NSW Aviation Claims
Passengers upon commercial aircraft are able to make a claim on a no fault basis for injuries received during boarding or disembarking from the aircraft together with any injuries sustained during flight of the aircraft or any injuries sustained in the process of taxiing, takeoff and landing.
Both Federal and State law applies to these damages. This means that if you are engaged in commercial airline travel within the Commonwealth of Australia and travel overseas you are covered by State and Federal legislation. Federal law is covered under the Civil Aviation (Carriers Liability) Act 1959 (Cth). Under travel to and from New South Wales coverage is provided under the Civil Aviation (Carriers Liability) Act 1967 (NSW).
If you are injured on an aircraft by an “event external to the passenger” you are able to claim compensation for physical injury. The law applied in this area is based on the Montreal Convention which provides for payment of damages at a fixed rate up to a maximum of $725,000.00. A 2 year time limit for the prosecution of these claims exists, you must have your case filed in the court within 2 years from the date of the accident or injury or else your claim becomes statute barred.
Under the Act you do not have to establish negligence or fault on the part of the airline, you simply need to prove that you suffered an injury as a passenger aboard an aircraft, or while boarding or disembarking from an aircraft. This means a strict liability regime applies for aircraft accidents.
If you are injured on a joy flight by a recreational organisation with a charter licence you may be able to make a claim under the above provisions.