If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, you have the right to claim compensation from the negligent driver or trucking company. However, to increase the chances of a successful claim, you will need substantial evidence to demonstrate the negligence of these parties. Often, one of the most important sources of evidence is the truck’s “black box,” more formally known as its Event Data Recorder (EDR).
An EDR is specifically designed to record data about a vehicle in the seconds surrounding a collision. EDRs are not federally mandated for commercial trucks, but most new vehicles have them installed. If a truck is equipped with an EDR, all of the following data may be recorded when an accident occurs:
For injury victims, EDR data is typically most useful in demonstrating that an accident occurred because a truck driver was traveling at an unsafe speed, or because the driver failed to brake or take reasonable action to avoid the collision. However, EDRs do not make video or audio recordings, so victims may need to look for other sources of evidence to further substantiate their claims.
In order to benefit from EDR data, it is crucial that you hire an attorney as soon as possible after being in an accident. This data may be overwritten or erased, whether intentionally or automatically, in the days and weeks following the accident. However, your attorney can pursue a court order requiring the trucking company to preserve the data, and if the company violates the order, they can face significant sanctions. Your attorney can also help you access the data during settlement negotiations or in preparation for a trial by requesting it from the trucking company or securing it via subpoena.
In addition to the EDR data, your attorney can also help you preserve and access other sources of evidence. For example, dashboard camera footage from the truck can provide further context for the accident, and data from an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) can provide information about the driver’s hours of service, which may indicate a violation of federal regulations.
When you are up against a large trucking company in your personal injury case, you need as much evidence as possible to improve your leverage in settlement negotiations or secure a favorable verdict in court. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we can help you obtain this evidence and prepare a strong claim for the compensation you need. For a free consultation, call our Lombard, IL personal injury attorneys today at 630-932-9100.
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