Today’s technology on vehicles can be very helpful in proving fault in car and truck accident claims. Following an accident, data can be downloaded from vehicles that can provide valuable information to assist in making a claim for personal injuries.
What Is a “Black Box” and How Can it Be Helpful for My Case?
Most vehicles manufactured after 2012 contain a “Black Box” (sometimes referred to as an ECM, EDR, or CDR) that may contain very valuable evidence following a car accident. The Black Box on a vehicle can provide evidence such as:
- The speed of the vehicle prior to impact,
- The speed of the vehicle at impact,
- The steering angle at impact,
- Whether the seatbelts were fastened or not,
- When the brakes were pressed prior to impact,
- Whether airbags were deployed,
- And more.
Information from the at-fault party’s vehicle can be very helpful to prove negligence on the part of the driver. Such evidence can also be valuable in establishing a claim for punitive damages, to punish a defendant for conduct, such as reckless driving.
What About Vehicles Built Before 2012?
If your vehicle was manufactured before 2012, there is still a chance that your vehicle has the Black Box. In the late nineties, General Motors was the first company to go public with this new innovation. In the early 2000’s, companies such as Ford, Toyota, and Nissan began to follow suit. The information contained in these reports from the Black Box varied between these manufacturers until the Federal Government mandated that all companies with this capability had to follow strict guidelines at the beginning of 2012. The new mandate required collision information to be recorded, despite whether or not the vehicle airbags were deployed.
It's Important to Act Immediately to Preserve the Evidence After a Crash
If you have been involved in a car or truck accident, it is very important to act quickly and avoid making mistakes that could damage your claim. The Black Box can produce many reports that occur on a daily trip. If you slam on your brakes too hard, an incident report is generated. There have been cases where vehicles left out for periods of time have deleted these reports due to inactivity or power failure. Before 2013, most vehicles didn’t require as much storage space. If the vehicle is not towed directly to an authorized shop or performed on site to download this data, it is likely that the report can become inaccurate, or worse, overwritten.
Don’t take the chance! If you've had an accident and you believe your vehicle has the Black Box, hire a lawyer immediately to determine whether an expert witness should be hired to download the data contained in the Black Boxes of the vehicles involved in the collision. Following an accident, vehicles that have been totaled are often sold to salvage, and time may be of the essence in obtaining this valuable evidence.
Contact Our Attorneys Today So We Can Preserve Black Box Evidence if Necessary
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck wreck, Chris Hudson & Associates has the expert witnesses and resources necessary to assist in gathering relevant Black Box evidence. For a free consultation, call us today!