Montreal Convention Claim Costs and Recovery of the Same

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What Does the Montreal Convention Cover, and What Are Montreal Convention Claims?

Claims made under the Montreal Convention (formerly known as the Warsaw Convention) are those which relate to injuries on board an aircraft, damage to property or flight interruptions to passengers on international flights.

Montreal Convention claims cover international flights between 120 countries. The place you are travelling to, from or through should be a party to the Convention in order for a claim for damages to be made.

The Montreal Convention provides rules for international carriage by air for which air carriers hold a common law duty of care to their air passengers. The passengers who suffer damages in relation to interruptions or arising out of a breach of duty will be entitled to claim compensation under these convention claims, which are regulated by the European Union. The Convention also applies in the case of death or serious injury caused by accidents whilst flying.

The main aim of the Montreal Convention is to provide a unification of certain rules around convention claims.

Under the Montreal Convention, air carriers hold strict liability for proven damages. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) is established to set out a specific currency for relating to damages and Montreal Convention claim costs. The currency under the International Monetary Fund is known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR). The current SDR rate is:

1 EUR = 0.8 SDR

1 GBP = 0.9 SDR

In relation to property damage, the Montreal Convention allows a claim for compensation up to 4,694 SDR; but, in the case of death or personal injury, up to 100,000 SDR can be claimed.

However, the limitation under common law for these types of clams is two years. We would advise Claimants to adhere to the following time limits where possible; 14 days for any personal or property damage sustained and 21 days for a cargo delay.

How to Make a Claim Under the Montreal Convention?

If you wish to make a claim under the Convention, you should make a complaint to the airline for the damage caused or disruption sustained. You should look at the Convention for the unification of the rules relating to claims arising from air travel.

It may be worth seeking the advice of a Solicitor who will be familiar with statutory or common law and can assist you if your claim is more complex. They can also assist in the event that a claim is disputed by the air carrier.

You will need to provide evidence to prove the amount of damages sought. Evidence of the accident, disruption or damage to luggage will be required in the form of photographs, for example, or a medical report would be required to confirm the extent of any injuries suffered. You will need to submit evidence for any alternative flights or hotels you have had to book to continue your travel after flight cancellations.


Montreal Convention Claim Costs

Montreal Convention claim costs inevitably arise from the pursuing of these types of claims, usually by a Solicitor on behalf of a party.  

If you decide to instruct a Solicitor to assist with your claim under the Convention, they will be entitled to recover their costs for assisting you if your case is successful. The amount of costs that may be recoverable will vary based on the facts of the case, including complexity on liability and the level of damages claimed.

If the case is straightforward and damages are recovered in a quick and efficient manner, without the need to issue formal proceedings to the Court, the Solicitor will be entitled to recover fixed costs, which are usually lower in value and capped.

Should the matter be more complex, then the Solicitor will be entitled to recover costs on a standard basis, meaning a detailed Bill of Costs will be submitted to the Air Carrier on the amount of costs incurred in processing your claim. Should any disputes arise in relation to Montreal Convention Claim Costs, ARC Costs can assist in the quantification, negotiation and recovery of these costs.

The Solicitor will also be entitled to recover any disbursements incurred in relation to strengthening your case. These include expert fees, such as medical expert fees incurred for any reports or opinions obtained in assessing the correct level of damages to be sought. Disbursements can also relate to any Court fees incurred in progressing the claim, such as an issue fee.


How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs are specialist Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers that assist in independently quantifying a party’s costs and, dependant upon whether they are the receiving or paying party, maximising recovery or reducing the legal costs expenditure.  We assist in numerous types of claims, including this seeking Montreal Convention claim costs.

We can assist in preparing detailed Bills of Costs upon conclusion of the claim to ensure an accurate reflection is provided regarding the costs incurred to take the matter to a successful conclusion. Furthermore, if the air carrier disputes this Bill of Costs and the reasonableness of the costs claimed within it, we can provide Points of Reply to assist in providing valid legal reasons to justify the level of costs you have incurred and to ensure maximum recovery of your costs.  If you represent the Paying Party, we are also experienced in settling Points of Dispute to negotiate the level of costs down.

Should your costs not be agreed and negotiations are exhausted, we can assist with preparing the matter for costs only proceedings, and as Costs Lawyers, we can conduct and represent you in any detailed assessment proceedings.

If you wish to discuss your costs dispute further, please contact us on 01204 397302 or email one of the team at Alternatively, you may complete our online enquiry form, and a costs expert will contact you to discuss your query further.

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01204 397302

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