Some of the more complex claims we specialize in result from injuries sustained on domestic and international flights. These include injuries sustained from turbulence, from falling overhead compartment luggage, or from a passing food cart striking a passenger’s knee.
A passenger that has been injured on an international flight may wonder whether they can pursue a claim from British Columbia. For example, what happens if a passenger on a flight departing from South Korea to Vancouver was hurt by a bag that fell from an overhead compartment?
The answer comes from an international treaty. Governments recognized the issue of jurisdiction might leave some injured parties with no legal means to obtain compensation; most countries therefore signed on to the Montreal Convention which provides a complete legal framework to deal with bodily injuries that occur as a result of accidents on international flights.
The treaty states that an injured person can start an action in their own home country as long as the airline operates services to or from that country.
The Montreal Convention also establishes a strict liability regime, which allows one to pursue a claim for physical injuries even if they were sustained through no fault of the airline or its crew. Such examples include turbulence or the negligence of another passenger.
Since the Montreal Convention only applies to international flights, the ability to claim for injuries sustained on a domestic flight is governed by a separate set of legal principles. Generally speaking, if you are a BC resident and the ticket for the flight was purchased from within BC, we are likely able to pursue compensation on your behalf.
We have over 35 years of experience obtaining compensation for our injured clients, including those with air travel injuries. If you have been injured on a flight, contact us to review your options.
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