Flying to your holiday destination, family celebration or business meeting is usually a routine that most of us know and generally enjoy.
A record 3.3 billion passengers boarded an aircraft in 2014, which was 170 million more than in 2013, according to the International Air Transport Association - IATA, 2015.
Nevertheless, many remain fearful of stepping onto a plane. And not without good reason. One thing nobody wants to go through is the experience of a mid-air accident.
However, aviation accidents can come in all shapes and forms. Before your plane is even in the sky you can easily slip, trip and fall when boarding, or stumble and bump your head as you try to climb in or out of your passenger seat.
In the often confined space of a full and busy scheduled flight, accidents which can often occur are:
Other types of incidents can cause more serious injuries, damage or loss including your plane encountering difficulties during the take off, landing or flight. Some of the most common causes of plane crashes or difficult landings and take offs include:
Your package holiday organiser can be held responsible if you suffered an injury caused by an accident through no fault of your own, which occurred anywhereon hotel property.
But who is responsible if you suffer an illness, accident or injury during the flight, while boarding or disembarking, or in an extreme event, such as an aviation accident or plane crash?
Bringing a claim against a carrier, airport, aircraft supplier or holiday provider will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience of personal injury compensation and specialist knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law. We can provide you with all the expert guidance you will need to help you succeed in making your claim against an airline, air carrier, UK tour operator, or holiday organiser.
Definition of an Aviation Accident
An aviation accident refers to an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft
which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and the time when all such persons have disembarked.
During this defined period of time, a person can be fatally or seriously injured as a result of:
Definition of a serious injury
This is defined as an injury caused to a person in an accident which involves one of the following:
Definition of a serious incident
A serious incident is where there is the likelihood of an accident associated with the operation of an aircraft, including the following examples:
Take-off and landing
Fires, Smoke and Oxygen
If you have an accident onboard a plane...
The rules about making a claim for an aviation accident are different to those that apply to accidents that occur at a hotel or resort abroad.
The Terms and Conditions contained in your ‘Contract of Carriage’, which is supplied by both Tour operators and airlines, are bound by regulations set out in the Montreal Convention.
The Montreal Convention - Travel by Air
The Convention operates ‘in favour’ of aircraft passengers and imposes a quasi-strict liability on the air carrier. This means that it is not always necessary to prove that someone was at fault – the fact that an accident happened is often sufficient, provided it was an unexpected and unusual event i.e. severe turbulence.
Under Article 17 of the Montreal convention the air carrier is responsible for injuries caused to a passenger as a result of an unexpected and unusual event.
Therefore actionable accidents can include:
This is regardless of whether:
Under the Convention, compensation claims for personal injury and death whilst onboard an airplane can usually be brought in the country most favourable to the passenger.
This means that a compensation claim can be made:
Airlines are liable for an air accident, which is defined as an unusual and unexpected event or happening external to the passenger.
Airlines are not liable for an air accident, if the injury results from the passenger’s own internal reaction to the usual, normal and expected operation of the aircraft.
A passenger can claim compensation for an air injury and any psychological trauma suffered.
A passenger cannot claim compensation for their distress unless the passenger was also physicallyinjured.
The Montreal Convention does not apply to an internal, domestic UK flight.
A claim for personal injury can be brought against the airline using domestic UK law, which requires the claimant to show that the airline was negligent and at fault.
It is important to note that the time you have to make a claimis different from most other types of personal injury claims:
Package Travel Regulations 1992
Under Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ towards the health and safety of you, your family and anyone else in your party.
If the holiday was a package holiday protected by the Package Travel Regulations 1992, then a compensation claim for an injury caused during the flight can be pursued against the tour operator as they are responsible for their suppliers including the airlines.
Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992 states that a package provides for the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:
Making a claim – how we can help you
Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist personal injury solicitor.
Your Legal Friend has over 30 years’ experience in successfully managing compensation claims and has expert knowledge of all aspects of international personal injury law.
We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident through no fault of their own on an airplane and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator or air carrier. These claims can cover compensation not only for your injuries but also for spoiling your holiday if your injuries prevented you from taking part in any of your holiday activities.
We can also help you to claim back any additional expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident, such as:
Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way.
Talk to us today
For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors, call us now on 0808 301 7535 (calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.