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How Semi-Truck Black Box Data Can Help Your Personal Injury Case

Have you, or a loved one, been in an accident that involved a semi-truck? There’s no time to lose! Precious information needs to be recovered from the truck’s black box as quickly as possible. This black box information is vital to the accident reconstruction and holding the responsible party accountable. 

Truck accidents are some of the most fatal crashes on the road, due to the size of the vehicles involved, and working with a legal team as quickly as possible is sometimes the difference in winning a case or not.

Why is This Data So Important?

The catastrophic nature of a collision with a semi-truck requires an experienced attorney who can provide compassionate representation while delivering real results. This attorney must prove not only your injuries, and the damages you’ve suffered, but also that the truck driver is at fault for causing the collision. 

Without this proof, you won’t be able to recover any financial compensation from the insurance companies. Proving liability starts with producing an objective and documented accident reconstruction that can be presented as evidence to bolster your claim. With the truck’s black box information, the accident reconstruction can begin.

What is the Black Box in a Semi-Truck?

In terms of accidents in transportation, when we think of the term “black box” we usually think of airplane incidents and the information that surrounds them. Similar to airplanes, cars and vehicles also have their own “black boxes” to record the crucial information surrounding the incidents. Now these “black boxes” are actually computer chips that are found throughout the different computerized systems of the vehicles, recording the truck’s movements and the driver’s actions. 

The black box that is found in a semi-truck holds more than the information of an accident. The black box in a semi is designed to hold and record the data of the truck, driver, and even more information for periods of time. Trucking companies installed these recording capabilities because they wanted to monitor their trucks, cargo, and drivers. However, your attorney will be able to utilize this data to protect your interests and file your claim. 

Demystifying Black Box Data

Understanding the data that the black box contains, is crucial to understanding the impact it can have on validating your case. The amount of data, and specifically what kind of data that is, recorded varies by the truck, company, and manufacturer. Most of the universal information includes: 

  • Speed of the truck at the time of the accident
  • Braking activity if the truck attempted to utilize the brakes
  • Engine performance
  • Seatbelt use of the driver
  • Driver activities such as cruise control, acceleration, gear engagement
  • Movement in the steering wheel
  • Diagnostic data that could indicate defects or needed repairs
  • Drive times

These are just a few of the things that black box data can record, and some manufacturers program even more information to be gathered.

Why Black Box Data Matters

Black box data can help prove who was at fault in the accident and support your claim. The information gathered can paint a more clear picture of what was happening in the truck long before and during the accident. There are so many variables at play in determining the fault of an accident, and even the car you were driving has its own black box. 

Known as an event data recorder, or an EDR, the EDR records information related to the crash itself. Recording the data a few seconds before, during, and after a crash. The EDR can corroborate what a semi’s black box says, providing a full picture of the accident. 

Even if the information is not as thorough, or sophisticated as a semi’s, the information will only strengthen your case. What’s crucial, however, is gathering this information as soon as possible, if you even can. 

The Black Box Challenge

The most difficult part about obtaining this information, is actually obtaining it. This crucial data, found inside a truck’s black box, belongs to the owner of the truck and they will use it for their benefit and interests. If a company’s driver is at fault for the crash don’t expect them to hand over the information without a fight. Some companies have even been known to try to destroy the information, so it can’t be used in a personal injury claim. Time is of the utmost essence when it comes to obtaining this information. 

If, in the unlikely event, that they consent to share the information investigators have access to the data on the black box. However, if they don’t consent, your truck accident lawyer will need to seek out a court order, or a warrant, to retrieve the information. Retrieving the data is a complex and expensive process, and a data retrieval specialist is needed to download and interpret the information for the investigation. 

In the cases of the black box data being concealed, or destroyed, your attorney should be able to access it through the truck’s insurance company. The insurance company usually downloads the information as a part of their own investigation after an accident has taken place. Having an experienced attorney in the case of a truck accident who knows how to access all of these methods is essential to winning the compensation that you and your family needs.

How Bailey Cowan Heckaman Law Can Help

Bailey Cowan Heckaman has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims. With over 30 years of experience, BCH understands the complexities of truck accident cases, and utilizing a record of success, we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the largest possible recovery. 

BCH and our attorneys believe that you deserve dedicated advocacy during this difficult time. If you, or a loved one, were injured in a truck accident contact us today to discuss your case directly with one of our experienced attorneys. Time is of the utmost essence.

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