Airplane Accident Lawsuits: Domestic vs. International
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A domestic aviation crash will be investigated by the NTSB, which is the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States. Theyre located in Washington, and as many people already know, NTSB investigators get sent out immediately when theres a crash to investigate its causes. The government has an interest in finding out immediately what caused the plane to go down, whether it was pilot fault, a product fault or a combination of both. The NTSB does a very detailed analysis.
If theres a crash in a foreign country, although the NTSB may be invited to assist in the investigation, generally speaking, the investigation in the foreign country is not done by anyone with the competence of the NTSB. Its done by local officials and those local officials often do not call in the NTSB, although they may call in the manufacturer of the plane that has been involved with the accident. That may not be free of conflicts of interest when such investigations are undertaken under those terms.
Who else might be involved?
Contrary to what most of us may believe, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are generally not involved in aviation accident investigations. Goldhirsch explained, Generally, the FAA doesnt investigate accidents and the only time the FBI will investigate an accident is if theres some evidence that a criminal act was involved. Of course, in most cases where theres an aviation accident, unless theres an intentional act by some organization or by some passenger, generally speaking, there isnt a criminal act involved. So the FBI would not be involved, or they would just be involved to rule out any criminal act. Most of the time, its just the NTSB that investigates.
While the investigation process of a plane crash requires expertise; so does the litigation process. If youve been injured in an aviation accident, contact an experienced lawyer whose practice focuses in this area of the law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.