Aeroplane Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an aeroplane accident, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
According to the Department for Transport's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), 10 people were involved in fatal accidents related to aeroplanes in 2019. The AAIB noted 153 safety actions in the same period.
People can claim injury compensation for a variety of issues caused by plane travel. Quittance can assist with claims for trips or falls whilst boarding or alighting the aircraft, or whilst moving through the cabin during travel.
In addition, claims have been made for burns as the result of spills whilst serving hot drinks and food poisoning from in-flight meals. Faulty equipment such as seating can also cause people to sustain injuries.
Do I have an injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I make an aeroplane accident claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on an aeroplane accident claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
Who is liable for aeroplane accidents?
The responsibility for accidents whilst on an aircraft is dependent on where the accident occurred, and the capacity in which you were travelling. If you are hurt whilst working as part of an aeroplane's cabin crew, it is likely that the airline, as your employer, can be held responsible.
If you have been involved in an aeroplane accident whilst travelling as a passenger, particularly within the UK or on a UK-based airline, the airline can be held liable under English law. If you have booked your journey as a package holiday with a UK-based tour operator, then the travel company may bear responsibility for any injuries you have sustained, even if you travelled on foreign-owner airline.
The Montreal Convention
Aeroplane accidents that occur outside of the UK are usually covered by a ruling known as the Montreal Convention. This means that it is possible to pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries through the courts of your native country. For example, if your accident happened on an international flight, and you are a UK citizen, you can claim through the UK courts.
What to do if injured because in an aeroplane accident
Having sought medical attention and treatment, you should contact a solicitor who is experienced at dealing with cases related to aeroplane accidents.
Reduced time limit for aeroplane accident claims
It is important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible, as there is a reduced time limit for making claims for injuries caused by aeroplane accidents. Although there can be exceptions, you usually have a maximum of two years to lodge a claim against the offending party, such as the airline or tour operator.
Proving that the airline is liable
If you are applying for compensation under the Montreal Convention, you do not have to prove that the airline was at fault. The airline is considered liable simply due to an accident happening within the confines of their aircraft.
However, if your aeroplane accident occurred within the UK, or other restrictions are applied, you may be obliged to prove that it has been the direct result of negligence or a failure to comply with health and safety requirements.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How long does an aeroplane injury claim take?
How long it can take to secure compensation for an aeroplane accident can vary considerably.
A simple uncontested occupiers liability claim could be completed in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take substantially longer. Normally an occupiers liability claim should take 6 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Around 2% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
No win, no fee removes the risk from making an injury claim. If you don't win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.