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Airline Injury Compensation Claims

It is possible to make a claim for compensation if you have been involved in an incident on an airplane that resulted in personal injury or loss to you as all passenger carrying aircraft is required to be insured.

Section 28 of the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (C’th) sets out airline carrier liability for any bodily injury or death suffered by a passenger on board the aircraft (or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking).

You may be able to make a claim whether the incident happened during a domestic flight in Australia, or internationally so long as your origin or destination country was Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you run my claim No Win No Fee?

Yes. Roche Legal offers No Win No Fee representation to everyone with a qualifying claim. Contact us for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Brisbane, Springwood, and the Sunshine Coast.

Do I have a claim for compensation?

If you’ve been injured in an airline or aeroplane incident or it caused the passing of a relative, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the airline or another organisation.

It will depend on the particular circumstances involved that led to the incident that caused injury and loss.

Usually, the relevant aviation authority instigates an investigation to determine what caused the incident and who or what is to blame. Whilst we do not have to wait for such investigation to occur nor accept any findings before we make a claim on your behalf, it is often prudent to do so as they will bear the cost of the investigation rather than you.

Who Can I bring the claim against?

This depends on who was at fault. Aclaim can be made against one or more of the following:

  • The owner of the airline
  • The airline operator
  • The manufacturer of the aeroplane or aeroplane parts
  • An airport
  • The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) or its international equivalent

What can I claim compensation for?

This depends upon the injury, loss or damage that you have suffered. Your claim may include damages for:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Economic loss e.g. loss of income and earning capacity
  • Medical expenses

What has to be proven for my claim to be successful?

You have to prove that:

  • The incident that caused you illness or injury occurred; and
  • the party being sued (i.e. the defendant) owed you a legal duty of care; and
  • you have suffered pain, suffering, loss and damage because of the incident; and
  • the defendant was negligent in causing, or allowing the incident to occur.

Are there any important time limits to bring a claim?

Yes, but it depends up whether the incident involves an international or domestic flight. If international, it will depend upon the particular airline and the country the incident occurred in.

In Australia, Section 34 of the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (C’th) requires court proceedings to be filed within two (2) years after the date of arrival of the aircraft at the destination, or, where the aircraft did not arrive at the destination.

This is a strict time limitation applies Australia-wide, and shorter than most other claims for personal injury in Queensland.

Who pays me the compensation?

Usually, you will be paid compensation by the insurance company of the airline or aircraft carrier who caused or contributed to the injury or death.

There is also the possibility for additional insurance cover through private travel insurance or life insurance policies.

How much compensation can I claim?

This depends upon your particular circumstances, the nature of your injuries and to what extend they have adversely interfered with your life.

For claims made in negligence against commercial airline carriers, domestic claims are currently limited to a maximum of $925,000 for injury or death, pursuant to Section 31(1AA) of the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959.

For claims involving international flights, there are rules laid down by the 1999 Montreal Convention (to which most international airline carriers are a signatory to) which sets out the amounts of damages that may be granted. Some airlines may actually pay out more than that provided for by limits set by the convention.

Additional compensation claimable through private travel insurance or life insurance depends on the cover under the policy.

How long does a claim for compensation take?

To a large extent this depends on how proactive your lawyer is and the length of time it takes for a proper and thorough investigation to be made. It also depends on whether the claim is a domestic or international one.

Can I make a claim as a beneficiary or dependant if the injured person has passed away?

Yes. If the incident or accident involved a domestic airline, the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 and the relevant state and territory fair trading laws apply.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.