When a plane crashes one of the first things investigators seek is the black box. Not many people realize it, but trucks also have black boxes that contain electronic information and can prove to be crucial in truck wreck investigations.
Most big rigs that have been manufactured in the United States for almost two decades have Electronic Control Modules which are known as black boxes.
The data contained in the black box includes operational details – usually over the last 30 days – including the time driven, the speed, the use of brakes, seat belt use, deployment of airbags and other information. Much of this information can be crucial in building up a picture after a crash.
The trick can be to quickly recognize the circumstances in which a case is serious enough to warrant hiring the necessary experts to secure and extract the electronic data. An experienced trucking accident attorney will know when it makes sense to get this information. This FindLaw article highlights the importance of black box evidence.
Legal investigations are seldom straightforward and gaining black box data is no exception. It must be obtained in a certain way by certain specialists in order to be preserved. If the truck is fixed or the box is rebooted, it may be lost forever. Under some circumstances, the insurance company representing the trucking operation may have less incentive to retrieve the electronic data and to preserve it than the person who was hit by the rig.
If you are injured due to the fault of a tractor-trailer driver, it’s important that you hire a knowledgeable attorney who is able to quickly secure all black box data from the crash. Normally, I write a letter to the attorneys and insurance companies for the trucking company asking to get the black box data. I need to be prepared with a list of experts and ready to pay them the money necessary to go out on your behalf and make sure to find out crucial factors such as how fast the truck was traveling at the time of the crash.
If you lack black box data showing exactly what the speed was at the time of the accident, a truck driver is going to be more likely to lie about a wreck. They may simply say they don’t know how fast they were going. Many drivers are less likely to lie if they believe the accident victim has objective proof of how fast they were going. The black boxes really have changed the personal injury litigation investigations for the better and allowed us to find the truth.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, it’s vital to hire an attorney who will carry out a thorough investigation. Call me today at (866) 455-6657.