If an injury on a plane has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Dramatic aircraft accidents are thankfully rare. However, injuries sustained during in-flight turbulence can cause head injuries and hot liquid scalds, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) remains a long-haul risk, and slips, trips and falls when embarking and disembarking are not uncommon.

If your life 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.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With around 2,000 airplane incidents reported each year, you are not alone

Accidents, injuries, and illnesses onboard commercial aircraft, while uncommon, do occur. The highly controlled commercial airline environment and strict safety protocols minimise risks, but incidents still happen - especially in clear air turbulence (CAT).

Almost 2,000 incidents were reported to the CAA in 2021, including 187 serious accidents and 5 causing 7 fatal injuries (caa.co.uk).

If you decide to make an aeroplane accident claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

If you are concerned about whether you are fit to fly, see: fit to fly (nhs.uk).

Types of injuries sustained onboard aircraft

Example of injuries and illnesses sustained by passengers and cabin crew that sometimes lead to person al injury claims include:

  • Scalds from spilled hot drinks during clear air turbulence (CAT)
  • Trips and falls over luggage in the aisle, moving to or from the restroom, during turbulence, or when embarking and disembarking
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from prolonged immobility, especially on long flights
  • Food poisoning from contaminated food or beverages.
  • Allergic reactions from food or other allergens - see example (bbc.co.uk).
  • Hypoxia or breathing difficulties from cabin pressure changes
  • Hearing damage from changes in air pressure during climbs and descents
  • Luggage injuries from items falling from overhead storage

If you need information on DVT symptoms and treatment, see: DVT (nhs.uk).

How much compensation can I claim for an aeroplane injury?

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.

Aeroplane accident injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings (including future anticipated earnings loss), retraining costs, career trajectory impact, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as emergency care, diagnostic imaging tests, surgical intervention and physical therapy.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

Our 2024 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey highlights that 29.03% of claimants reported they had suffered a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

Aeroplane accidents can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or a phobia of flying (aviophobia), impacting future travel plans and career opportunities.

A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Who is liable for your injury?

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 cabin crew, a compensation claim would be made against your employer.

If you have been involved in an aeroplane accident whilst travelling as a passenger, particularly within the UK or on a UK-based airline, a public liability claim would be made against the airline.

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 of 1999. 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 still through the UK courts.

Do I only have 2 years to make a claim against an airline?

No. It is commonly believed that under the Montreal Convention, you have only 2 years from the date of arrival at your destination to make an injury claim against an airline.

Following a 2014 court ruling and under Section 9 of the Limitation Act 1980, passengers in England and Wales have up to 6 years from the date of the flight to start a claim .

Nevertheless, as with all personal injury claims, the sooner you start a claim the greater the chan ces of success.

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.

See also:

Slips and trip claims

Holiday illness compensation claims

Faulty equipment claims

How did your injury happen?

Claiming compensation depends on the circumstances of your injury. Click the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee aeroplane accident injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim aeroplane accident injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 12/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 09/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 12/12/2023)

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director