Evidence from the Truck's Black Box

Black box data provides crucial evidence in a truck crash. The data gives you a play-by-play of the driver’s actions and an under-the-hood view of the truck. If collected, preserved and analyzed properly, black box data is admissible in court and can substantially bolster your liability claim.

When you retain Berenson Injury Law, one of the first steps we take is to preserve evidence that might otherwise be lost or destroyed. We take immediate action to ensure the black box data is accessible. Our truck crash attorney has viewed many black box reports and can successfully interpret the complex data to reconstruct your accident.

What evidence is on the electronic data recorder?

A black box is installed in every commercial truck. The black box is a highly durable electronic device that can withstand fire, explosion, submersion and violent blows. Inside is a detailed recording of the driver’s actions and the vehicle’s operations. Technically called an event data recorder or EDR, the black box is an important resource of information about what occurred in the crucial moments prior to and during a crash.

The data provides a perspective into the crash that would otherwise be impossible. What can these little black boxes tell us? Helpful crash details exposed by EDR data may include:

  • Truck’s speed before and at moment of impact
  • Direction the vehicle was travelling
  • Sudden change in velocity
  • Whether the brake was applied and when
  • When the driver pressed or released the gas pedal
  • Steering wheel movement
  • Whether the driver was wearing a seat belt
  • Front airbag deployment
  • Previous stops made by the vehicle
  • Stability control, such as jackknifing or over-steering
  • Diagnostic snapshot that may show truck defect

A crash typically generates an incident event report that describes such common crash occurrences as sudden deceleration, hard braking, skidding or change in velocity of the tractor and trailer. The incident event report gives a thorough snapshot of the crash.

How our truck crash lawyer preserves black box evidence

Black box data belongs to the truck owner and Texas law prohibits downloading the information except with the owner’s consent, by court order or in relation to repair and research. The company is unlikely to consent and often does everything possible to delay release of potentially incriminating information. Unless the court intervenes, the company may destroy or hide the data.

The black box may also have limited recording space and so record over past data after 30 days or upon the occurrence of multiple incidents. If you were severely injured in a crash that resulted in only minor damage to the tractor-trailer, the vehicle may remain in use. Information from subsequent events may write over the incident event report of your crash.

Therefore, time is of the essence to retrieve this valuable data. Our attorney can file an emergency petition with restraining order to enjoin the company from destroying the data and subpoenas the company to compel production of its records.

Sometimes we are retained after the company has already destroyed the data. Hope is not lost. Insurance companies often demand access to black box data of their policyholders and may have downloaded the information. We pursue all avenues to recover data from any party related to your case.

Analyzing data on the EDR

Obtaining black box data is only the first step. What do all these numbers and time stamps mean to your case? Our lawyer has seen multiple EDR printouts and he and his accident reconstruction experts can immediately identify anomalies and red flags that indicate fault. Our accident law firm has developed an experienced network of experts who can help interpret the data and piece together what happened. We are able to draw a comprehensive timeline of events and analyze how the facts affect your claim.

Learn how our experienced Dallas tractor-trailer crash attorney can help you recover important EDR data

Black box data is crucial to your case. Our Fort Worth tractor-trailer crash attorney can help you retrieve this important evidence and interpret the data. Learn more about truck accident evidence at a free claims evaluation with Berenson Injury Law. Our contingency policy means you pay no attorneys’ fees or expenses until we recover damages for you.

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