The legal rights of injured airline passengers here in the United States are usually determined by the law of the state where the event happened. For those traveling internationally, even if they are injured during the domestic leg of the trip, there may be additional laws that apply to their case.
Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. notes that the Montreal Convention can apply, even when the traveler was injured during the domestic part of their trip. In other words, if grandma is flying from Miami to Chicago, and then Chicago to Singapore, and she is injured during the first part of that trip here in the U.S., the Montreal Convention can nevertheless apply, as it was part of an international trip. International air travel is covered under this special treaty, to which most nations have signed and agreed to be bound by its terms.
This treaty enables passengers to not have to go to other countries to have their rights determines. Under the Montreal Convention, a passenger can bring a lawsuit in the state where they live, as long as the airlines involved do business in that jurisdiction. Furthermore, once the injured passenger shows that there was an injury during the course of their trip, then the airlines may be held responsible unless they show that the injury was caused by the passengers themselves, or someone else not under their control.
Therefore, according to Landau, it is important for travelers on international trips to consult with an experienced airline injury lawyer who regularly helps passengers get full reimbursement for all of their losses as a result of accident that are not their fault. There are not only American laws that apply to these cases and special rules that apply to accidents that happen on the Air Operations Area, but there are also international treaties that can be beneficial for the innocent victim. If you or someone you know has been injured while traveling at the airport or in the air, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.