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Air Accident Claims

When Can I Make A Claim?

There are strict time limits in aviation claims within which you must have started court proceedings. However, these time limits vary and depend on a number of factors (not all of which are listed here), including the law applicable in the country of your departure and destination, where the accident happened and who you intend to bring the claim against.

For these reasons it is important that you seek advice promptly from one of our specialist aviation lawyers on the precise time limits that apply to your case.

For aviation accidents involving international flights or passenger flights within countries in the EU, court proceedings against the carrier must begin within two years of the accident. If this deadline is missed then in most cases you will lose all of your legal rights.

For domestic  flights outside the EU, the amount of time you have to start court proceedings against the carrier generally depends on the law of the country where the crash occurred and the terms and conditions of carriage. 

For product liability claims against the aircraft or part manufacturer, the time limit depends on the product liability law in the country where the case is filed.  This type of claim is most commonly made in the USA where the limitation period depends on which of the 50 states the case is filed in.  For states that aviation cases are commonly filed in, such as Illinois, the time limit is 2 years.

In some very limited circumstances the courts may allow a claim to continue beyond the time limit period but you should not assume that this will happen in your case. However, even if you believe you have missed the deadline for bringing your claim may have expired it is worth seeking advice from one of our Aviation law team on whether the court may allow the claim to proceed.

When you contact us, we will give you clear advice about the time limits that apply to your claim. Contacting us promptly also enables us to begin our investigations into the circumstances of your injury. This is crucial to securing the evidence and documents needed to give your claim the best chance of success.

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