Anyone experienced in dealing with Alabama motor vehicle accidents appreciates that while a deadly collision happens in an instant, it takes weeks, months, sometimes even years, to resolve a case. Managing life after the crash and the complicated legal proceedings related to protecting victim rights and holding liable parties accountable is easier with a skilled attorney at your side.

Conducting a thorough investigation of events and assessing conditions of the vehicles involved in an accident is key to successful pursuit of any injury or damage claim. It would be nice to think that we could count on the expertise of government investigators to produce reports that serve as the foundation of such claims, but as a recent significant case from another state shows, sometimes even that proves difficult.

Jurisdictional conflict can be a barrier

The matter in question occurred in October of last year in New York state. According to reports, the 2001 stretch limo carrying a driver and 17 passengers failed to stop at an intersection and plowed into a business’ parking lot. All aboard the vehicle and two bystanders in the parking lot died in the crash. It is now on record as the deadliest transportation disaster in the nation since 2009.

In the aftermath of the crash, New York authorities investigated and brought charges of criminally negligent homicide against the owner and operator of the limo company.

Federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) normally would perform their own probe to determine cause and make recommendations to reduce the risk of such an accident happening again. However, for reasons unexplained, the local district attorney refuses to give the NTSB access to the wreck.

As an editorial from the major newspaper in the region points out, the inability of the NTSB to do its job could have negative consequences for the criminal proceedings. But we would offer that because of legal issues, such as statutes of limitations, it also holds potentially negative implications for efforts of victims’ loved ones to recover the compensation to which they might be entitled.