June 7, 2023
Trucking Accident

Very few accidents are as devastating or complicated as those involving commercial semi-trucks. During a collision, these large trucks can cross several lanes of traffic striking multiple vehicles, making it unclear how the accident occurred and who is responsible. 

Black boxes are also known as event data recorders (EDRs) or electronic logging devices (ELDs) They record data related to the truck’s operations. The data stored on these devices can be used to reconstruct the events leading up to an accident.

Understanding the capabilities of black boxes can help you and your legal team secure maximum compensation after a crash. This can help you pay medical bills and replace lost wages so that you can focus on recovery.

Functions and Capabilities of Black Boxes

Black boxes are essential for monitoring vehicle performance and driver behavior. They continuously record speed, braking, acceleration, engine performance, and GPS location. This data provides insight into vehicle operation and can help identify potential safety concerns or instances of driver negligence.

In 2019, the Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the ELD Rule, which requires all trucking companies to install and use ELDs in their vehicles. This has led to the widespread use of these devices in the trucking industry.

In the event of an accident, black boxes detect sudden changes in speed, force, or direction, triggering the device to preserve critical data surrounding the incident. This information plays a pivotal role in accident investigations, allowing for reconstructing events leading up to and during the crash.

Black boxes can be used to monitor compliance with safety regulations, such as driver service hours, and be incorporated into fleet management systems for tracking vehicle locations and optimizing routes.

Determining Liability and Identifying Violations

Black boxes provide invaluable data for determining liability and identifying violations in the event of a truck accident. By recording speed, braking, acceleration, steering angle, and GPS location, black boxes help reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the accident, offering insight into the actions and decisions of the driver.

The data from the black box can reveal whether the truck driver, another driver, or external factors were primarily responsible for the collision, establishing liability for resulting injuries.

Black box data can also help identify safety regulation violations, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or exceeding legally mandated hours of service. These violations can be critical in determining negligence or misconduct by the truck driver or trucking company.

Legal Considerations: Accessing and Preserving Black Box Information

Accessing and preserving black box information following an accident is crucial for ensuring the integrity of the data and its admissibility in legal proceedings. Our Alabama truck accident attorneys at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can: 

  • Initiate a prompt investigation: Our attorneys will begin investigating as soon as possible to secure the vehicle and prevent tampering or loss of data. We can obtain a court order to access the black box data if the trucking company or other parties are uncooperative or unwilling to share the information. A court order ensures the release of the data and protects it from being tampered with or destroyed.
  • Send a spoliation letter: We will send a spoliation letter to the trucking company and any other relevant parties as a formal request to preserve all evidence related to the accident, including the black box data. This communication also informs the recipients that they may be legally responsible if the evidence is destroyed, altered, or lost.
  • Create a chain of custody: Our lawyers will maintain a clear chain of custody for black box data to ensure admissibility in court. This involves carefully documenting every step of the data retrieval process, including who accessed the data, when it was accessed, and how it was stored and transferred.
  • Work with expert analysts: We will work with expert car accident analysis and reconstructionists to interpret the black box data. They can use the objective information in the device to recreate the accident events to show liability and win you compensation.

How The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Been Injured

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a semi-truck in Alabama, taking fast action is critical to preserve evidence. Our experienced truck accident attorneys at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and resources to investigate the accident.

We can gather evidence, including black box data to support your claim and identify liable parties. Our team will also accurately calculate your damages and aggressively seek the financial compensation you need to recover. 

Contact our law firm to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.

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