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Turbulence Compensation Claims

Have you or one of your loved ones been injured during a bout of in-flight turbulence? You may have grounds for a turbulence compensation claim. Read on to find out more information about airline compensation and what to do when turbulence causes injury.


Air travel is extremely popular and rewarding, but it’s not without its hazards and dangers, however rare they might be. Fallen baggage, serious injuries or even death can result from travelling in an airplane. It’s possible to claim compensation for these incidents, but it’s essential to provide evidence and to be very well-prepared. That’s where Shine Lawyers can help.

What is turbulence?

According to the Australian Government Civil Aviation and Safety Authority, turbulence is air movement that normally cannot be seen. It ranges in severity from light to extreme and can be caused by a number of factors including atmospheric pressures, jet streams and thunderstorms. For more information, visit https://www.casa.gov.au/aircraft/cabin-safety/passenger-safety-information.

Most of the time, turbulence is just a normal part of air travel and nothing to be afraid of. However, sometimes it can have serious and unfortunate consequences. On Monday 6 June, 2016, passengers on a Malaysia Airlines flight between London and Kuala Lumpur suffered minor injuries as a result of turbulence: https://www.shine.com.au/blog/aviation-law/passenger-turbulence-airline-liability.


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Common Questions

Turbulence compensation claims will cover physical injuries, and may cover psychological injuries if they can be shown to have arisen due to the bodily injuries sustained in the turbulence.

If either (or both) of these have arisen, a claim may be filed on behalf of passengers, crew, surviving family members or affected bystanders.

Compensation can cover areas such as financial loss, pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses and domestic assistance.

When making a compensation claim, it’s vital to remember that evidence is extremely important. It’s essential to provide documents (i.e. incident reports) or witness testimony such as other passengers on the flight who can corroborate the incident.

Personal injuries sustained on a flight are most often governed by the terms of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention 1999), an international convention with many signatories.

Due to the terms of the Montreal Convention 1999, a passenger can claim compensation for personal injury or death without needing to prove that it was the airline’s fault up to a certain amount. However, the airline can argue that they took all necessary measures to prevent the accident or that the passenger contributed through their own fault (negligence). Examples of the passenger being at fault includes tripping over a bag they’ve left in the aisle or failing to safely stash hand luggage in the overhead locker.

Australian airlines, and airlines where the flight begins or ends in Australia, are strictly liable for claims not exceeding $113,100 Special Drawing Rights (approximately $206,771.35 AUD at the time of writing).

For claims exceeding $113,100 Special Drawing Rights, negligence on the part of the airline, its servants or agents must be disproved by the airline.

For more information, visit http://www.tourismlegal.com.au/airtravelhazards.html.

To start your compensation claim, get in touch with Shine Lawyers today. Our legal team operates on a No Win No Fee basis.

Find out more and get in touch today.

Where you are located isn't necessarily a barrier when it comes to obtaining the services of a lawyer. We're experts when it comes to turbulence related claims across Australia and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.It doesn't matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office - we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

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