A Guide To Belfast City Airport Accident Claims – I Had An Accident In Belfast City Airport Can I Claim Compensation For Personal Injury?

Belfast City airport accident claims guide

Belfast City airport accident claims guide

Understandably, as a victim of third-party negligence, you may be left feeling overwhelmed and confused about where you legally stand following an accident. As a result, your holiday or travel plans could potentially be affected or even postponed entirely if you suffer an injury or illness from an accident at Belfast City airport. Suffering an injury or illness may not only effect your health it may also have an impact on your quality of life, your work as well as your finances.

For this guide we are specifically talking about accidents that could potentially happen in or around an airport and have occurred due to a beach in the duty of care that is owed to you as a member of the public causing you an injury or illness.

Throughout this guide will be information regarding a variety of accident types, many of which range in severity. We will discuss how the accident claims process works, what personal injury claims time limits apply to Northern Ireland-based claims and how our panel of legal experts work on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you require more information about any part of this guide, please do not hesitate to contact our support team on a 0800 073 8801. With lines open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a friendly advisor will always be waiting to take your call.

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A Guide To Claims For Accidents At Belfast City Airport

Also commonly known as George Best Airport, Belfast City Airport is a single-runway airport in Northern Ireland. The terminal provides flights to the other parts of the UK and EU.

There is a personal injury claims time limit which could apply to your unique circumstances.  Under the Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989  the limit is generally three years from the date in which the accident occurred. This period may also run from the initial realisation that a significant injury is causing the person in question to suffer. There are of course exceptions and if you need further information do not hesitate to call our claims team.

There are, however, certain extenuating factors which may waiver this time limit. For example, on occasions which relate to children or young persons, the limitation period will begin from the moment the individual turns 18 years if a parent or guardian as not pursued a claim beforehand.

What Could Constitute An Accident In Belfast City Airport?

An accident is defined as an unfortunate occurrence which happens both unexpectedly and unintentionally, sometimes leading to unnecessary damage or harm to the person(s) involved.

In an airport setting, there are potentially several different forms in which an accident could take. In many instances, an accident may well just be an accidental occurrence. However, if there was an element of negligence which influenced the course of this accident, then you could potentially pursue a personal injury claim if you have suffered as a consequence.

For the claim to be made, it may first need to meet the criterion:

  1. You were made to suffer through an avoidable injury (either physical or psychological) or contraction of a preventable illness.
  2. Your suffering was the fault of another party who owed you a duty of care.
  3. This party breached their duty of care which caused your accident.

In the sections to follow, this guide will touch upon the types of accidents which could occur in an airport setting although this is not to say that your circumstances are not valid if they are not described within this guide. Every case is unique with its specific circumstances and extenuating factors. As no two cases are the same, it is therefore recommended you discuss your experiences with a legal expert who can evaluate a potential claim. As such, our knowledgeable advisors offer free, no-obligation consultations to those who are seeking advice and guidance after a Belfast City airport accident.

UK Aviation And Air Passenger Safety

It is a legal requirement for all UK airports to maintain reasonable safety standards at all times. To do so successfully, there are various guidelines which define what suitable standards should be met and how this may be achieved. For example, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) identifies there to be seven main areas of risk to the UK Aviation sector; the ‘Significant Seven’. Some of these include instrument flight procedures and ground handling operations safety teams which should be implemented to ensure the safety of those in the vicinity at all times.

An extension of this Significant Seven is the restriction of items on all flights. This directive forbids a list of specific items from entering an aircraft to minimise the risk of dangerous accidents occurring. There are also dangerous goods and cargo agents which are prohibited too. These items include, but are not limited to, the list below:

  • Medications: Certain medications will require documentation to prove they are necessary for you to take on board.
  • Gas devices: There are certain gas devices which cannot be taken on board an aircraft, such as tear gas, gas cylinders, etc.
  • Flammables: Flammable liquids and solids are banned from air travel. This includes firelighters, paints, thinners and lighter fuel.
  • Acids: Liquids of acidic nature are also restricted. This could be corrosives, acids, alkalis or even caustic soda.
  • Instruments: If an instrument retains mercury or magnets, then they may be confiscated. However, passengers may be allowed to carry thermometers with mercury providing they are held in a protective case in hand luggage only.

For more information about what additional items are restricted from airplanes, please click here.

Types Of Airport Accident Claims

In the following sections, we will discuss a handful of accident types which could impact the health and well-being of passengers and staff in airports. As we have already mentioned, the circumstances of each case are unique. This means that even if the type of accident in Belfast City airport you suffered is not listed below, does not mean you do not have a case. Our panel of solicitors are well versed in personal injury law and therefore could have the knowledge and experience to secure a settlement amount on your behalf.

Trip Or Fall Accidents On Airport Grounds

The most common causes of workplace injuries in the UK overall, is slips, trips and falls which account for up to 40% on average for all major injuries reported. However the most common cause of workplace injuries in air transport is lifting and handling. Several different causations could lead to an accident of this nature in almost any environment. These incidents could also take place on board an aircraft and cause significant injury. In these circumstances, it may be possible for such a claim to be handled under the Montreal Convention 1999. This is why is it particularly important for airport staff to conduct risk assessments regularly to identify and eradicate hazards as soon as they appear.

In addition to this, a slip, trip or fall could result from the following hazards:

  • Potholes
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Defective stairs/escalators/travellators
  • Obstructions
  • Poor lighting
  • Loose cables
  • Weather hazards
  • Spillages (E.g. oil, water, beverages, etc.)

Additional information about these hazards can be found in this guide by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on cause and prevention methods.

Baggage Related Crush Injuries

All facilities at an airport especially those that involve machinery must be serviced and maintained to ensure that they are fit for public use. If a baggage carousel was to go unserviced it may fall into disrepair which inevitably could cause a serious accident.

As a precaution, each baggage carousel should be fitted with an emergency stop button to put a stop to an accident taking place or before they escalate into a serious accident. However, if this button is defective and it fails to prevent an accident from occurring, therefore resulting in a serious injury, it could be considered a lapse in the airport’s duty of care. Please contact our advisors for more information.

Escalator And Lift Accidents

As with baggage carousels it is vital that lifts, escalators and travellators are all maintained to a high standard and serviced regularly so if there is a potential problem it can be repaired before an accident occurs. Failure to identify a faulty escalator or lift could potentially mean that an accident of a serious nature could happen also.

There are several risks associated with lifts and escalators which could be mitigated if the pieces of machinery are maintained properly. These risks may include:

  • Falling as a lift suddenly stops.
  • Trapping a finger, limb or body part in a lift door.
  • Clothing/fingers becoming trapped in the teeth of an escalator.
  • Defective surfaces causing trip hazards.
  • Spills/weather hazards causing escalator steps to become slippery.

You can find more information about escalator accidents in our detailed guide by clicking here.

Accidents On Transport In And Around An Airport

Whether you are visiting an airport for business or leisure, you may need to utilise the transport services provided to you move across the airport itself, from terminal to terminal or across the tarmac for a connecting flight. As with any other mode of transport, the operator will owe you a duty of care to ensure you are transported safely to your destination. Vehicles that operate around the airport could potentially be involved in any number of accident scenarios.

A potential vehicle airport crash could take different forms; for example;

  • A shuttle bus to the airplane could crash into the baggage cart.
  • An electrical buggy driven inside the terminal could crash into passengers.
  • An airport hotel bus could be involved in a road traffic accident.

Citizens Advice advises victims to gather key pieces of evidence to support their claim. For example, a victim should look to:

  • Gather witness contact details.
  • Photographs of the scene.
  • Accident reports/logs (Inc. reference numbers for such materials).
  • Medical records following treatment for injuries suffered as a result.

Airport Retail And Restaurant Accident Claims

If you are waiting for a connecting or delayed flight, you may find yourself passing the time at a  Belfast City Airport bar, restaurants or retail facilities.

It is the responsibility of a venue’s operator to ensure those on-premises are kept safe. In establishments where food is served, there are food hygiene standards which must be met to avoid the contraction of illnesses. An illness related to food could be the result of cross-contamination or lack of allergen advice.

The Food Standards Authority (FSA) recognises there to be 14 high-risk substances which, if not treated with the appropriate care, could lead to serious illness for those who have allergens. These substances are:

  1. Cereals containing gluten iI.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc.)
  2. Milk
  3. Nuts (i.e. hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, etc.)
  4. Celery
  5. Soybeans
  6. Eggs
  7. Fish
  8. Sulphur dioxide/sulphites (i.e. where the levels exceed 10mg/kg in products, such as dried fruit)
  9. Molluscs (i.e. mussels, oysters, snails, whelks, squid, etc.)
  10. Mustard
  11. Crustaceans (i.e. crabs, prawns, lobster, etc.)
  12. Peanuts
  13. Sesame
  14. Lupin (Including Lupin seeds, flour and other such products found in bread, pastries and pasta)

These allergenic ingredients should be easily identifiable in menus and on packaging through emphasised typeset to allow customers to easily distinguish between said allergens and the rest of the ingredients. If an establishment fails to do so, it could be considered an act of negligence.

Accidents And Injuries Affecting Airport Staff

Alongside those mentioned above, personal injury claims could possibly be made in certain scenarios as a member of staff at Belfast City airport if you have suffered due to a lapse in health and safety.

Whether you work as a member of Belfast City airport customer services or as a baggage handler, your employer has a duty of care to provide you with the correct tools to complete your daily tasks both safely and efficiently. This is achieved through training, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), among other things. Without these basic necessities, airport staff could potentially be put in unnecessary danger on multiple occasions throughout the day; especially when operating dangerous machinery.

A personal injury lawyer from our panel of experts could help you secure a settlement amount for your damages following an accident at work if employer negligence can be proven. To begin your claim, simply pick up the phone and speak to an advisor from our team.

Injuries Affecting Baggage Handling Staff

As with all members of staff, a duty of care should be upheld at all times. Manual handling injuries could occur if the correct training is not given or there is a lack of supervision during the task. There are several precautions which could be undertaken by employers. The HSE suggests employers should address risks from manual handling by:

  • Avoiding hazardous manual handling.
  • Assessing the risk of such labour and minimising those that can be avoided.
  • Reducing these risks as low as reasonably practicable.

These activities need to be supervised in case an accident or emergency occurs.

Compensation Calculator For Accident Claims

The figures in the table below are based on Judicial College (JC) Guidelines used by English solicitors when conducting claims under English law to provide guidance. As such, while you may consider using an online personal injury claims calculator for an idea of how much your potential claim could be worth, a simple discussion with an advisor from our team could provide you with a much more accurate amount.

Injury Severity AmountComment on Severity
Brain Damage Less Severe £14,380 to £40,410Injuries will have made a good recovery but may still have persisting symptoms such as impaired concentration ability, memory loss, and mood swings which may affect personal life and ability to work in the future.
Minor Brain or Head InjuryMinor £2,070 to £11,980There will be little to no brain damage associated with these head injuries, and the bracket may change according to how long symptoms persist for, if there are any headaches present, and on the severity or the original injury.
Neck InjurySevere (i)In the region of £139,210This bracket covers injuries that include incomplete paraplegia, or permanent spastic quadriparesis. Injuries here may also result in a person not seeing any improvement in neck mobility despite wearing a collar for a number of years and who also suffers persistent severe headaches.
Neck InjuryMinor (i)£4,080 to £7,410This bracket mainly covers soft tissue injuries, but can vary greatly according to persistence of symptoms, the type of treatment needed, and over all effect on a person's life. In general, injuries in this bracket will be expected to heal in one to two years.
Back InjurySevere (iii)£36,390 to £65,440This bracket covers fracture to vertebrae and discs, as well as other soft tissue injuries that lead to chronic conditions. These injuries will commonly result in persisting symptoms of pain, discomfort depression, loss of sexual function, impairment to mobility as well as posing a risk to future employability.
Back InjuryMinor (i)£7,410 to £11,730Again, covering soft tissue injuries, this bracket can also change according to severity, treatment needed, how long symptoms take to pass, as well as affect it has on other parts of the body. Injuries in this bracket are usually expected to recover without surgery in two to five years.
Hip and Pelvis InjurySevere (i)£73,580 to £122,860Injuries in this bracket will include extensive fractures which affect the lower back that may require spinal fusion, as well as damage to organs near the hips and pelvis such as the bladder and bowels. This could lead to impairment of these organs, as well as affect women by presenting issue when they are in labour.
Hip and Pelvis InjuryModerate (ii)£11,820 to £24,950This bracket commonly covers injuries that require a hip replacement and can include cases where a hip replacement may be possible in the future because of the injury, and there will usually be persisting symptoms.
Leg InjurySevere (i)£90,320 to £127,530This includes injuries that are so severe, it leaves a person no better off than if the leg had been amputated entirely. This can include degloving injuries, or fractures that have required extensive bone grafts to treat.
Leg InjuryLess Serious (i)£16,860 to £26,050This includes fractures and serious soft tissue injuries that do not perfectly heal. They may result in symptoms that persist such as a permanent limp, trouble walking, as well as cosmetic deformity and nerve damage.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe£21,730 to £56,180Recovery with special help. However the effects may go on to have a bearing on all aspects of life and cause significant disability.
Food Poisoning Serious but short-lived food poisoning (ii)£8,950 to £18,020For two to fours weeks or so diarrhoea and vomitting. Remaining discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and impact on sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years.

Additional Types Of Damages You Could Claim

To help you return to your previous financial state before the accident, these categories will evaluate various aspects of your circumstances and come to quantify it into a monetary amount. These categories are General Damages and Special Damages.

General Damages: These damages look to areas of your claim such as physical or psychological damage. The amount estimated will be based on the extent of your injuries, impact on wellbeing and future prognosis.

Special Damages: Unlike General Damages, this category will include aspects of your case which can be quantified. This includes medical expenses, travel costs and loss of earnings.

No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents At Belfast City Airport

When you begin the claims process, a personal injury solicitor from our panel will offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

Also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), this type of financial agreement simply states that your solicitor will deduct a percentage from the final settlement amount if they are successful in securing compensation on your behalf. However, if they are unsuccessful, then you may not be held accountable to pay for their services and support. This may typically be seen as a means of minimising the financial risks associated with conducting an accident claim, which potentially takes away that added stress on your behalf.

Why Choose Us To Help With Your Case?

With up to thirty years’ experience in conducting accident claims, our panel of legal experts is well versed in many different areas of personal injury law. Whether you are searching for more information about personal injury claims or you feel ready to begin a case after an accident at Belfast City airport, our panel could help.

If our panel is not based in your area, it doesn’t matter. Our expert panel could offer their services nationwide, which means you won’t have to rely on local solicitors to conduct your claim if you choose not to. So call us today or consider the contact methods below for more information.

Start Your Claim

Our expert advisors are just a phone call away. To begin your claim or discuss your circumstances under a free, no-obligation consultation, consider the contact methods below:

Essential References

Below are some useful resources for internal and external guides for your benefit.

CAA – Flight Delays
Where do you stand legally after a flight delay? Read this guide to find out more.

CAA – Air Safety
Information and guidance by the Civil Aviation Authority about air safety.

HSE – Air Transport
A guide to air transport by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Accident Claims – Whiplash Compensation Calculator
Are you suffering from a whiplash injury? If so, you could claim compensation.

Accident Claims – Fingers Caught In Doors
Our detailed guide to compensation claims for fingers caught indoors.

ARTICLE BY HH

EDITED BY PM