Black Box Data

Los Angeles Lawyers Assisting Truck Accident Victims

Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, the injuries sustained by people in a passenger car during a commercial truck accident may be catastrophic or fatal. It is critical to retain an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney after suffering injuries in a crash. You likely will need to establish negligence against the truck driver or the trucking company, and you may also need to prove defects or maintenance problems. Not all attorneys understand how to gather evidence in a truck accident case. You should retain an attorney who understands how to use black box data to establish liability and seek damages on your behalf.

Black Box Data

These days, most commercial trucks contain an electronic control module, which is also known as a black box. The purpose of the black box is to capture data while a commercial vehicle is being operated. This data will include the amount of time driven, the overall average speed, the highest speed, the amount of time driving more than 65 mph, seat belt usage, air bag performance, and time spent idling. The black box was originally created as a way to oppose consumers making invalid engine warranty claims. The black box is now a critical aspect of truck litigation.

The data provided by the black box may be useful in showing a truck driver's liability. To establish liability, you usually need to show a truck driver's negligence by proving that the driver was not using reasonable care and in failing to use reasonable care caused your injuries. Black box data may allow you to present facts related to how the truck was being operated just before and during the accident. In particular, it may show causation. In a truck rollover accident, the black box might show, for example, that a truck driver was speeding excessively just before making a turn.

The black box may also counter false claims by the driver, such as a claim that he was not fatigued while on the road or that he was following hours of service rules. Under FMCSA regulations, interstate truck drivers are supposed to keep log books of their actual driving time. The black box may be compared to the log book to determine whether a driver is lying about their driving time.

Black boxes record data for about 30 days, although sometimes for less time depending on the age of the truck and the box. Your attorney needs to act quickly to preserve black box data after an accident, since once the recording capacity is exceeded, the black box starts recording over prior data and effectively erasing it. An experienced lawyer will write a letter to the trucking company immediately after the accident regarding spoliation of evidence and advising them that they should not destroy or record over the black box data. In some cases, it may be necessary to file an immediate protective order to make sure that the data in the truck is preserved. During discovery, it is important to specifically request black box data along with other items so that this evidence may be examined to establish the element of causation.

Sometimes there are several trucks on the road. If there was a truck driving in front of the truck that caused the accident, securing black box data from that truck may also be important. All of the data should be made available to an expert who can interpret the data in the likely event that the truck driver or the trucking company either contest liability or the extent of the damages. Sometimes the data may be useful when suing a manufacturer as well, since it may contain evidence about braking. If there was a defect in the truck's brakes that the driver claims caused them to be unable to stop in time, evidence from the black box on this point should be examined.

Retain a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Lawyer for Your Truck Crash Case

Black box data may provide vital evidence in truck accident litigation in Southern California. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation if a truck driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer was at fault for your injuries. We can determine a strategy to pursue your damages and take an aggressive approach in your case. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-422-7222 for a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Our firm also represents victims in cities such as Temecula, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino.

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