Aircraft accidents


While air travel is generally considered to be one of the safest modes of transport, it is not immune from accidents. If you are unlucky enough to suffer injury from an aircraft accident, either on a business trip or holiday, then you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Alternatively, if you are a dependant and a family member has been involved in a fatal aircraft accident then you are also entitled to bring a claim for:

  • Bereavement
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of household income

We will be able to recommend a personal injury lawyer if you should need one.

What are aircraft accidents?

Aircraft accidents can refer to minor on-board accidents such as:

  • Burns from spillages of hot liquids
  • Food poisoning
  • Trips and slips
  • Injury from falling luggage
  • Injury from turbulence

More serious aircraft accidents are major plane crashes. Crashes can be the result of:

  • Mechanical failures
  • Bad weather
  • Pilot errors

The Warsaw Convention provides that airline companies are liable to compensate you for aircraft accidents even if they are not at fault. This is provided that you fall within the legal definition of an accident. A specialist airline accidents solicitor would be able to help you determine whether you fall into this category. They are trained to evaluate and determine the liability of aircraft operators particularly as aviation laws are often complex.

What should you do if you are involved in an accident?

You should take some preliminary steps if you have been involved in an accident:

  • Record the accident and inform a member of the cabin crew and your travel representative
  • Keep any receipts to prove any medical expenditure
  • Take photographs if possible
  • Note down the details of any witnesses to help back up your claim

Damages can later be awarded for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of amenity
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical expenses

Bringing a claim for compensation

People are often worried about the cost of bringing a legal case against an airline, but many aviation lawyers will be happy to proceed on a no-win, no-fee basis. Alternatively, depending on your travel insurance policy, you may also have legal cover which you can rely on.

Furthermore, if you are an airline employee such as a pilot, cabin-crew member, baggage handler, or any other airline or airport employee, your employer has a duty of care to prevent you from suffering an injury and they can be liable for failing to take reasonable care to ensure your safety.

Aviation accidents are slightly different to normal personal injury cases as they are subject to different criteria. For example, the claim must be brought within two years of the accident, unlike the normal three years.

Furthermore, there is a cap on the amount of compensation that can be won, unlike other personal injury cases which are generally uncapped. The advice of a lawyer who has experience with dealing with such claims should be sought.

Still have unanswered questions? See our FAQ page on aviation accidents.

Have you been involved in an aircraft accident and need to find a specialist to help you gain compensation? Contact Law works with personal injury lawyers who specialise in aircraft and aviation accidents, who can represent you in bringing a claim against an airline company. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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