After almost two years of lockdown, the Scottish Government have finally indicated that travel will soon be back in our futures. Although some of us are nervous flyers, crash statistics are declining, and instances are few and far between. However, accidents on airplanes do still happen when onboard, embarking, and disembarking the aircraft. Watermans Solicitors are experienced in representing all kinds of personal injury claims, including inflight and airport accidents.
We all want a memorable holiday, but an accident in the airport or on the airplane can be memorable for the wrong reasons and can spoil a long-awaited holiday. Leaving us physically and emotionally put off travelling again in the future and can even have a greater impact on our day to day lives.
What are my Legal Rights onboard an airplane?
Most airline companies and tour operators are bound by the Montreal Convention. These set of regulations state that the airline is responsiblefor the safety of its passengers during international flights. This includes airports, onboard, and getting on and off the plane.
It is important to highlight that the Montreal Convention only applies to the currently 133 countries signed up to its regulations. Such airlines include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and EasyJet. The Convention is currently enforced for flights leaving for and arriving from the EU. Therefore, with 133 countries taking part, most international flights will be covered.
If you wish to make a claim for an air accident under the Montreal Convention, it is required that the accident be “caused by an unusual or unexpected event”. This means that the airline will be liable for any unexpected accidents and injuries caused by another passenger by the aircraft itself, or even unexpected turbulence.
Unlike on the ground, you do not have to find proof of fault to pursue a claim on an International flight. This makes pursuing a claim a bit easier as the airline have a legal responsibility for their passenger’s safety.
How Long do I have to make a claim?
In comparison to Scotland’s 3 years to claim for an accident, under the Montreal Convention you have 2 years from the date of the accident to make a claim. Therefore, we recommend getting in touch as soon as possible. Cases usually take a year to investigate and responses from the airline, insurance companies, and medical staff can be subject to delays. Receiving your compensation can also be delayed in the event that a tour company or airline either does not accept responsibility, or in the cases of smaller companies are uninsured.
In airspace, you don’t know what country you were flying over when the accident occurred. Therefore, under the regulations of the Montreal Convention, you have a select choice of countries that you can file your claim in.
Common In-Flight Accidents:
- Being hit by falling items from overhead lockers or injured by moving trolleys
- Injuries caused by extreme turbulence
- Food poisoning from airplane meals
- Slips and Falls onboard, entering, or exiting the plane
- Hot drink spills resulting in burns
- Being injured aboard the aircraft
When a client of ours badly cut his hand on the jagged edge of an airplane toilet’s bin, we were able to pursue his case and secured him a compensation total of £3,500 for his injuries.