As keen domestic and international travellers, many Australians will doubtless have been concerned about the series of high-profile aviation incidents that have grabbed headlines over the last couple of years. From the horror of the Germanwings Flight 4U9525 incident to the ongoing mystery surrounding the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, there has been a worrying seeming uptick in major catastrophic events of late.
Though security and safety standards in Australia and abroad have never been higher, the global security situation continues to be a tense one. In this piece, we’ll touch on overall standards and statistics in the light of recent tragedies, and also consider the general subject of your rights relating to international flight accident/injury claims. Let’s start with some good news.
Flying Is Safer Than It’s Ever Been
The reality of the situation when looked at statistically is that flying is safer than it’s ever been. Ongoing studies by the International Air Transport Association show that the global accident rate per one million departures has never been lower, and has been declining steadily since 1997.
To put some of the figures in perspective, the average American’s chances of dying in a plane crash are approximately one in eleven million, while their chances of dying in a car accident are roughly one in 5000. Looked at more globally, the chances of being involved in a fatal accident on any major airline around the globe is around one in five million. Put simply, you’re running a substantially greater risk getting behind the wheel of a car than you ever will boarding a plane.
Your Rights When It Comes to International Flight Accident Injury
There are, of course, any number of areas where personal injury claims might arise in the course of taking international flights, and the legal situation regarding them has changed over the years. The Montreal Convention of 1999 clarified matters considerably by delivering a multilateral treaty agreed to by over 120 states, including all EU members, the United States and Australia.
By introducing a two-tier liability system, the treaty radically simplifies the process of making a personal injury claim against an airline. It’s widely considered to be a “passenger friendly” piece of legislation as it requires international airlines to assume liability for passenger injuries — a stark contrast to the domestic situation where passengers are under the obligation of actively proving negligence.
You’ll need to be aware of relevant time limits that apply — actions for injuries must be brought within two years of the incident. You’ll also need to bear in mind that any injury must be as a result of “an unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger”. To give a simple example of how this might apply, hearing loss as a result of a normal descent would make for a poor case, whereas hearing loss caused by an unusually rapid descent or temporary dive would potentially make for a solid claim. It’s also worth noting that damages are calculated in accordance with where the claim is actually brought, so local personal injury law will apply in terms of damage assessment.
Consult a Professional International Flight Injury Claim Lawyer Today
At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we’ve established considerable experience in international flight injury claims over the years. As with any of our compensation claims services, you can take advantage of a completely free consultation with one of our no win no fees lawyers to discuss your potential case in detail before starting to proceed.
If you’ve recently suffered an injury on an international flight, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and one of our expert compensation lawyers will be happy to advise you further.