Whether you are there as a traveller or an employee, an airport is a busy – and potentially dangerous – place. For travellers, hazards may include slippery floors, crowded baggage claim areas, faulty stairs, escalators and more. For employees, working in congested areas or around large, complex machinery also carries certain risks. Of course, all of this begs a question. Can you claim compensation if you get hurt at an airport? Keep reading to find out.
Injured traveller’s and workers may be able to claim compensation for airport injuries
Your ability to claim compensation for an injury sustained while passing through or working at an airport depends on several factors. The most important of these is whether you have an insurance policy that provides coverage for accidents and injuries.
As an airline passenger, this type of insurance may be included with your ticket. Although flight/traveller’s insurance is quite comprehensive, it is crucial that you understand what’s covered and what’s excluded. By doing so, you’ll limit the chances that your claim is denied or disputed due to insufficient cover or misunderstandings. It is also imperative that you have evidence to support your claim.
If you’re an airport employee, you may be able to make a successful claim if:
- You can prove that there was a violation of Australian occupational health and safety regulations; and
- someone was negligent; and
- that violation, coupled with negligence, caused or contributed to the accident in which you were hurt.
Qualifying airport injuries
Airport authorities/operators are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for travellers and workers. This means they must take reasonable steps to ensure that: 1) the airport is free from hazards; 2) that adequate warnings about existing or potential hazards are provided; and 3) that any hazards are addressed promptly.
Accordingly, you may be able to claim compensation if you suffered one of the following:
- A slip, trip or fall injury;
- a cargo or baggage injury;
- a trolley or baggage carousel injury;
- an injury sustained due to a hazard in the concourse;
- any injury caused by inadequate, improper or otherwise defective infrastructure.
How to claim compensation for an airport injury
If you had current travellers’ insurance when you got hurt, you can simply claim compensation from the provider. However, if you didn’t get travel insurance or the provider says your injury isn’t covered, it is best to consult an experienced airport injury lawyer to discuss other options (if any).
For example, you may be able to claim compensation from the person/agency responsible for your baggage or cargo injury. However, you will only be successful if you can prove that 1) the person/agency was negligent; and 2) that the negligence caused or contributed to your injury.
In any case, it is usually worth pursuing compensation. According to some estimates at least 200,000 travel insurance claims are made here each year. Of those, only a handful (approximately 10 percent) are denied.
Making a claim for foreign airport injuries
You can claim compensation for an injury sustained at a foreign airport if you had international travel insurance at the time. These policies usually provide cover for cargo injuries, baggage injuries, inflight injuries and injuries sustained while you are in another country. However, not all policies provide all these types of cover. Therefore, as we have already noted, it is important that you understand what the policy includes when you purchase the insurance.
Foreign airport/destination injury claims can also be tricky because they often involve different laws and languages. To complicate matters even further, they may sometimes involve international agreements and other obstacles. At BPC Lawyers, our legal team has the skills and experience needed to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
No one wants to think about getting hurt while they’re traveling through or working at an airport. For travellers, an injury can easily ruin or force the cancellation of a holiday or business trip. For an airport employee, it can hinder their ability to do their job. The good news in either case is that it is possible to claim compensation for an airport injury.
As we have discussed, there are different methods for pursuing compensation depending on your specific circumstances. The best-case scenario if you were injured while travelling through an airport is that you had current international or domestic travellers’ insurance at the time. As long as the policy provided cover for your situation, you can simply claim compensation from the provider.
Airport employees can also pursue compensation for injuries sustained at work. In most cases, however, they must prove that the injury stemmed from negligence or a violation of applicable rules and regulations.
If you were hurt at an airport in Australia or abroad, our legal team is here to help. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation today.