As more and more Texans and greater Americans take to the skies as either passengers or amateur pilots, the risks of aviation disasters and aircraft accidents grow exponentially.
Today, federal law prevents an injured plaintiff from filing suit against an aircraft manufacturer when the aircraft is seventeen (17) years or older. Yet, a San Antonio and greater Texas personal injury attorney will be able to pinpoint exceptions to the federal law that could work in your favor.
For example, there are many examples of an aircraft manufacturer who becomes aware of a defect in the plane and fails to issue a proper recall or directive warning of the defect. The situation is akin to auto and tire manufacturers. In addition, more often than not, aircraft less than 17 years old undergo reconditioning and / or modification in which complex components that caused the crash were modified.
There are several important steps of due diligence that must be taken before filing suit against an aircraft manufacturer including: 1) obtaining a full history, and 2) obtaining full maintenance records with log book.
Many people do not realize that after an aviation incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) immediately impounds the aircraft. Neither your personal injury attorney nor his / her experts will be allowed to examine the airplane until both the NTSB and the manufacturer’s representatives have completed their review. The confinement could take months.
Yet even in this case, it is critical for all parties involved, including the storage area, the owner, and the insurance company, to be notified that they cannot alter or dispose of the aricraft when the NTSB concludes its investigation until such time as our aviation experts have had an opportunity to examine the plane. Ultimately, it is absolutely critical to preserve maintenance records and the aircraft itself to properly prosecute aviation disasters and accidents for the good of the victim.