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The fizz, the drop and the pay-out

Richard Layfield
Posted by: Richard Layfield Solicitor - Head of Personal Injury

Late last year in September 2023 our client Mr H was flying from Manchester to Turkey on Jet2 flight number LS898. 

It was an evening flight and during the early hours of the morning the aircrew were doing the rounds with the drinks trolley. As one of the crew was serving near to Mr H, a bottle of champagne accidentally dropped from the trolley and landed on Mr H’s right leg, causing a nasty cut. Mr H received first aid for his injury and the accident was logged and reported by Jet2. 

Although Mr H didn’t seek any further medical help, he did document his injury by keeping a photographic record of his healing and the formation of a laceration scar on his leg. 

We have already mentioned the legislation covering injuries when travelling in our piece entitled Get a Jumbo Cheque landing in your bank account! In this case, Mr H was protected by the Montreal Convention 1999. Specifically, Article 17 of the convention, which states that:  “a carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.'' 

A quick journey with a happy landing 

On 9th November 2023 Mr H asked us if we thought he had a case. Our advice was that we believed that he did have a claim. We were then instructed by Mr H to represent him in this matter. 

In accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules, we wrote to Jet2 in December 2023 enclosing a letter of claim. Even though there was no formal admission of liability, Jet2’s legal team wrote back in the same month with a Part 36 offer of £2,370 for Mr H. 

After the Christmas break, and in consideration of the JC Guidelines, which govern the valuation of injuries, we advised Mr H to reject Jet2’s initial offer. Even though there was no medical evidence, we still felt that the offer was too low. We talked Mr H through the likely ranges of compensation received by other claimants under similar circumstances. We also pointed to the predicted level of scarring, based on the photographs he had taken of his injury. After taking our help and advice into consideration, in January 2024 Mr H instructed us to write to the defendants to reject their offer and to propose a counter-offer.  

After a series of legal negotiations based upon the value of the case, despite having no medical evidence, a pre-medical settlement of £5,500 was agreed upon.  

As a general rule, pre-medical settlements are never a good idea and are banned for Road Traffic Accident cases. However, with the right team behind you, providing you with the best advice possible, they can be very advantageous as they allow for a quick settlement where appropriate. Our advice would always be, don’t do this yourself. It is only through our vast expertise and experience in cases just like this that we were able to precisely advise MR H, despite there being no medical evidence. 

Had Mr H not approached us via our website, and had we not been able to advise him of the likely figure he could expect from his injury claim, then the whole process would possibly have taken far longer than the three months and would also have likely resulted in a much lower compensation figure being paid out to Mr H. 

Obvious – but really worth reading! 

Understandably, each case is individual, with distinct circumstances and injuries surrounding each claim. What we would stress however, is that without proper legal advice the chances are that people settle too quickly and for too little compensation.  

If you think that you might have a claim resulting from an injury during your flight, or at an airport, then please contact Richard Layfield, who heads up our Personal Injury Team. He’ll be delighted to talk you through the process and help you in any way he can.  

It literally costs nothing to find out what kind of claim you may have.

Richard Layfield LLB (Hons)

Solicitor - Head of Personal Injury

As an experienced personal injury and civil litigation Solicitor, I represent Claimants in all manner of personal injury case work including injuries as a result of Road Traffic Accidents, Accidents at Work, and Occupiers Liability Accidents. I handle all types off personal injury claims from the minor right through to complex, serious injury claims.
Richard Layfield

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