Accidents arising from air travel
Accidents arising from air travel

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Accidents arising from air travel
  • The law
  • Jurisdiction
  • Domestic flights
  • Definitions
  • Liability
  • Damages
  • Limitation

Brexit: Since the UK applies the provisions of the Montreal Convention directly by the Carriage by Air Act 1961 it is difficult to envisage that following the UK’s departure from the EU there will be any change. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—considerations for personal injury claims.

The law

There are two Conventions to consider governing the liability of air carriers for loss, injury and damage sustained in the course of, or arising out of, international carriage by air. The purpose of these Conventions is to harmonise the law on these issues.

The first of these Conventions was the Warsaw Convention, signed in 1929 and effective from 1933. The Convention was then amended at the Hague in 1955 by adoption of the Hague Protocol, and from then on was known as the Warsaw Convention as amended at the Hague in 1955. The Convention applied only between signatory nations. If one of the parties was a signatory to the Warsaw Convention, while the other was a party to the Hague Protocol only, there would be no mutual ground for international litigation.

The Warsaw Convention was then replaced by the Montreal Convention, which was signed in 1999 and came into force in November 2003. Pursuant to the Carriage by Air (Implementation of the Montreal Convention 1999) Order 2002, SI 2002/263 (see Schedule 1 for full text