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Injured Inflight? Can I claim compensation?


It’s a scenario that many of us may not even consider. What happens when the trip that was meant to be the holiday of your dreams becomes your nightmare and the plane hasn’t even touched down?

An in-flight injury does not only arise from a crash or sudden, severe turbulence; you may suffer injuries by accidentally being burnt by a hot drink, a bag falling on you from an unsecured luggage compartment, or slipping and falling in a bathroom. In situations like these, can you claim compensation and if so, from who?

What is considered an in-flight injury?

An in-flight injury is any injury that occurs while you’re on board the aircraft, or in the course of embarking or disembarking the aircraft.

Can you make a claim if you’ve suffered injuries during a flight?

The simple answer is yes. If you were a passenger on-board a commercial flight and suffered injuries as a result of an accident, you’re entitled to make a claim for compensation. However, the process is not always straightforward as the law governing the compensation for injuries suffered during air travel can be complex.

Each airline that flies passengers to, from or within Australia has to have passenger liability insurance, which may cover you. Different rules for domestic and international passengers come into play.

Airline employees are generally not covered by passenger liability insurance, but they may be able to make a worker’s compensation claim if they are injured whilst working.

Your best bet is to speak to a legal expert from Shine Lawyers who can guide you through the process.

Steps to take after injury

If you can, it helps to keep evidence of the accident and injury such as any photos or videos from the flight. Your first step should be to file an incident report or report the accident to a crew member, preferably in writing and if verbally, ensuring the name and contact details are obtained of the person who you make a complaint to.

You should also seek medical treatment for the injury as soon as possible, hold on to any medical reports and certificates, and keep any other evidence which links your injury to the in-flight accident, such as your ticket and/or boarding pass.

Contact us

One of the many legal areas Shine Lawyers cover is Aviation Law, which includes injuries that occurred on board aircrafts. These claims can be complicated if the injuries took place on an international flight and in overseas airspace. That’s why it helps to have an aviation lawyer guide you through the laws on a “no win, no fee” basis. Contact us today for an obligation free appointment.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: February 18, 2019.

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