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Aeroplane Accidents – The Risk of Personal Injury

If you are on your way to a last minute summer holiday getaway that involves travelling on an aeroplane, then like me, you will be full of excitement and the last thing you expect is to be injured on the plane. While airlines try and ensure the safety of their passengers, accidents can happen. The added complication this summer is of course COVID-19 and the anxiety surrounding around potentially being exposed to this virus whilst at the airport and on the aeroplane. This summer you will be required in most instances to wear a face mask whilst at the airport and boarding the plane.

When people think about aeroplane accidents they tend to recall the Manchester Air Disaster when a plane was set on fire and 55 people died or the Gerona/Britannia Air Crash.

There are, however, more common accidents that often occur when you are simply sitting in your seat. I have acted on behalf of a number of clients who have been involved in accidents on aeroplanes, one of which involved a client standing up from his seat at the end of a flight, when a small heavy trolley from an overhead locker struck him on the forehead causing his head to jolt backwards and resulting in personal injury. My client suffered concussion and sought medical treatment once he had departed from the plane.

If a piece of luggage falls and strikes you on the head, you may dismiss the severity of the impact if you cannot see any physical signs of injury such as bruising to the head or a laceration. It is important to seek medical assistance straight away to be assessed for a potential head injury including concussion.

Some of the signs to look out for a head injury include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Balance problems
  • A clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears

The law in relation to accidents on aeroplanes is slightly different. Strict liability applies to the airline which means you just have to prove that the accident happened rather than proving that the airline and its staff were at fault for the accident.

Time limits for aeroplane passenger personal injury claims

For most personal injury claims you have 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, for accidents on an aeroplane you have 2 years from the date of the accident to make a claim. You can make a claim for Personal Injury against the airline under the Montreal Convention and by virtue of Carriage by Air Acts (Implementation of the Montreal Convention 1991) Order 2002.

Under the Montreal Convention, as a passenger you can bring a claim for personal injury and death in the following places:

  1. In the country where you live
  2. In the country where the airline is based
  3. In the country where the airline is flying to

As a passenger you will bring it in the country which is most favourable to you.

Our leading Personal Injury solicitors have a strong track record in helping those who have been injured whilst abroad. If you wish to discuss your situation with one of our team, talk to us today on 0330 822 3451 or get in touch online.