Multiple passengers voyaging from Vancouver to Sydney recently sustained serious injuries after their flight struck unexpected turbulence. The plane was then diverted to Honolulu following the incident.
The plane, reportedly carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew, was rocked by turbulence at 36,000 feet, two hours out of Hawaii. Passengers allegedly hit the ceiling of the plane, launched from their seats in the turbulence. It was reported that 37 passengers sustained injuries, with nine being serious. However, all passengers injured were released from hospital post-incident, and put on flights immediately.
Under the Civil Aviation (Carrier’s Liability) Act 1959, people injured on planes are allowed to seek compensation. This Act incorporates the Warsaw Convention that accounts for people who are injured on international flights. The good news is that people seeking compensation for injuries on planes don’t actually need to prove the airline was at fault. Payouts for damages are awarded in an international measure of money known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which is a substitute for currency in international debts. The cap for these payouts is 100,000 SDR.
However, if a person injured believes they could claim more from their injury, they’ll need to prove that the airline or the staff member concerned was negligent in their duty of care to them as a passenger.
In New South Wales, negligence is regulated under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), and is defined as when a person doesn’t act with reasonable care. In order to make a claim for negligence, it needs to be established that:
Under the Act, harm or injury includes damage to property and economic losses. If a breach in the duty of care is proven, you may be eligible for the following forms of compensation:
The team at Gerard Malouf & Partners are equipped to guide our clients through the legal process with ease for a favourable outcome. For more information, get in touch with our team.