Braden, Varner & Angelley

Office: 214-740-0212
Toll Free: 877-525-8982

Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act

Enacted in 1996, the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act was drafted based on direct input from families affected by past airliner crashes, including ValuJet Flight 592 and TWA Flight 800. The purpose of the Act was to correct recurring organizational and other problems that followed mass air disasters.

The most important provisions of the Act for affected family members are:

  1. An attorney (including his or her associates, employees, agents or representatives) cannot make unsolicited contact with a victim’s family before the 45th day following the date of the accident;
  2. As soon as practicable after an airliner crash in the U.S., the Chairman of the NTSB will designate (and publicize the name and number of) a director of family support services to act as a liaison between the government, the air carrier and the families;
  3. The Chairman of the NTSB will also designate (and publicize the name and number of) an independent nonprofit organization which shall have the primary responsibility for coordinating the emotional care and support of the families;
  4. Mental health counseling services will be provided by the nonprofit organization designated and/or the air carrier;
  5. The air carrier will provide accommodations for family members at a location near the crash site, and will provide transportation to that location;
  6. The NTSB will brief family members concerning its investigation prior to any public briefings, and will allow family members to attend all public briefings and hearings; and,
  7. Families of the passengers will be notified before any public disclosure of the names on the passenger list.

You can learn much more here.