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Airline Liability for Personal Injury on International Flights

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What Kind of Injuries Can Occur During Air Travel?

Injuries of all sorts might occur while you travel on an airline. Most commonly, passengers might be injured in-flight due to turbulence, could trip or fall moving about the cabin, or might be injured by luggage in the overhead bin. Depending on the circumstances concerning your injury, you may be able to sue an airline for liability.

What Law Governs Airline Personal Injury?

Generally, any claim for injury based on airline liability will be based on negligence or product liability. Under a negligence theory, an airline is held to a higher standard of care compared to other businesses. This is called common carrier liability. If a problem with the aircraft caused your injuries, you may have a claim for products liability against the airline and the manufacturer. 

International flights are governed by the Warsaw Convention. The Warsaw Convention is an international agreement that places a limit on the amount of damages recoverable for passenger personal injuries on flights. 

Can I Sue an Airline for My Injuries on an International Flight?

If you have been injured on an international flight, the first thing to determine is where the flight originated. Where the flight originated may determine which court has jurisdiction over your case.

If you prefer to sue in the United States, and your flight originated, stopped, or terminated in the United States, then the you may have jurisdiction in the country. However, the amount of money you could receive for your injuries might be limited by the Warsaw Convention. If your injury took place while on board the plane, the amount of money you may be able to recover will be limited to $75,000 per passenger.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you have been injured on an international or domestic flight and would like to recover for your injuries, a personal injury lawyer can help evaluate your claim and file suit for you. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Agency provides resources for consumers looking to file a complaint.


Photo of page author Gabrielle Hollingsworth

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at law

Last Modified: 04-12-2018 10:30 PM PDT

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