A Guide On How To Make An In-Flight Injury Claim Against An Airline?

In-flight injury claims guide

In-flight injury claims guide

Within this comprehensive online guide, we will be attempting to show how victims of an in flight injury due to an accident on a plane, could have grounds to make a claim against the airline for the harm they have suffered. We look at some of the common causes of flight accidents, and why you may be in a position to make a claim in similar circumstances.

You may have unique aspects of your claim that are not covered in this guide. Therefore, if you need answers that are not provided by this guide, please call our team of experts today on 0800 073 8801. They can provide you with more advice and information, and arrange to get your claim started for you.

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A Guide To In-Flight Injury Claims Against An Airline

This guide to claiming for in flight injuries, should contain all of the information that you need in order to understand why you cloud be eligible to make a claim, and how to proceed with one. We will begin this guide by giving a general overview of what in flight accidents are. We will then move on to look at several legal issues related to airline claims. This will include a discussion of your rights as an airline passenger, as well as the additional rights that disabled passengers have. We will also explain what the Montreal Convention is and when it comes into play.

The middle part of this guide takes a detailed look at some of the more common kinds of in-flight accident claims. This will include accidents caused by in-air turbulence, faulty seats, slips, trips or falls, the service cart, and spilt food and drinks.

Finally, we look at some issues related to the claim itself. We will discuss the time limits that you will need to make your claim within. And although we have not included a personal injury claims calculator on this page, we have included a table that shows compensation ranges for different injuries according to English Law. We have also added a list of the common kinds of damages a claimant may be awarded. Lastly, you will learn why a No Win No Fee solicitor could be able to help you make a claim, at the same time as minimising the financial risk of making a claim.

What Is An In-Flight Injury?

An in-flight injury is any injury that happens whilst a passenger is on a plane. However, you need to consider that in this case, the term “in flight” is a little misleading, as it does not only cover any passenger injury on a flight, but also boarding and disembarking accidents. To put things simply, any time you have a travel accident that happens while getting on, off or on a flight or is the responsibility of one the airlines representatives such as the cabin crew then it can be deemed as a in-flight accident. Please remember that not all accidents will lead to a compensation claim only those that are caused through third party negligence. Not every in-flight accident will be the responsibility of the airline.

In some cases, the passenger may have contributed to their own accident in some way, yet the airline is still fundamentally to blame. In these cases, the airline could agree to a reduced percentage of liability, and this would drive the amount of compensation paid to the claimant.

Airline Passenger Rights

In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) overseas and regulates UK civil aviation. Its main aim is to provide safe travel for all passengers. The CAA also overseas the Air Travel Oganisers’ Licence ATOL, by law every travel provider which sells air holidays and flights must be protected by ATOL. ATOL is there in case travel companies cease in trading so that passengers who are stranded abroad can be brought back home. A lot of the law surrounding those traveling to and from EU countries comes for EU directives as long as we are still part of the European Union and more information can be found at the above link, especially to do with flight delays, being bumped, flight cancellation, being down graded.

Additional Rights For Disabled Air Travel Passengers

According to the CAA those who are disabled and are travelling from European airports or travelling from member states of the EU are entitled to ”special assistance” such rights are stipulated by EU law and are concerned with ensuring disabled passengers have help and assistance form the minute they enter the airport, when boarding the airplane and while travelling on the airplane. Also when you disembark the aircraft, if you have to transferred between flights and in destination airports.

What Is The Montreal Convention And How Could It Affect My Claim?

The Montreal Convention was established in 1999. The is a special set of passenger rights that apply in a very specific scenario. Some international flights fly in airspace that is not considered to be within any national boundaries, and therefore, no laws apply as there is no legal jurisdiction in this airspace. However, the Montreal Convention comes into play at this time. It 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. It also covers flight delay, baggage loss and damage.

Accidents And Injuries Which Could Happen On A Plane

When it comes to airline injury claims, travelling on an aeroplane can present some pretty unique kinds of hazards that could cause an accident that results in an aeroplane injury. For example:

  • Unexpected air turbulence can cause a passenger to fall and harm themselves.
  • Broken seats could cause a passenger to suffer harm on a rough landing due to ineffective safety belts.
  • Luggage left in an inappropriate place can cause a passenger to trip.
  • The service trolley could collide with a passenger, causing them an injury.
  • Hot food or drink can be spilt on a passenger by a member of the cabin crew, causing a scald.

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 has subsequently caused you to suffer an avoidable injury or preventable illness they you may have a fundamental cause to make a claim.

Claims Against Airlines Caused By Unexpected Turbulence

Although the airline cannot be held responsible for the weather, it does have specific responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that passengers are safe during turbulence. For example, the cabin crew must ensure that the aeroplane bathrooms are not used, that all passengers are seated, and that all passengers have fasted their safety belt during any turbulence. If the cabin crew neglects to do this, then it could be possible for personal injury claims for turbulence to be made by anyone injured.

Claims Against Airlines For Injuries Caused By Damaged Seats

The seats of a plane are an integral part of its safety features. The seats are inspected regularly, to ensure they still effectively anchor the safety belt for every passenger. When a safety belt breaks, the passenger is at risk of injury during landing and take-off, and when the plane is flying through turbulence. If a passenger is injured in such a way, then it cloud be possible for a personal injury lawyer to process a claim for them.

Claims Against An Airline For A Slip Or Fall

Slips, trips and falls are a very common kind of injury claim. You could make a flight injury claim if you are injured by hazards such as:

  • You fall down the steps getting on to the plane, or disembarking, because the steps were faulty.
  • You trip over luggage that the cabin crew did not store in an overhead locker.
  • You slip on a spilt drink that has not been cleared up or marked with a warning sign.

If you are injured in a slip, trip or fall accident that was the fault of the airline, you could have a valid basis to make a compensation claim for the harm you have suffered.

Claims Against An Airline For Service Cart Impact Injuries

The airline cabin crew is trained at serving from the trolley in a way that is safe. However, service cart accidents can happen despite this. The cabin crew could crash the cart into a passenger causing harm, or perhaps leave it in an inappropriate place causing a passenger to trip. If you have been injured due to a service cart please call our advisors to see if you have a valid claim.

Claims Against An Airline For Hot Food And Liquid Burns

The cabin crew is expected to serve hot food and drinks to passengers in a safe manner. Passengers can suffer a scald or burn due to hot food or drink being spilt on them if such items are not served accordingly. In cases such as this, where a member of the cabin crew was to blame for the accident, then a personal injury solicitor could be able to process a claim on behalf of the injured passenger.

In-Flight Injury Claim Time Limits

Depending upon the circumstances of your airline accident, how you booked your holiday, and where the airplane was when the accident happened may depend on how long you have to bring a claim for compensation after a negligent accident caused an unnecessary injury.

If you are still unsure about which time limit applies in your case, speak to a member of our team of experts and they will let you know.

In-Flight Injury Claims Against An Airline Compensation Calculator

The table below is based on the UK judicial guidelines used by the UK legal system to value injuries for claims. You can use this table to see how much you may be able to claim.

Type of InjurySeverity AmountInformation
Head Injury Minor brain or head injury to moderate brain damage. £1,940 to £192,090 Brackets start at brain damage being minimal, good recovery will be made to concentration and memory effected, work life affected, intellectual deficit, a personality change, an effect on sight, speech and senses with a significant risk of epilepsy.
Neck Injury Minor to Moderate Up to £2,150 to £33,750Brackets starts at soft tissue damage with recovery in 3 months to accelerated and/or exacerbated a pre-existing condition, permanent nuisance symptoms, wrenching-type injury and disc lesion of the more severe type. The top end of this brackets includes included chronic conditions, usually involving referred symptoms to other parts of the anatomy.
Shoulder Injury Severe £16,830 to £42,110Significant disability leading to neck and arm pain.
Arm Injury Simple Fractures £5,810 to £16,830Simple fractures of the forearm.
Hand Injury Moderate to Serious£5,110 to £54,280 Starting off at soft tissue damage, crush injury, laceration, deep wounds to significant impaired function, permanent disability, to reduced capacity, loss of grip, amputation of fingers and possibly palm.
Hip/Pelvis Injury Moderate £11,040 to £34,340Hip replacement, hip/pelvis surgery, to significant pelvis/hip permanent disability.
Leg Injury Less serious leg injuries to severe leg injuries. Up to £10,380 to £119,210Brackets start as simple leBrackets start as simple leg fractures, leg will be left with metal implant and/or defective gait, a limp, impaired mobility, sensory loss, discomfort, to imperfect union of fractures, muscle waste, serious compound fractures resulting in instability multiple fractures, effect on employment.g fractures, leg will be left with metal implant and/or defective gait, a limp, impaired mobility, sensory loss, discomfort, to imperfect union of fractures, muscle waste, serious compound fractures, multiple fractures, effect on employment.
Knee Injury Moderate Up to £12,050 to £22,960Brackets include twisting, bruising, continuous discomfort to dislocation, torn cartilage, mild future disability.
Ankle Injury Modest Injuries Upto £12,050 Undisplaced fractures, twists, sprains, ligament injuries.
Foot Injury Modest to Serious Upto £12,050 to £34,370 Simple metatarsal fractures, ruptured ligaments, puncture wounds to metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent, deformity, risk of fusion surgery to severe injury to a foot or heel.
Food Poisoning Serious but short lived. £8,360 to £16,830Diarrhoea and vomiting, disturbance of bowel unction, impact of eating, these brackets are time sensitive if symptoms are indefinite then the top end of the bracket will be considered.
Scarring Trivial Scarring £1,500 to £3,090 Minor scarring.
Psychiatric Injury Less Severe £1,350 to £5,130The length of the psychiatric injury plays a vital role.
Fatal Incident Immediate Unconsciousness/Death within One Week£1,200 to £2,450
Loss of Earnings An example £30 000An injured party may not be able to return to work for a period of time, possibly losing earnings of i.e. £30 000 which may be recuperated as part of special damages.

For a more accurate estimate of how much compensation you could be able to claim, please speak to one of our claim advisors today, they can arrange for a solicitor to value it for you.

Special Damages In Airline Injury Claims

If your compensation claim is successful, there is the potential for your compensation payment to comprise of a number of different kind of damages, under the two main headings of general damages, and special damages, for example:

  • Special damages – for non-physical, financial and other losses:
    • Fewer future prospects – if you will be left with some kind of affliction or disability that will negatively impact your future work potential, or even stop you working completely.
    • Loss of income – if you took time out from work for your injuries to heal, and missed out on your salary or wages, partially or fully.
    • Care costs – if you needed a nurse at home to care for you and you had to hire one privately.
    • Private medical fees – if you needed treatment that wasn’t available for free on the NHS, and you paid the cost of treatment yourself.
    • Travel costs – to cover for out of pocket expenses related to travel for treatment, or for legal reasons related to the claim itself.
  • General damages – for pain and suffering, both physical and psychological:
    • Loss of life quality – if your lifestyle will be impacted by, for example, a permanent disability.
    • Long-term or permanent disability – if you will never recover from your injuries fully and will be left with an affliction.
    • Painful recovery – if you will need traumatic treatment in the long-term before you recover.
    • Shock and trauma – caused by being involved in an accident.
    • Pain and suffering – at the point of the accident, and also if painful emergency medical treatment was administered.

You won’t necessarily get all of these kinds of damages, and you may get others that are not listed here. To get an idea of the kinds of damages you may be able to claim for in your own case, speak to one of our claim advisors today.

No Win No Fee In-Flight Injury Claims Against An Airline

Using a No Win No Fee lawyer to help you make your claim, will mitigate many of the stresses risks you may face when making a claim. This is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), and under a CFA the following is true:

  • You will not need to pay a fee for the lawyer to start handling your claim for you.
  • You will not have to pay during the period the lawyer is processing your claim, no matter how long it takes.
  • You will pay nothing to your solicitor at all if your claim is not a success.
  • The lawyer will automatically collect their pre-agreed fee when your claim is a success and they receive a compensation payment for you.

If you need to know more about how a CFA can help you to make your claim in a way that presents less financial risk, then please speak to our team of experts today. A claim advisor will go over your claim with you, answer your questions, and then provide you with some free legal advice on how best to proceed with your claim from here.

Why Choose Us To Handle Your Airline Injury Claim?

If you have been injured in a holiday accident, or while travelling by plane, and the accident was not your fault, we might be able to help you to claim. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Call our team of experts on the number in the section below. They will answer any questions you have at this stage.
  2. One of our claim advisors will evaluate your claim, and if it is valid, arrange for a solicitor to begin processing it for you.
  3. A solicitor will proceed to process it on your behalf.

You can call us at any time to get an update on the status of your claim, and what we have been doing for you.

Start Your In-Flight Injury Claim Against An Airline

Have you suffered an airline injury in an accident that was not your own fault? Do you believe the airline was to blame for the harm you suffered? In this case, please contact our team of experts on 0800 073 8801. A claim advisor will talk through your claim with you, inform you of your legal options, and then offer you some free legal advice on what to do next.

Essential References

You might find these external pages have some useful information:

CAA Information On How To Make A Complaint

Information About The Montreal Convention

Information About Airline Safety From The CAA

You could also read these other guides, which could be useful to you:

A Guide To Holiday Claims

How To Make A Package Holiday Claim

Claiming Against An Airline

Article by Mac

Edited by MM.