While most people think of aircraft accidents in terms of catastrophic plane crashes, the fact is that most aircraft accidents are very minor, involving incidents such as tripping on a piece of carpet, spilling a hot drink over someone, or jamming your hand in a chair.
If you have suffered injury in any type of aircraft-related incident, you can rest assured that Thompsons in Scotland employs a team of personal injury solicitors who possess specialist expertise in this type of injury claim. For more information about your rights and how we may be able to help, read on below.
The Montreal Convention
If you have been injured in an accident of any type on board an aircraft in the last two years then you may be eligible for compensation – it is important to note that this time limitation differs from the three-year limit for making other types of personal injury claim for accidents in Scotland.
This is because of the Montreal Convention 1999, which was put into force in Scotland by the Carriage by Air Act 1961.
The Montreal Convention provides that a carrier is strictly liable for bodily injuries as a result of an accident that occurred on board an aircraft. This means that the airline company will be liable to compensate you for your injuries without you having to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the airline company.
So even if the accident is the fault of another passenger, or if nobody is to blame for the accident at all, you could be eligible for compensation. Claims that are made without proof of fault on the part of the airline, have a compensation limit of approximately £90,000.
However, if you can conclusively demonstrate that the airline was at fault for the accident, there is no such upper limit on a compensation settlement.
What can you claim for?
You can claim compensation for any type of aviation related accident that causes you personal injury. However, some of the most common types of claimable incident include:
- Falling luggage accidents
- Slips or trips on the aircraft or while boarding or disembarking
- Scalding injuries caused by spilled drinks
- Air disasters, including crashes and collisions
Air France v Saks
There has been much debate as to what constitutes an "accident". The leading case on this is Air France v Saks 474 US 392, where the definition of accident was given as "an unusual and unexpected event or happening external to the passenger".
Claim compensation, wherever you are in Scotland
If you have been involved in an accident onboard a plane abroad or whilst flying in the UK, while embarking, disembarking, or during the journey, , then you may be able to claim compensation for your pain, suffering, losses, medical expenses and lost earnings.
It may also be possible, depending on the circumstances, to bring a claim in the UK against the Tour Operators or air carriers. In other cases, claims may be made abroad, for example against the plane owners. For more information about claiming for an accident abroad, visit our foreign and travel claims section.