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Burned by Hot Drink on Airplane

Can I claim compensation if my face was burned by a hot drink on an airplane? An air-steward was reaching over me with a cup of coffee that spilled on me when the plane shook with turbulence.

You should be able to claim compensation because you were burned by a hot drink on an airplane, provided that you have received professional medical treatment in an appropriate time period and that your facial burn was noted in your medical records. The cause of your accident in which your face was burned is not important and you will not have to prove negligence, as the airline accepts responsibility for your safety in all circumstances under the Montreal Convention’s terms of carriage. You may encounter difficulties, however, if the airline company’s insurers attempt to coerce you into accepting an offer of compensation directly from them which may not reflect the true value of your facial burns compensation claim.

The amount of compensation for being burned by a hot drink on an airplane you should qualify for will be influenced by several different elements which the airline’s insurance company may not always entirely take into account. You will, of course, be entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering at the time of the accident, which should be calculated by considering your age, sex and the likelihood of a visible scar resulting from your injuries. Additionally, if you have experienced any deterioration to the quality of your life because of your injury – or you have obtained any financial expenses – these factors should also be included in the settlement of your compensation claim.

The Montreal Convention treaty states that you can claim compensation for being burned by a hot drink on an airplane from the country of your embarkation, rather than the country to which you flew to. Although you may be eligible for a far higher settlement, the airline company’s insurers may attempt to persuade you into accepting their offer of compensation based on a typical compensation settlement in their country of choice, or they may contest your facial burn claim by alleging that you exacerbated your injury in some way, or contributed to the cause of the accident through your own lack of care.

With this information in mind, you would be well advised to discuss the circumstances of how you were burned by a hot drink on an airplane with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity to determine the amount of compensation you may be eligible for and the best way to pursue your claim. You may not have to make an application for assessment of your facial burn claim to the Injuries Board Ireland if a swift and sufficient settlement of your injury can be negotiated between your solicitor and the airline’s insurers, or if your claim is being pursued outside of the Republic of Ireland. However, your solicitor will only be able to give advice and recommendations once your claim has been assessed.