Personal Injury

Ryanair flight led to head injury

Hannah Crosby is one of Slater and Gordon’s Travel Litigation Experts who has taken a special interest in accidents on aircrafts. Hannah believes it is important to advise on the various ways in which a claim arising from an accident on an aircraft can be brought, even for accidents.

07 August 2023

Jemma* was on a Ryanair flight, on her way to enjoy some time away. While sitting in her allocated seat, baggage from the overhead compartment fell onto her. Jemma sustained a minor head injury and a soft tissue injury to her neck from the incident, which took several months to heal.

This had a detrimental impact on not only our client’s holiday, but also her work. Once she returned from her trip, the recovery period from the injuries meant that she was unable to pick up extra shifts at her job, which resulted in a loss of earnings.

How Slater and Gordon are helping

Jemma got in contact with our travel litigation experts to help, where her claim was quickly assigned. Slater and Gordon have supported many clients who’ve been injured in similar scenarios, and quickly set out to ensure Jemma receives the compensation and care she needs to recover.

Once hearing what had happened to Jemma, we quickly sought the expertise of medical professionals to determine whether our client required any rehabilitation to aid her recovery. Jemma was soon examined by a medical professional appointed by Slater and Gordon to assess her injuries, of which reports would help build evidence in her compensation claim.

Jemma was also provided with expertise surrounding the conventions that apply to her claim and the added complexity of bringing a claim against a company domiciled outside the UK, as Ryanair is registered in Ireland.

Hannah Crosby, litigation executive, explains that travel claims can take a long time to resolve due to the complex nature of utilising foreign legislations and/or conventions. For example, Ryanair has over six months to investigate their position on liability. It is therefore important to manage our clients' expectations from the outset, aiming to alleviate the complexities and any burdens to those who’ve been injured abroad, or through the fault of a travel provider.

This case falls under the Montreal Convention 1999, which establishes airline liability for injuries sustained on an aeroplane, as well as in cases of delay, damage, or loss of baggage and cargo. Several common aeroplane accidents, which are normally covered under this convention, include:

  • Overhead locker door injuries
  • Overhead baggage falling
  • Slips or trips – on or off the plane
  • Burns or scalds from food service
  • Trolley accidents
  • In-flight turbulence
  • Heavy landings
  • Injuries caused by other passengers
  • Allergy reaction to in-flight meals

To make a claim under the convention, there is a two-year time limit in which to bring a claim. This time frame starts from the date of the accident. Whilst the time limit seems like a long period, it is Hannah’s advice that it is always advisable to seek legal advice immediately after the accident, whilst the information is still fresh in your memory and so that any evidence can be preserved as quickly as possible that may help support your claim. It is therefore important to speak to a travel injuries expert as soon as possible.

What to do if you’ve been injured on a plane or abroad?

If you’ve been injured either on a plane, during your processing on or off a plane, or while on holiday abroad, you should get in contact with our travel litigation experts. Any accident that results in injury can be frightening, though the impact can be worse when the incident takes place in another country.

You never expect to get injured when going abroad, but it's best to be prepared, just in case. To help safeguard yourself and fellow travellers, download our travel guides on your destination, so you have the information you need to seek medical attention and gather evidence for a claim should an incident occur.

For further information, you can contact us online or at 0330 041 5869.

*Client’s name changed for anonymity

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