Given modern aviation technology and protocols, aviation “accidents” don’t need to happen. The quotes around “accidents” are there because, more often than not, an aircraft crash is the result one or more of the following: an engine or component failure; poor maintenance or inspections; defective parts or systems; or human errors by a pilot, crew, or air traffic controllers. These and other causes must be thoroughly analyzed by an experienced team of aviation lawyers and experts to understand how a given crash occurred, and hold the responsible parties accountable.
CaseyGerry’s aviation team has the experience, knowledge, and resources to help clients involved in aircraft “accidents.” CaseyGerry has over 50 years of experience representing aviation victims and their families.
Civilian crashes are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This federal agency is charged with investigating and identifying what caused a given crash. The NTSB initially publishes a Preliminary Report with the basic facts of the crash. The NTSB then starts the investigation into the “why” of the crash for publication in a Probable Cause Report. The NTSB investigates about 2,000 aircraft accident and incidents a year. The NTSB’s investigation frequently takes months, if not years. However, the victims’ ability to pursue legal action is subject to statute of limitations and other restrictions that require filing of claims within given time-frames, depending on the unique circumstances of the crash. That’s why it is important to hire a law firm with experience in aviation cases that can protect your interests during the NTSB’s investigation and take steps to preserve valuable evidence during and after that investigation. CaseyGerry’s attorney and investigators gather and review media reports, in part to identify potential witnesses and other evidence. Next, our team interviews all identified witnesses, frequently leading to additional witnesses who are also interviewed. These witnesses often describe important facts, such as an engine backfiring or going silent. It is important to collect and memorialize these facts while the incident is fresh in these witnesses’ minds, even though the government’s investigation may still go on for months or years longer.
Early investigations also include public record and Freedom of Information Act requests for radio transmissions to and from the aircraft, radar tracking data, and reports and photos from first responders and other emergency personnel. These steps are particularly important when crashes happen in remote areas where there may be no eye witnesses to what occurred.
When the NTSB finally releases the wreckage for inspection, CaseyGerry is ready with a team of experts that are qualified to examine and test the wreckage and any component parts likely to have been involved. This may require experts in engine and aircraft design and maintenance, software systems, metallurgy, air traffic control, human factors, weather, and “accident” reconstruction.
CaseyGerry is on your side, and whether the case involves a commercial airline or a small private plane, we have the experience and resources to go the distance in effectively representing aviation crash victims and their families.