I often travel in Europe with low-cost companies, bringing just a hand luggage with me. When the flight is full, it is asked to passengers if there are some "volunteers" to put their luggage for free in the luggage area of the aircraft.
I once was designed as volunteer and didn't dare to say "No", because I had nothing valuable in my luggage that time. However, my luggage was damaged (broken handgrip) during the flight and I never had any refund.
I'd like to know if I can categorically refuse next time, especially when I bring my laptop with me, which is very valuable.
Is there any legal basis where I can politely say "I will bring my hand luggage with me in cabin, even under my seat" ?