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The NTSB and When Significant Accidents Happen Part 1

If you have been following the recent news regarding the collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge in Miami, then you know that despite our best efforts, sometimes there are catastrophes in the world of construction. Whether it’s a malfunction in the design of a project or a mistake during the construction process, accidents transpire and construction professionals may be considered liable when things go terribly awry. If you are in need of legal advice, please seek the counsel of a Tallahassee construction lawyer.

In this three-part article, we will discuss the federal entity that investigates significant accidents that transpire in the United States. In the second section, we will discuss the division of this agency that specializes in analyzing significant accidents on highways or bridges. In the third section, we will conclude our series.

Negligence and the Law

Federal and state laws are designed to hold architects, developers, contractors, and subcontractors accountable for exercising a reasonable level of skill and knowledge pertaining to building practices. A contractor that fails to properly build infrastructure can be charged with negligence. When a significant accident transpires, there is a federal agency that investigates the incident, determines the reason why the accident transpired, and offers safety advice to assist with future prevention of the same type of accident.

The NTSB and Investigating Significant Accidents

Established in the 1920’s, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was created by U.S. Congress originally to investigate airplane crashes. However, the NTSB’s responsibilities eventually expanded into other areas including highway, railroad, marine, and pipeline transportation. The NTSB performs many valuable tasks during a time of crisis.

What Does the NTSB Do?

The primary responsibility of the NTSB is to meticulously perform an investigation into the accident and, after closely analyzing the accident, determine a primary cause for why the catastrophic event occurred. Other important tasks that the NTSB performs include:

  1. Provides specific safety recommendations that can help prohibit a certain type of accident from transpiring again.
  2. Performs advanced safety studies that promote best practices for preventing significant accidents from happening.
  3. Assists the victims and their family members that were involved in an unfortunate transportation event. As it states on the NTSB website, the independent federal agency helps coordinate federal government resources to “provide assistance to the victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.”

If you would like to speak with one of our Tallahassee construction lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.