Flight Accident Claim*

Montreal Convention

To protect air passengers traveling on international flights, the Montreal Convention was created in 1999. It sets common rules of compensation between the 120 countries which ratified it.

Flight Accident- when to start case

Injuried party has two years from the date of the accident to issue court proceedings In Ireland. Personal Injuries Assessment Board procedure does not apply. Accidents which take place on an airplane fall outside the remit of PIAB. Therefore any application made to PIAB will not stop the time running

Flight Accident- Venue for Court Proceedings

Pursuant to the Montreal Convention (as amended) you can bring proceedings in a number of jurisdictions: where the flight left from, where it arrived or the country which was the flag of the carrier airline.

However most of the airlines terms and conditions specify jurisdiction and you are potentially bound by same.

Flight Accidents Generally

Aircraft accident include:

  • Baggage falling from overhead bins
  • Trips and falls
  • Burns from hot food and drinks
  • Injuries sustained during turbulence
  • Also accident which occurred during embarking or disembarking from an aircraft (ie. On the stairs leading to the aircraft)

The specific regulation provide for the definition for what is know as air carrier (or in EU a Community Carrier), regulates what is international carriage of passenger and what is the definition of passenger

In the circumstances the carrier is obliged pursuant to the provisions of the liability rules of the Convention, together with the European Union Council Directive Regulation No. 2027/97 (as amended by Regulation No 889/2002) to compensate you for the wounding and bodily injuries suffered by you.

Article 17 (1) of the Convention provides that The carrier is liable… in the case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or bodily injury took place on board the aircraft…

In the event that a passenger can show that the bodily injuries were caused by an accident, i.e. an unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger, then the passenger need not show negligence or fault as against the airline and can succeed to damages, subject to the scale and nature of the injuries, up to a damages award of 113,100 special drawing rights (approximately €145,000 today).

Flight Accident- what you should do

  • Like in every accident first you should look after your safety and your health.
  • You should report the accident to the cabin crew and ask them, if possible to make a report from the accident; if that is difficult report the accident to the airport administration; alternatively, if the injury became apparent later report same to the airline in writing
  • Keep your boarding card
  • Very often the pain, which is an indication that we have suffered some injuries during accident, may only appear after the adrenaline and stress levels are down. We are recommending that you visit your GP even if there are some minimal injuries in your opinion. It is worth doing even if finally due to the injuries being very minor you will decide not to pursue your case.