The Role of Large Trucks’ Black Boxes After Accidents
Many large commercial trucks have devices similar to black boxes in airplanes. These electronic control modules (ECMs) or event data recorders (EDRs) are commonly referred to as black boxes. After a truck accident that causes serious injuries, a black box can provide powerful evidence to support a claim for compensation.
What Types of Information Are Recorded by a Truck’s Black Box?
Most large trucks are manufactured with a black box integrated into their components. These devices are small computer chips that store physical data about a truck that is involved in a crash or near crash, including:
- GPS information about the truck’s location
- Speed the truck was traveling immediately before the crash
- Movement of the truck’s steering wheel
- Whether the driver applied the brakes and when
- Any sudden deceleration or acceleration
- Truck driver’s seat belt usage
- Number of hard stops and RPMs between stops
- Pressure of the truck’s tires
- Whether the trucker was using cruise control
- Whether the airbag deployed
- How frequently the truck’s speed exceeded a specific speed limit
- Usage data to determine if the driver was violating federal hours-of-service regulations
- Communications between the truck driver and the trucking company
- Number of crash events in which the truck has been involved
- Information about truck equipment defects
How Can Black Box Data Help Your Truck Accident Claim?
To recover compensation after a truck accident, you must prove the truck driver and/or trucking company was at fault for the collision. A truck’s black box contains data that can show what the truck driver was doing at the time of and leading up to a crash, as well as information about the condition of the truck and the trucker’s driving history. Black box data that indicates speeding, hard braking, or other negligent driving behavior can help establish fault on the part of the driver. Data indicating equipment failure due to improper maintenance may help establish negligence on the part of the trucking company.
Why Should You Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Right Away?
Truck black boxes belong to the trucks’ owners. After a truck accident, the trucking company will not want to hand over black box data to the injured party, and in some cases may even attempt to hide or destroy it. In any case, black box data is only stored for a short time before being recorded over, if the truck is driven after the accident. If the trucking company does not consent to turn over black box data, your attorney will need to get a court order or obtain the data during the discovery process of a civil trial. Once access is gained to black box data, your lawyer will need the services of a data retrieval specialist.
A collision with a large commercial truck can cause serious injuries to passenger vehicle occupants. You may need the maximum compensation available to cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. It is important to act quickly to get an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer handling your case before critical black box evidence is lost.
Why Choose Us?
The Grant Law Office has been providing aggressive personal injury legal representation for more than 30 years. Our husband and wife law firm has a successful track record for our clients. We strongly believe in protecting our clients’ rights to recover significant compensation for serious injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a truck accident through the fault of another, contact us today at (404) 995-3955.
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
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Phone: (404) 995-3955
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