Claiming compensation for airplane, boating or train accidents & incidents

In the event that you have been injured in a boating, train or airplane accident, and the cause of the accident was due to direct negligence of a company or individual, you can claim for monetary compensation.

In modern times transportation has advanced immensely to be faster and more efficient. From the simple steam engine boat to revolutionary magnetically operated trains, transportation via any mechanical means comes with inherent risks. Due to the nature of these modes of transport, accidents that occur are often serious. With the high speed of travel, volatility of the fuel and finely tuned mechanics of trains, boats and airplanes, the risks of serious injury is high.

Despite the best efforts of operators and drivers, the intensity of these machines means that accidents do occur and lives are lost.

In these claims, the Defendant must first be identified or who exactly is at fault.

If you can show that the company failed to comply with the necessary safety regulations, such as checking the vehicle is in working order, then the entire company will be held liable.

However, if the direct cause of the accident was due to the negligence of only an individual, you will need to lay a personal injury claim directly from the person. In that case, it will be necessary to prove the exact circumstances that led to the accident, which can often be difficult.

Sometimes the company and individual will choose to side with you or each other in order to gain the best outcome.

For example, in a plane crash, where the wheels detached from the planes upon landing, the mechanics responsible for the wheels might side with the claimant against the company, in order to avoid personal liability.

Once the responsible parties have been identified, the regular principles of negligence apply i.e.

  • Did the damage arise out of a negligent or wrongful act Defendant and/or its employees or agents;
  • Were the damages incurred reasonably foreseeable on the Defendants' part
  • Are you in any way responsible for the injuries, i.e. if the train conductor directs you to the back of the train, and you refuse, subsequently suffering damages as a result of your position in the train, you may not be successful in your claim.
  • Was the accident genuinely due to a fault on behalf of the company/individual, or did the company take all reasonable steps to prevent the accident
  • Were there any external or mitigating factors such as a lighting storm while flying, causing a crash.
  • Are there other victims? If there is more than one claimant, it may be beneficial to collate your claims to strengthen your case. The stronger the evidence in favour of your claim, the more likely you are to be successful.

Proving these factors requires a specialist law firm which has the necessary skills, financial ability and resources to access experts who will be able to perform examinations of accident scenes, locate witnesses, test mechanical equipment, assess technical reports and furnish scientific evidence in this vein.

Damages that you can claim for

Most commonly the following damages are claimable, however, any negative consequence of the accident can be claimed against. The most frequent claims are made for:

  • Current and future medical expenses, this includes any chronic and acute medication required, specialist appointments or procedures as well as follow up medical expenses.
  • Future loss of earnings due to the loss of the ability to work. Provided you can show that your livelihood has been compromised due to a train, aviation or boating accident, you can claim for compensation to live off. These amounts are usually awarded according to what was previously earned, what is the national average and what is reasonably foreseen as adequate compensation.
  • General damages for 'pain & suffering'. This kind of compensation will be determined by the Judge and can be over and above the compensation for medical and legal services. The Judge will award a sum she deems adequate for the discomfort and trauma the victim suffered during and after the accident.

In any claim against a transportation company specialising in rail, boating or aviation, it is vital that you consult the necessary experts.

The process will be extremely technical and the Defendants, owning the vehicles, will be privy to extensive information relating to various aspects of the vehicle. You will need to contact a speciality law firm which can assist you in proceeding with your claim.

In the case of claiming on behalf of a loved one or relative, the same principles apply and the compensation will be rewarded to the relative to settle medical expenses and loss of income.