Guide to Airplane Accident Injury Compensation

Although the number of claims for airplane accident injury compensation is relatively low in comparison to other forms of transport, the injuries which are sustained in airline accidents can be far more severe. Airplane crashes may make headline news, but little mention is made of the many millions of flights each year which take place without incident. If you are one of the relatively few who have been injured while a passenger on a flight, you could be entitled to claim airplane accident injury compensation.

Qualifying for Airplane Accident Injury Compensation

Personal injury claims for compensation can usually only be made if an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of a third party. In the case of accidents which occur onboard an airplane, negligence is treated differently. Naturally, in order to claim airplane accident injury compensation there has to have been an injury; however the negligence of the airline does not need to be proved.

Regulations governing travel on an airplane were first introduced as part of the Warsaw Convention in 1929. With the progress that has been made in airplane engineering over the past eighty years or so, many of the regulations became obsolete. New regulations relating to air travel came into effect in 1999 with the Montreal Convention which, in 2004, was ratified by the EU and has now been incorporated into Irish law.

The Montreal Convention stipulates that an aircraft operator has to accept liability for any accident taking place at any point between embarking the aircraft and disembarkation. Should an injury occur, the aircraft operator is automatically liable to pay airplane accident injury compensation as a condition of carriage. All that needs to be provided is that an airplane accident did in fact take place and that an injury was sustained as a direct result.

If this is possible to establish, the aircraft operator will pay airplane accident injury compensation, however without proof of injury you cannot claim airplane accident injury compensation. Therefore it is essential that, in the event of an accident on an airplane, medical treatment is sought on landing – either with a local doctor or at the casualty department of a hospital, regardless of the country you are in.

Common Causes of Injury Leading to Airplane Accident Injury Compensation Claims

There are numerous reasons for an injury to be sustained on board an airplane, and no limit to the severity of injury that one can receive. Among the most common causes of injury are:-

  • Injuries due to turbulence
  • Trips, slips and falls in the aisle of the plane
  • Falling baggage from overhead lockers
  • Collision with a trolley
  • Burns and scalds from spilled hot foods and beverages
  • Food poisoning due to the airline catering company

Airplane Accident Injury Compensation and Contributory Negligence

Although the negligence of the aircraft carrier does not need to be proved when making airplane accident injury compensation claims, the airplane company or its insurer may mount a defence against an airplane accident injury compensation claim. While the liability has to be accepted, the level of compensation is not fixed – only capped at €140,000 (approx). If an injury is self inflicted, the passenger is deemed to have been 100 percent responsible for their own injuries, and airplane accident injury compensation cannot be claimed. In any airplane accident injury compensation claim, there may be contributory negligence put forward by the defence. This is where the claimant is deemed to have contributed to the cause or the extent of their injury to some degree, and their settlement of airplane accident injury compensation will be reduced to reflect their own lack of care.

If you Suffer an Injury in an Airplane Accident

If you suffer an injury in an airplane accident, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and seek medical attention. Cabin staff are trained in basic first aid, and they will administer immediate preliminary treatment. The captain will be alerted to the nature of the injury and, if it is deemed to be of sufficient severity, the plane may be diverted to a nearby airport so that the injury can receive proper professional medical treatment.

If possible the contact details of any witnesses to your accident should be taken, and a record should be made in the airplane´s accident report book. This will most likely be completed by the cabin staff if you are incapacitated but, after your injuries have been treated, you should confirm the content of the report with the airline. Medical attention must be sought, either at a hospital or with a GP, as injuries must be officially recorded to be used by an airplane accident injury compensation solicitor when processing your claim.

Speak with an Airplane Accident Injury Compensation Solicitor

A claim for airplane accident injury compensation for a quantifiable injury sustained when on board an aircraft is almost certain to succeed. Liability is assumed by the airline´s conditions of carriage and even if an accident is caused by another person and an injury is sustained, the airline is still liable.

With proof of negligence not needing to be provided, it may be tempting to proceed with an airplane accident injury compensation claim without consulting a solicitor for legal advice. However, whilst negligence does not need to be proved, it will be in your best interests to discuss your claim for airplane accident injury compensation with a solicitor to maximise how much compensation for an accident on an airplane you receive.