Bringing an Aviation Claim
Aviation claims are governed by the Montreal Convention. This means that there is a strict two-year limitation period from the date that the aeroplane touches down. Where things can get tricky with aviation claims is that you have to be in the process of embarking, travelling, or disembarking in order for a claim to come within the scope of the Montreal Convention. And the definition of embarking and disembarking is one that has been the subject of quite a bit of argument. Essentially the rule of thumb is that if you’ve actually passed through security, then you’re determined to be embarking. Likewise, at the point where you are coming off the plane, until you actually get out to the point where the general public isn’t able to have access within the airport, you’re deemed to be disembarked.
Aviation claims pursuant to the Montreal Convention do not have to be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Bureau (PIAB). Proceedings can be issued immediately without the need for authorization is another significant point.
Another feature of aviation claims pursuant to the Convention is that there has to be an accident, which is an event outside of your control. So, if you suffer an injury on a plane because of something you do yourself, which could have been avoided by your own actions, then you’ve no entitlement to bring suit. But if it’s an external event that you’ve no control over, then there’s a strict regulatory regime and you don’t have to show negligence.
Another point to note is that you can’t recover costs for psychological injuries. It is purely physical injuries that you can recover costs for in aviation claims.
Claims pursuant to the Montreal Convention can be pursued in a country where the airline carrier has domicile or its principal place of business, or where it has a place of business through which the contract for the flight was made or at the place of destination of the flight.
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John McCarthy is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.
John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.