Accident on board an airline

Published 23 Sep 2011

We have acted for a number of plaintiffs who have suffered an accident on board an airline and we have succeeded in claiming compensation on their behalf.

An accident on board an airline is covered by the Civil Aviation (Carriers Liability) Act 1959. 75 years ago, Australia became party to the convention for the unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air (“The Warsaw Convention”). In 1929, several further international agreements were made to regulate the international carriage. This was the protocol to amend the “The Warsaw Convention” made at Hague in 1955 called the “Hague Protocol”. Article 17 provides that the carrier is liable for damages sustained in the event of the death or wounding a passenger or any other bodily injury suffered by the passenger. But the liability is subject to an important qualification. The carrier is liable “if the accident which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any operations of the embarking or disembarking”.

Damages are assessed on a common law basis but are capped by Section 28 at approximately $500,000.00, unless special circumstances exist and by consent, the limit is increased.