Passengers entitled to compensation for injuries suffered in air turbulence
In two recent incidents, passengers suffered injuries when their aircraft encountered turbulence, throwing them violently about the cabin. On August 6, 2017, 10 persons on Americans Airlines Flight AA 759 from Athens to Philadelphia were injured when the Airbus A330-300 aircraft encountered turbulence. Two months earlier, on June 4, 2017, 44 persons were injured as the result of turbulence on a Boeing 747, KLM Flight KL 887 from Amsterdam to Hong Kong.
The air carrier’s responsibility for passenger injuries sustained in international fights such as these is governed by an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention. Under that Convention, the air carrier is liable for any “accident,” which would include turbulence during a flight, and a passenger is not required to prove any negligence by the carrier, such as a failure to avoid, or warn of, turbulence to recover compensation.
Often in the case of turbulence resulting in physical injuries to passengers, the airline will contact the passengers and offer modest compensation, such as payment of medical expenses and free travel. Passengers should be advised that these offers are not motivated by good will, but are an effort by the airline’s insurers to avoid paying full reasonable compensation for the airline’s virtually certain liability, particularly as to injuries suffered in international flights governed by the Montreal Convention.
Passengers should consult experienced aviation attorneys to learn their rights as to fair compensation for air turbulence injuries. Wisner Law Firm has successfully obtained compensation for hundreds of airline passengers who suffered injuries resulting from in-flight incidents, crash landings and engine fires on the ground, including Qantas Flight QF 72, LOT Flight 016, British Air Flight 038, British Air Flight 262, British Air Flight 2276 and American Airlines Flight 383.