Aeroplane Accident Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an aeroplane accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an aeroplane accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming aeroplane accident compensation:

Introduction

According to the Department for Transport, 76 people were involved in accidents related to aeroplanes in 2013.

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.

Aircraft masthead

Do I have an aeroplane accident claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an aeroplane accident claim if you were injured:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

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 aeroplane accident claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if there is no evidence?

Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win an aeroplane accident claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.

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.

How much compensation can I claim for an aeroplane accident?

The amount of money you could claim for your aeroplane accident will depend on:

  • the extent 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 aeroplane accident has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General 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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an aeroplane accident? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an aeroplane accident 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 aeroplane accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your aeroplane accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Aeroplane accident compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an aeroplane accident 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 aeroplane accident claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

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?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your aeroplane accident claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee removes the risk from making an aeroplane accident claim. If you don't win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee promise

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 aeroplane accident injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my aeroplane accident 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 aeroplane accident claim?

If your aeroplane accident 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.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. aeroplane accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Aeroplane accident FAQ's

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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an aeroplane accident claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the aeroplane accident to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your aeroplane accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an aeroplane accident 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim aeroplane accident compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an aeroplane accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert