How The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act Helps Victims Of Airline Crashes
Thankfully, plane crashes and other aviation disasters are not nearly as common as automobile or other motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, when they occur, they are often catastrophic and result in the devastating loss of many lives. In 1996, Congress enacted legislation — the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act (ADFAA), designed to protect and support victims of aviation disasters and their families.
Understanding how this law protects you, airlines’ responsibilities and knowing your rights can help you make informed decisions while picking up the pieces after an aircraft disaster.
What Is the ADFAA, and How Does It Help Victims and Their Families?
The ADFAA came about because, prior to 1996, there was no consistency in the way airlines dealt with plane crashes. In some cases, airlines released lists of victims to the public before notifying victims’ families. There were also widespread problems with the way airline companies and government agencies addressed the investigatory process.
Congress put the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in charge of the ADFAA. Some of the NTSB’s responsibilities under the law include notifying victims’ next of kin after an accident, meeting with families, coordinating disaster relief, arranging for Family Advocates and mental health counseling for victims’ loved ones, and communicating investigation progress and findings to families before that information is made public.
Coordinating disaster response efforts in this way helps victims’ families by providing a consistent framework and giving families ready access to resources that can help them in the aftermath of a plane crash.
What Are Airlines’ Responsibilities Under the ADFAA?
While the NTSB has certain responsibilities under the ADFAA, airliners also have obligations under the law.
Those obligations include:
- – Providing lodging for victims’ family members near the crash site, and transportation to and from the crash site
- – Creating a family assistance center where the NTSB can meet with and help victims’ loved ones
- – Giving victims’ families a toll-free phone number for information and support
- – Returning the victims’ personal belongings and remains to the family
How a Skilled Aviation Accident Attorney Can Help Victims and Their Loved Ones
The ADFAA helps ensure victims’ families have critical resources after accidents occur. If the accident was the result of a manufacturing or design defect — or happened because of a negligent or intentional act on the part of the manufacturer, pilot, or airline employee or contractor, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your losses. Aviation accident attorneys can protect your rights — holding responsible parties accountable after accidents occur.
Nolan Law Group helps victims and their families recover the damages to which they are entitled. If you or someone you love was affected by an accident involving aircraft of any size, talk to the experienced aviation law attorneys at Nolan Law Group. We understand how to navigate the complexity surrounding aviation law, are experienced litigators and are proud of our track record of success.
To learn more and schedule an initial case consultation, contact us today.