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How Can a Truck’s Black Box Help My Injury Case?

Feb 15, 2023 | Truck Accident

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truck's black box

The black box recorder installed on some semi-trucks may provide objective evidence of the other driver’s negligence. Moreover, the data contained in the black box are admissible in court. So, how can a truck’s black box help your injury case? The answer is: immensely. 

However, the benefit your injury case receives is dependent on three factors. The first factor is whether the truck involved in your accident had a black box installed and in proper operating order. Second is your ability to access the data. Third is the evidence the data provide from the black box.

If you were involved in a truck accident case, it behooves you to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney in Indiana. The information in the black box may be critical to your ability to recover damages, and an attorney can assist you in recovering the data. 

What Information Does a Black Box Record?

Three computerized data collection devices, or black box recorders, may operate on a semi-truck: electronic control modules (ECMs), electronic logging devices (ELDs), and event data recorders (EDRs). Each record contains slightly different information, which could benefit your injury case. 

An ECM is a diagnostic tool that records engine speed, battery information, and tire pressure, all of which could be helpful to your case. An ELD records data concerning engine function, vehicle movement, and distance traveled. ELDs can help determine whether the driver worked excessive hours in violation of regulations. Depending on the data, all of this evidence could support a finding of negligence. 

While all three devices may provide helpful information to your case, when most people refer to the black box, they are speaking primarily of an EDR, which records technical information about the operation of the vehicle. 

If the truck involved in your accident had an EDR installed, the black box recorder would have recorded the following information just before the accident: 

  • Length of time driving
  • Idle time
  • Acceleration
  • Speed
  • Braking

So, how can a truck’s black box help your injury case? All this data could prove beneficial. The data piece together the other driver’s actions during the accident. For example, if the data indicate the other driver was speeding at the time of the crash, that evidence will help establish negligence. 

Do I Need a Lawyer To Secure This Evidence?

The data contained in the black box recorder are objective. For this reason, the evidence obtained from a black box is powerful and difficult to refute, especially if the case goes before a jury in a court of law. 

The truck driver, trucking company, and insurance companies all understand the value of such data. Moreover, because these data are in their exclusive possession, they are unlikely to hand them over quickly when the data indicate their driver was at fault. In more nefarious cases, the custodians of the black box may tamper with it or destroy the evidence before you have the opportunity to review it. 

So, how can a truck’s black box help your injury case? The straightforward answer is that it can only help if you gain access to it. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows how to preserve this evidence and ensure you have an opportunity to review the data. 

Contact an experienced accident lawyer at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys if you are involved in a truck accident case. We handle similar cases throughout Indiana, and your initial consultation is free. There is no fee unless we win. Call us at (866) 925-2991.

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