Aviation and Aeroplane Injuries.When travelling abroad for a holiday or business your flight is equally as important as your holiday destination. It is possible that on board an aeroplane, whether you are flying out or coming home, things can go wrong and you sustain injuries or become ill whilst in transit.
What does an in-flight injury mean?
The term “in flight” refers to an injury that you sustain whilst on board an aeroplane as a passenger or a crew member. The term also covers injuries sustained whilst boarding and disembarking an aeroplane and within any airport grounds. In summary an in-flight injury is one caused in the presence of the cabin crew by a third party negligence. However, not every in-flight accident can be the responsibility of the airline.
In some cases, passengers may be found to have contributed to their own accident in one way or another. Nonetheless, the airline is still to blame. In such circumstances the airline could agree a reduced percentage of liability and this will reduce the amount of compensation paid to the injured claimant.
How can you sue an airline in the UK?
In the UK the Civil Aviation Authority, known as the CAA, reviews and regulates UK civil aviation. The aims and purposes of the CAA is to ensure the safe travel for all passengers. The CAA also oversees the Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL), by law travel providers who sell air holidays and flights must be protected by ATOL. The purpose of having ATOL is that in the event that passengers are stranded abroad they can be brought back home.
Not all accidents that happen on an airplane will be caused by third party negligence meaning they will not qualify for a compensation claim. If it can be proven that an airline has acted in a negligent manner which subsequently causes you to suffer an injury or preventable illness, then you may have a fundamental cause to make a claim for your injuries and claim for compensation.
The Montreal Convention?
If you have been injured on board or whilst getting on and off an aeroplane, you may be eligible to make an air claim for compensation. The Montreal Convention was established in 1999 and is a specialist set of passengers rights that apply to the international carriage of passengers by air and deals with aeroplane injuries against carriers.
It is well known that some flights fly in airspace that is not considered to be within any national boundary and therefore there are no laws that apply as there is no legal jurisdiction in the airspace. The presence of the Montreal Convention comes into play and provides airline passengers with the right to make a compensation claim against the airline for any injuries that are caused by an in-flight accident for which the airline was responsible for. The Montreal Convention also covers flight delays and baggage loss or damage.
What type of accidents or injuries happen on an aeroplane?
Generally, fault or negligence is not required to be proven as a specific circumstance, as liability against the carrier under the Convention is strict. However, there are particular requirements for the event that causes the injury to be considered an accident following the Montreal convention. The time limit for bringing an air accident claim under the convention is only two years and therefore it is advisable to obtain legal advice without any delay.
Incidents that lead to an aeroplane injury claim:
• Slip and trips when on board, boarding or disembarking the aircraft or while in the airport;
• Being hit and injury caused by a falling luggage from overhead lockers;
• Food poisoning from inflight meals;
• Scalding or burns from hot drinks served on board;
• Assaults by other passengers;
• Injuries caused by extreme turbulence;
• Injuries caused by being hit by the drinks trolley;
• Injuries sustain following a bus collision during the transfer process from the airport terminal to the plane; and
• Broken seats could cause passengers to suffer harm on a rough landing due to ineffective safety belts;
At present aeroplanes are known to be incredibly safe, but with more people travelling by air chances of small injuries are known to be in the rise. During a flight, embarking or disembarking the aircraft, as a passenger or crew member, you may experience minor accidents and injuries. Such injuries can be physically or mentally painful. In many cases your rights may be maintained and the airline could be liable under the Montreal Convention Article 17. As it stands no matter how minor your incident or injuries the law can protect you for any in-flight injuries experienced.