Aviation Accidents: Legal Rights and Claims for Air Travel Injuries

Your travel experience should be pleasant and trouble-free, but there will be times when not everything goes as planned. For example, delays may cause disruption and untimely cancellations due to extreme weather may threaten entire holidays or work trips. However, there’s one nightmare scenario that can cause considerable trauma and affect travellers in the long term: plane accidents and passenger illness, whilst on a flight.


Of course, aviation accidents are a rarity and hardly ever the fault of the passengers. There can be errors at the hands of the pilot or air traffic controllers, or sometimes manufacturing issues with the vessel itself. This fundamental lack of control over the situation can be highly distressing for passengers, especially so when they sustain plane injuries as a result of the accident.


We understand that processing a major incident like this is difficult. You may want to seek the next steps, in terms of compensation or claims, but may be confused about where to start. This is where we step in, here at McGinley Solicitors LLP. As your chosen solicitors, we can take away the hassle of dealing with an aviation accident claim.


Types of Air Accident Claims

The air accidents covered in the media tend to be devastating crashes with a low likelihood of survival. Thankfully, those incidents are few and far between, and the vast majority of plane accident claims involve minor injuries.


It’s important to note that the incident doesn’t have to occur while you’re physically on the aeroplane. While you’re situated at any site within the airport premises, it’s their responsibility if something goes wrong and it’s not your fault.


Typical incidents may include:


  • A trip or fall while on the plane or at the airport
  • An injury sustained by baggage falling from the overhead lockers
  • Injuries that occur on airport transportation while navigating their site e.g. their buses or trains
  • Food poisoning caused by in-flight meals
  • Scalding by spillage of airline hot drinks
  • Assault by another passenger
  • Injuries caused by air turbulence.


While this is an extensive list of potential plane injuries, it’s not an exhaustive one. If you have suffered any plane-related accident or illness, whether it’s mentioned here or not, please get in touch with us right away.


What is the Montreal Convention?

The Montreal Convention (MC99) was set up to establish liability in the event of a plane accident or injury. Its purpose is to unify the global airline industry and to provide a single treaty that rules on liability.


MC99’s independent body makes a judgement on liability for plane accidents and injury to passengers. It also arbitrates delays and baggage loss claims. Essentially, when pursuing any claim for plane injuries, this claim has to go through the Montreal Convention.


Your Rights for In-flight Injuries or Illnesses

As with any type of personal accident claim, with plane accidents, you should be entitled to compensation following injuries sustained at the airport or on the aeroplane. If the incident wasn’t your fault and it’s possible to identify the third party responsibly, that compensation can be provided under the legislation laid down by the Montreal Convention.


MC99 was put in place to protect passengers and to uphold their rights for plane accidents that weren’t their fault. It’s not advisable to restrict your complaint to the airport as it’s unlikely that you’ll receive compensation that matches the level of your injuries.


While the Montreal Convention is there to protect your rights, it’s advised to seek professional help in order to obtain the best possible result.


How We Can Help with Your Air Accident Injury Claim

Plane accident claims shouldn’t be tackled without the help of an experienced legal representative. The Montreal Convention is a complex piece of legislation and it’s best to pass details of your plane injuries over to a qualified solicitor.


At McGinley Solicitors LLP, we’ve historically garnered a credible reputation through dealing with all types of personal injury and accident claims since 1988. Our qualified team are up-to-date with all pertinent developments related to the MC99 and can confidently advise you on whether your plane accident claim will be covered by the convention.


In order to get things moving, please give us a call at 1800 998 969 or fill in the online contact form. If you’re happy for us to proceed and a meeting is required, we have three offices across Dublin and Donegal, so we can be flexible.


Plane accident claims shouldn’t be addressed without experienced help, so please get in touch for our professional advice.



How do I start an air accident claim?

It’s best to contact an experienced and qualified solicitor in the first instance. They will advise on the correct procedure when following up on plane accidents, and they will ensure that the subsequent claim is processed in accordance with the Montreal Convention.


Who can make an aeroplane injury claim?

The majority of plane accident claims should be made by the injured party. Sadly, it’s the case that some plane injuries can be so severe that they result in incapacity or even death. In these instances, a claim can be made on an individual’s behalf by the next of kin or nominated party.


What does aeroplane and aviation compensation cover?

Aeroplane and aviation compensation can cover:


  • Direct compensation for the plane injuries sustained
  • Any subsequent loss of earnings
  • Unnecessary travel costs
  • Cost of medical bills
  • Cost of ongoing medical treatment if this is needed.


Other associated costs may also be covered, so check with us for full details.


Are there time limits on making aeroplane injury claims?

Under the rules of the Montreal Convention, injured parties have up to two years in which to make a claim. While that strict limit should be kept in mind, it’s always advisable to file a claim for plane accidents as soon as possible.


Who is responsible for aeroplane injury claims?

This will depend on the incident and where it occurred. If there are plane injuries sustained on the aircraft, the airline itself can be held responsible. If the accident took place on airport property, the owners of that airport should be liable.


There may be some anomalies between these two areas. For example, if you were injured by a member of airline staff while checking in baggage, the airline may be responsible. In all cases, there must be blame involved, and your solicitor can provide clarification relating to your individual circumstances.


Injuries Abroad

While a plane accident can occur on Irish soil on the way out, there are many plane injury claims involving incidents abroad. These can be subject to local laws and be far more complex. For any injuries or accidents abroad, please contact us as soon as possible.

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