If you follow news reports after major airplane crashes, you may know investigators often work diligently to recover the downed craft’s event data recorder. You may not realize, though, many commercial vehicles also have them.
Commonly known as black boxes, event data recorders gather information about a truck’s operation in the moments before and during an accident. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer, subpoenaing the black box’s data may be a major priority.
What caused the crash?
Obtaining information from the truck’s black box may give you invaluable insights into the cause or causes of the crash. Specifically, black boxes regularly record the following:
- The truck’s speed, acceleration and deceleration
- The driver’s use of the seatbelt
- The truck’s steering wheel position
- The truck’s airbag deployment
- The truck’s maintenance records
Who is responsible?
You should not have to pay for a commercial trucker’s poor driving. If you want to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages, you need to assign blame for the crash.
Many black boxes record messages between the trucker and the trucking company. If you can obtain these messages, you may learn about the driver’s rest breaks, the truck’s maintenance and other important matters. Still, you must act promptly to preserve data from the black box, as drivers or trucking companies may be able to delete or overwrite it.
You have some legal options for preventing the destruction or deletion of information in a truck’s black box. Ultimately, by taking advantage of these options, you may improve your chances of receiving the financial compensation you need to recover from the crash.