claim can:
- Help with your recovery by allowing you quicker access to treatment, avoiding the waiting lists of the NHS and the fees of arranging your own private treatment.
- Right an injustice through financial means.
- Make good losses you have incurred.
With top quality legal representation, you have the best chance of obtaining these benefits. At Truth Legal, we are personal injury specialists. Our solicitors have the skills and experience to secure you the compensation you deserve.
We pride ourselves on providing an ethical, honest service to all of our clients. We are based in Harrogate with a presence in York, Manchester, and London. We offer free, no-obligation consultations so that we can advise you on your legal position. Contact us today to begin your claim with us.
Making a successful airline passenger compensation claim
Claiming under the Montreal Convention following an injury on an international flight is relatively straightforward. This is because the Convention imposes what’s called ‘strict liability’ on airlines. This means if you can prove you have been injured on a flight the airline will be liable. You do not need to prove that the airline, or anyone else, was at fault for the injury. The airline has a duty to keep you safe at all times whilst you are flying with them.
Flights as part of a Package Holiday
If the flight upon which you were injured was part of a package holiday, you may be able to claim compensation from the tour operator which supplied it to you.
The Package Travel Regulations 1992 mean that tour operators are responsible for all parts of your package holiday, even if the tour operator itself didn’t cause you an injury or illness. The Regulations also allow tour operators to be held liable for the actions of their representatives. An airline and its staff would be considered representatives under the Regulations.
To claim under these Regulations, you must prove:
- You were on a package holiday (the Regulations give a detailed definition of the kinds of holidays covered but, in general, they match most people’s idea of a package holiday).
- You suffered an injury or illness that was not your fault.
- This was caused by the tour operator or their representatives (which can include airlines and their staff).
‘No Win No Fee’ aeroplane passenger injury claims
Because it is extremely rare for passengers to be at fault for an airline injury, Truth Legal will often be able to conduct your case under a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement. In almost all circumstances, this means you do not have to pay our fees if we are unable to recover compensation for you.
If we are successful, often but not always some of your compensation award will be used to pay our fees. However, the majority of our costs will be paid by the insurance company of the party you are claiming from. This is the normal way in which ‘No Win No Fee’ agreements operate.
We will always explain funding your claim in more detail before your claim begins. You can read more on ‘No Win No Fee’ Agreements here.
We offer free initial consultation sessions, either in person or over the telephone. These give you the time explore your legal position without cost, and there is no obligation on you to proceed further.
If you would like to know more about bringing a claim for injuries sustained as a passenger on an aeroplane, or you would like to discuss your situation, please contact us.
You are always entitled to choose your own legal representatives. Even if you already have a claim ongoing, you can switch solicitors at any time. Making your claim with the right firm of qualified solicitors – whom you feel able to trust – is vitally important in a personal injury claim.
Perhaps the lawyer currently handling your claim is not a qualified solicitor or Legal Executive? Or they do not have experience of making an airline injury claim? Maybe they are overloaded with cases or they treat your claim as ‘just another number’. Whatever the reason, if you are unhappy with your current legal representatives you can switch your claim to Truth Legal. Our specialist personal injury solicitors will give you and your case the individual attention it deserves.
For personal injury claims under domestic law, the usual time limit in which a claim can be made is 3 years from the date of the accident.
However, stricter time limits apply under the Montreal Convention. You must make any claim under the Convention within 2 years from the date of disembarkation from the flight.
As such, we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you may have a claim. Contact us now if you are worried about these time limits or you would like to discuss your situation.
If a child under the age of 18 has been injured on a flight, they will need someone to act for them in their claim. If you bring the claim on their behalf, you will be known as their ‘Litigation Friend’.
People in daily contact with the child, such as parents or guardians, are often best placed to be Litigation Friends as they can monitor the child’s injuries and other losses incurred on their behalf.
Get in touch with us to find out more about acting as a Litigation Friend.
The injuries you have suffered are likely to be the main ‘harm’ you are claiming for. This can include physical and/or psychological harm. Compensation awards can vary greatly depending upon the injuries you have suffered. In general, the ‘value’ of your injuries will take into account:
- The pain and suffering you have suffered, or may be left with permanently.
- The effect that the injuries have had on your life.
In addition to your injuries, you may have incurred other losses. Most kinds of loss can be included in your compensation claim if they have resulted directly from the accident or your injuries. Common types of financial loss include:
- Travel expenses
- Medical expenses and treatment costs
- Lost earnings
- Care and assistance
For holiday flights, an injury on an aeroplane could affect the enjoyment of the rest of your holiday. Compensation can often be included in respect of the value and enjoyment you have lost. For more information on claiming this kind of loss, and the many other losses which can be included in personal injury claims, download our free ebook: The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide.