Air accident claims

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Air Accident Claims

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Air travel is in most cases the fastest way to arrive at a long distance destination. It also demonstrates an excellent safety record which is expected to improve still further as we see new advances in technology and pilot training. When accidents do occur, however, our lawyers are on hand to offer expert advice and to ensure you receive the best possible support.

We can provide specialist guidance both in cases where your compensation claim involves a serious incident and for those who sustain more minor injuries, either during a flight or at an airport. In addition to commercial airlines, we are able to assist passengers of private jets, light aircraft and helicopters. Our in-depth understanding of the aviation sector means that we are equipped to secure significant financial settlements and deliver a personalised service tailored to individual needs.

Aviation claims against tour operators and airline companies are usually governed by the Montreal Convention which applies to international carriages. Under its terms, you may be entitled to compensation without needing to prove fault or negligence if you have an accident while on an aircraft, or in the process of embarkation or disembarkation. An 'accident' is defined as ‘an unexpected and/or unusual event or happening which is external to the passenger’. A recent decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union held that claimants can also recover damages for psychiatric injury under the Convention. It remains to be seen if the courts of England and Wales will adopt the same approach for these types of claims.  

The Montreal Convention imposes strict liability on airlines up to a cap of 113,100 SDRs (approximately £110,000). If the airline can prove it was not responsible for the accident, or that it was caused by a third party, it may be able to avoid paying further compensation over that ceiling.

The convention only applies to countries which are signatories to it. If your claim is not governed by this legislation, we will be able to advise on the best approach to follow, drawing on our comprehensive knowledge of international travel law.

We provide free initial advice without obligation. This can include guidance over the telephone, a visit from one of our specialist solicitors or a review of your documents. We offer various forms of funding, including no win no fee (conditional fee) agreements. Our team aims to ensure that you receive maximum compensation while minimising the legal costs involved.

Recent work highlights

Airport tarmac injury

Advising a client with limited mobility who sustained a serious injury at Manchester Airport when her wheelchair fell on her leg as she was being transported to the terminal. The driver of the vehicle had failed to fasten her possessions.

Departure gate slip

Representing a passenger who slipped on her way to the departure gate at Palma Airport after liquid had been spilt on the floor. She fractured her arm and is likely to have permanently impaired movement.

Damages for young scalding victim

Acting for a child whose arm was scalded when a crew member spilt boiling water on her during a flight between England and Turkey. We were able to agree a settlement with the airline's legal representatives.

Arrow GIFSee more detailed case studies

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP