Accidents on Flights | Accident Claims

Flight Accident Injury Claims

If you have had the misfortune of being involved in an accident whilst present on an aircraft you should immediately report same to cabin crew. It would be prudent to take the details of the cabin crew member to whom you report the accident, to take note of your flight number and to keep a copy of your boarding card.

Accidents which take place on an airplane fall within the provisions of Section 56 of the Civil Law Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2011, specifically the exclusions in relation to claims governed by the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions, and therefore fall outside the remit of PIAB.

The Montreal Convention – Who is Liable on the Aircraft for Injury?

Under the Montreal Convention, as the injured party, you are entitled to bring proceedings in either the country where you live or the country you were flying to.

The Montreal Convention states that any accident which takes place on an aircraft, which results in either physical or psychological injury, is the responsibility of the airline. The airline will accept liability for the injuries sustained as a condition of carriage, up to the sum of €130,000 (approx.). So long as your claim for compensation does not exceed the stated amount, there will be no need to prove that the airline was negligent and you are automatically entitled to compensation. If your claim against the airline exceeds the sum of €130,000 (approx.) you will have to prove that the airline was in fact negligent and they are entitled to defend the claim being brought against them.

Although, in the first instance, an application will be made to PIAB, they will not deal with this type of claim. PIAB will confirm with your solicitor that the claim falls under the Montreal Convention and once same has been confirmed they will provide an Authorisation to issue proceedings. Papers will be sent to your Barrister to draft the appropriate proceedings on your behalf. All accidents/incidents which take place on an aircraft will fall within the remit of the High Court.

Common causes of accidents on an aircraft:

  • Baggage falling from an overhead locker
  • Injury caused by turbulence
  • Trips, slips and falls
  • Food Poisoning
  • Burns and scalds from spilled food and hot drinks
  • Collision with a trolley