When you hear the phrase “black box,” most people think in terms of airplanes. However, newer cars also record information. When you file a lawsuit or insurance claim against a negligent driver, getting their event data recordings can help establish fault.
Here’s how this may help your case.
Event Data Recorders
These “black boxes” are called EDRs, or event data recorders. After a crash, the EDR may have recorded useful information. This includes acceleration/deceleration, the vehicle’s speed, whether brakes were applied, the throttle position, tilt, airbag deployment times, force of impact and whether the driver and passengers were wearing their seatbelts. Some EDRs also record audio or video inside the vehicle.
Despite this amount of information, EDRs only have recordings for about 20 seconds before an accident. They usually only hold three events before they get overwritten. If the battery and ignition were not engaged, the EDR won’t record.
While they’re not perfect, an EDR can provide valuable information after a car crash. Most new cars have them, as well as commercial vehicles like semi trucks and buses.
Using EDR Data
Getting EDR data can be complicated, however. First, you have to make sure that the data isn’t overwritten before you can get to it. Second, you may need a lawyer to request the data by court order—few drivers will willingly hand the data over, especially if they suspect they may be held liable.
If you want to use EDR data, you’ll need to act fast. Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations after a car accident, but most EDRs only preserve data for 30 days. Time is of the essence, so be sure to call a personal injury attorney as soon as you’re in stable condition.
EDR data can be used to help establish what happened during a crash, especially if there were no witnesses around. Data may be used to show that a driver did or did not brake before impact, how fast they were going or how their speed changed. It can also provide evidence that you and your passengers were wearing your seatbelts, which could prove useful if insurance companies or defense attorneys challenge the severity of your injuries.
If you’re in an accident where EDR data isn’t available, don’t worry—there’s still that doesn’t mean you’ll lose your case. Your attorney will help you preserve evidence and work with insurance or opposing counsel.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When you’ve been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® You may be able to recover damages for your losses, injuries and more. Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation.