Can the NTSB Help Me In Court? 

 March 19, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

If you, a family member or close friend have been involved in an aviation accident, then you need to know how to proceed to protect your legal rights. After the incident you hear that the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is investigating the accident. You wonder if the NTSB would be of assistance to you in determining whether or not you have a cause of action, and, if so, how it will work. The simple answer is that the NTSB cannot directly help you. The person to assist you is an attorney in the Port Richey, Florida area who is knowledgeable about aviation accidents, like the attorneys in the law firm of Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A.

The NTSB was established to investigate aviation accidents with the idea that the investigations would lead to safer aircraft and air travel. The purpose of a NTSB investigation is to determine what caused the accident and how that cause can be prevented in the future. Air safety is the primary focus. Although the report may establish fault and identify negligence that is not the main reason for the investigation. Federal law specifically prohibits the report and its findings from being used in a civil action. So even if the NTSB determines that liability exists in your aviation accident, that finding cannot be used directly in your case. Proof of negligence, or liability, will fall to your chosen legal counsel, which is why you need to employ experienced aviation attorneys.

The NTSB does compile substantial documentation in the course of its investigation. Those materials are available to private counsel and an experienced attorney will know how to request and obtain those documents. They will be helpful in any court action to establish negligence. In this indirect way the NTSB does assist victims of aviation accidents by providing a central source for obtaining relevant materials. Experienced attorneys know how to prove negligence in aviation accident cases. The NTSB is not in the business of proving negligence. Select an attorney like those at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. and you can rest assured your case will be pursued in a professional and thorough manner.