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What Amount of Compensation Can I Claim For Flight Accident Claims?

By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 29th July 2021. Welcome to our guide on flight accident claims. Air travel is, according to reports, the safest mode of transport, and many people fly without incident many times a year. Whether you are going on holiday or travelling for business, you put your trust in the airline, the aeroplane and the staff to keep you safe, but sometimes accidents do happen. In this guide, we run through how to establish fault in an aeroplane accident, the types of potential injuries and also how much compensation you could claim if you suffer an in-flight injury.

To find out more about flight accident claims, read on or call us on 0800 073 8804 to speak to someone today about how to claim.

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A Guide to our flight accident claims

Flying is something many of us have to do, year in, year out if we wish to travel abroad or even domestically. Whether you are a business or leisure traveller, you likely expect to travel quickly and efficiently, and without injury. According to the government’s aviation statistics, however, this is not always the case. In 2016 alone, there would be 29 casualties as a result of accidents in UK airspace involving UK aircraft. Whilst some of these incidents are minor, others would result in fatalities. But we cannot comment on who was at fault for these incidents as this data is not available.

However, claims against airlines happen each year. If your airline, the aeroplane manufacturer, or someone else is responsible, you should be able to claim flight injury compensation. Simply read below to find out all you need to know. This includes plane crash settlement amounts, typical injuries on aeroplanes and the Montreal Convention for personal injury. Note that the Montreal Convention governs claims for air injuries.

What constitutes a flight accident?

flight accident claims

Flight accident claim

Many people think a flight accident involves a plane crash. But in reality, there are a variety of different injuries on flight that are not so extreme. Basically, a flight accident injury is anything that happens causing injury in flight. That could be a plane crash, a slip, trip or fall, injury by luggage or other items falling on a person, burns from hot drinks or liquids or anything else. If you suffer injuries because of someone else’s fault in flight, this can form the basis of flight accident claims.

The Montreal Convention

When pursuing flight injury claims, you may hear about the Montreal Convention 1999. This is a treaty signed by multiple countries, including the UK, that protects passengers in-flight, allowing them to be compensated by the airlines should they have been injured by or during a flight. Passengers should, no matter whereabouts or in which country the injury occurred, be allowed to make their claims in their home nation, whether they have suffered injury from falling baggage or objects from overhead lockers, unsafe transfers by ground staff or emergency evacuation where the proper procedure was not followed.

What accidents can occur on a flight?

According to UK Courts, in a case that involved British Airways, an accident can be deemed anything that is not the expected usual operation of an aircraft. There are several different ways in which an accident can happen that may result in flight accident claims, whether through:

  • Technical issues with the aircraft’s operating systems
  • Damage that has not been spotted/rectified
  • Slip, trip, fall hazards not spotted/minimised
  • Issues with scalds and burns from food/drink
  • Luggage not properly secured
  • Seating injuries
  • Inflight turbulence

Whether your injury has been caused by any of those factors mentioned above, or through another factor, then it is entirely possible, if it wasn’t your fault, for you to make a claim for flight accident compensation. This is where Legal Expert can help. We can provide you with a solicitor that covers your area and can assist you in making a claim.

I had an accident while boarding an aeroplane – can I make a claim?

Boarding an aircraft should be a thing we do without incident, and when it is not, there are various accidents that can occur. Whether the steps were not properly secured, there were slip, trip or fall hazards that were not cleared up or you have been injured by damage to the boarding tunnel, if you weren’t to blame for the accident boarding an aeroplane, you’re likely to be able to be awarded compensation for your injuries. There are various different injuries that can be caused by boarding an aircraft including broken bones, strains and sprains, muscle damage and worse. If you have been involved in such a situation, then it would be wise to speak to us to see how we can help you claim.

Slipping while disembarking a flight – do I have a claim?

If you’ve had an accident disembarking an aeroplane, you will need to be able to prove that you were not to blame for it. For example, if you were rushing and fell, tripping over your own feet, it would be likely that, unless you were rushing due to an emergency with the aircraft, you would not have a claim. If, for example, you slipped on a pool of water that had not been cleaned from the ramp or steps, then you would likely have a claim. Call our team, and we’ll be sure to talk you through the reasons why you have or don’t have a valid claim. We can then, if you do have cause, provide you with a solicitor to manage your flight accident claims.

Luggage fell on me on an aeroplane – what should I do?

One of the more common occurrences on an aircraft that can cause injury is items that have not been properly secured or those that have fallen due to issues with the overhead storage lockers popping open. Luggage falling on the head can cause a variety of problems and can even knock someone unconscious if they are heavy enough. Should this have happened on your flight and you were left with an injury, then we can help begin the fight for compensation against those responsible.

Burnt on aeroplane food or drink – who is responsible?

Whilst the quality of food on an aeroplane is not always that of a good restaurant, it usually comes hot, and this can cause accidents in flight. If you have been burnt by foods served on an aeroplane, if you were not advised that they were hot, or they were spilt on you, then you may have suffered burn injuries that were not your fault. These can cause scarring and visible damage that can last for a long time to come. In-flight injuries on aeroplanes compensation can help pay for treatment for the injuries to reduce the visibility of scarring, and can also compensate you for the pain you have been through.

Injury by aeroplane seat – What do I need to do?

Seat damage can happen in an aeroplane for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the seat was not checked for damage, and there were sharp parts protruding that have caused an injury, or maybe the seat mechanism was faulty. Whatever the reason you were injured by your seat, as long as it was not from improper use, it is likely that you could claim seat injury compensation.

An injury by trolley mid-flight – Can I still claim?

We have all laughed at those comedy films that depict people being bashed by hostess trolleys, but in reality, they can cause nasty injuries that can cause damage and pain for years to come. If you’ve been hit by a trolley mid-flight, either because it was left unattended or it was pushed into you, then you may be able to be compensated for your injuries with airline injury compensation claims. Speak to our team; we are sure to be able to advise you on what to do next.

Injury in a plane crash – who do I claim against?

The stuff of nightmares, a plane crash is often the nervous traveller’s biggest fear, but when it does happen, either due to pilot error, mechanical failure or any other reason, the injuries can be catastrophic and are not always limited to the physical. Mental and emotional trauma can cause loss of quality of life, and some people will never travel via air again after such an incident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a plane crash or collision, either in the air or on the ground, then speak to our team, who will offer guidance on what to do next.

Fatal plane crash – what should dependents do?

It does not happen often, but when it does, plane crashes causing fatalities are highly publicised. Often, in the newspapers, the family of the deceased are mentioned, but what is not often mentioned is the emotional and financial trauma that does not go away long after the story has been printed or broadcast. Dependents of those killed in accidents on aeroplanes can make claims for compensation that may cover funeral costs, as well as offering financial support for those who are left without household income due to the accident. There are, however, limits on the time allowed to make a claim. For the most part, loved ones can claim up to 2 years after the accident, but it is wise to pursue your flight accident claims as soon as possible to help relieve the financial burden sooner.

What type of compensation is it possible to claim for flight injury?

The types of payout that make up a compensation claim can include the following:

  • Funeral expenses – As mentioned in the paragraph above, if a person were killed as a result of a flight accident, then a claim can be put forward for funeral costs.
  • General damages – Suffering and pain can be covered for the injuries sustained, and this can include mental effects as well as physical harms.
  • Care – If you’ve had to have someone care for you to help you at home, either getting dressed, feeding yourself or anything you would normally have been able to do on your own previously, then that person doing those tasks could claim for care.
  • Medical – Bills such as physiotherapists, prescription fees etc. can be covered here
  • Wages – Both wages actually lost, and those likely to be lost in the future can be covered here.

If you’ve incurred other costs directly due to the flight accident, then speak to our team to see if you can be recompensed as part of any settlement.

How much flight accident compensation would I get?

When it comes to the amount you’re likely to receive for compensation, it depends entirely on the severity and prognosis of your injuries. Airline compensation for the death of a loved one will be really very different from those for a burn suffered on an aeroplane. Below is a table covering a range of injuries to give you some idea of compensation amounts. You may not see your specific injury or injuries here, but if you don’t, it doesn’t mean they will not be covered. Simply call us to get a general overview of typical payouts for what has happened to you.

Compensation reasonPayout amount (Typical)Any notes
Anguish (Mental/Emotional) £4,380
This amount is for those that had fear of the end of their life/fear they were going to die
Amputation of Index and Middle and/or Ring Fingers£58,100 to £85,170The loss of a finger can be compensated within this bracket.
Loss of index finger Finger injury Amounts up to £17,590Your index finger loss can be compensated within this bracket.
Severe fracture - Finger injury Up to £34,480Severe pain will likely to have been caused by the injury.
Amputation - Foot injury £78,800 to £189,110If a person has either traumatic or surgical amputation to the foot as a result of a flight accident then this is the typical bracket for payments.
Very severe Foot injury£78,800 to £102,890An injury in this bracket is likely to take a very long period of time for healing. What sort of an effect the injury will and is having on the claimant’s usual life as well as the symptoms, pain, prognosis etc will be taken into account.
Serious Foot injury£23,460 to £65,710
A serious foot injury usually ensures temporary loss of function to the foot.
Moderate Foot injury £12,900 to £23,460Pain is severe and there will likely be a long way to go for recovery. However, recovery should be possible.
Minor Foot injury Amounts up to £12,900
Factors taken into account should include level of pain, prognosis, whether medication is required.
Full amputation of the toe£29,380 to £52,620Flight accidents causing a full amputation to the toe should be covered here.
Moderate injuries to the toeUp to £9,010
Function loss in the toe should be temporary, but recovery should be possible over time.
Severe injury/ies to the toe£9,010 to £12,900Common causes here are slips, falls, trips etc. These could happen while alighting or disembarking an aircraft.
Death£12,500 to £300,000A value to cover death
Death – brief awareness before death£9,870 to £10,010Damage such as chest or orthopaedic damage with compications,burning to the body, or damage to the lungs. This would hypothetically cause pain that was deemed extreme, and the victims would then become unconscious after three hours had passed. Death hypothetically could occur within a fortnight.
Death -immediately unconscious – death within a period of six weeks£3,530 to £4,120Immediately rendered unconscious and then passing away within 6 weeks.
Death – immediately unconscious – death within a week£1,290 to £2,620The person passes away within one week, after becoming unconscious immediately following the incident.
Death – Fully Aware £11,770 to £22,350Death would usually occur within the space of 4 to 5 weeks. The person would be in extreme pain, and would be aware for a short period. Often the case with lung damage.

No Win No Fee flight accident claims – can I make one?

Claims against an airline can be made as No Win No Fee. This works by using some of the settlement once the case ends to cover the solicitor’s fees. And this focuses on an agreeable amount before you sign anything. So, you will know how much of the settlement you will receive. Legal Expert’s friendly and fully trained team will explain all the details you’d need to know if you were to use our service to make your flight accident claims.

Legal Expert – Your No Win No Fee Flight Accident Claims Service

Providing you with a solicitor to specifically handle your case is something that not a lot of people can do. Here at Legal Expert, we have the ability to provide solicitors with experience in this area of personal injury. This allows you the peace of mind of working with someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. We help many people claim compensation for injuries ranging from burns to losing a relative and care about our service. We take the time to learn about the accident and help you by informing you of all the facts. And this empowers you to make a decision on the best course of action to take for you.

Talk to us about launching flight accident claims

If you have any questions, all you need to do is get in touch. Call 0800 073 8804 or email info@legalexpert.co.uk to ask us anything about flight accident claims. And we will do our utmost to provide an answer or solution.

Flight accident claims- FAQs

Am I likely to suffer an injury while flying? 

Aviation accidents where something goes wrong with the aircraft might be what people fear the most whilst flying. But statistics show that you’re unlikely to suffer an injury in an accident on an aircraft. In fact, between 2009-19, there would only 32 injuries to either staff or passengers on commercial fixed-wing aircraft involving UK registered aircraft in UK registered airspace.

However, this doesn’t mean that the risk of injury while flying is very low. In fact, some of the injuries that you might be at risk for in an aircraft might surprise you. For instance, the most common accident to employees in air transport in 2013/14 was lifting and handling at 39%. Then, there are slips, trips and falls at 24%. These statistics don’t tell us anything specifically about injuries to passengers. But they do give an idea of accidents that could result in personal injury claims on an aeroplane.

Who’s responsible for my health and safety while on a flight? 

The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for your health and safety while onboard a flight. This is outlined in the Civil Aviation Act 1982. The Aviation Health unit is part of the CAA. So, you can click here to read their guidelines on health concerns for crew members.

How long after an incident can you make a claim?

You have up to three years after the incident happens in order to file your claim.

How long does a claim for compensation take?

It can take around 12, maybe 18 months, to conclude.

How long can police charge you after an accident?

Their window to charge you lasts up to six months after the accident takes place.

Should I accept the initial compensation offer?

We would suggest not doing this because it’s highly likely that you’re going to receive a higher follow-up offer.

Is it illegal to drive off after an accident?

Yes, it is illegal to not stop and give details after being in a road traffic accident.

Can I make my own personal injury claim?

You could do this, but the industry recommendation is to hire a personal injury solicitor.

Helpful Links

AAIB

The AAIB provide reports on incidents that have happened in the aviation industry. This might be of interest if you are looking to find out about other events that have been reported.

FAQ – Air transport – HSE

The HSE aim to answer questions that are commonly asked about air transport safety. Read their page to find out more.

Claiming without paying upfront

Our guide on claiming no win no fee should inform you further about this type of case. This may apply to you when making flight accident claims.

Peanut allergy compensation claims

Have you suffered from an allergic reaction while travelling? Read our guide to see if you could make a claim.

Compensation claims for delayed flights 

Click here to see what options are available for you after a travel delay because of delayed flights.

Thank you for reading our guide on flight accident claims.

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