Can Your Lawyer Use Black Box Data in a Minnesota Car Crash Claim?

getting data from car on laptopMany vehicles made in the past 10-15 years, and even some older ones, are equipped with event data recorders, also known as black boxes. These devices gather information about the vehicle and some of the driver’s actions leading up to a crash.

Black box data can play a key role in a car crash case and can help prove who was at fault for the crash. Below, our Minneapolis car crash lawyers discuss how recovering black box data could be beneficial in a car crash claim.

If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle crash in Minneapolis or elsewhere in Minnesota, we may be able to help guide you through this difficult time. Since 1998, our experienced attorneys have helped injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. We have obtained more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients.

No upfront fees. Call today to schedule a free legal consultation. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is a Black Box?

A black box is a vehicle’s event data recorder (EDR). It comes standard in many passenger vehicles that were made within the past 10-plus years.

Many American car manufacturers have been installing black boxes in their vehicles since the 1990s. Even if you have an older vehicle, or the other driver’s vehicle is older, the chances of one or both vehicles having a black box are high. For instance, certain vehicles manufactured by Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet have had black boxes installed since 1994.

What Information Does a Black Box Record Before or During a Crash?

A black box records and stores information about the moments leading up to a crash, such as:

  • Airbag deployment
  • Speed the car was traveling
  • When and for how long the brakes were applied
  • Whether vehicle occupants were wearing their seatbelts
  • The force of impact during a collision
  • And more

These are the types of data most black boxes record. Some car manufacturers may install black boxes that record many other data points, such as:

  • How long the collision lasted
  • Whether the driver clicked on a turn signal
  • The number of impacts on the vehicle
  • Where the seats were positioned
  • Steering angles
  • Time between impacts
  • And more

Many black boxes record data on a continuous loop and rewrite about five to 10 seconds of information until a crash. When a car crash occurs, the data leading up to the collision (about 20 seconds) is stored for a certain time period.

Using EDR Data To Prove Fault for a Collision

Proving fault and showing that the impact more than likely caused your injuries is critical to any car crash claim. That is why black box data can be so useful, if a vehicle involved in the crash has one installed and it was working during the incident, there is a high chance the data can be used to back your claim.

Black box data could be helpful after just about any type of crash, but especially with:

Fatal Crashes

When one or several of the people involved in a car crash tragically pass away, it can be very challenging to understand exactly what occurred. Black box data can help clarify some of the uncertainties surrounding the crash.

Collisions That Cause Memory Loss

If a crash victim suffers memory loss, such as from a traumatic brain injury, or if those involved cannot recall key details, black box data might help fill in some of the gaps.

Contradictory Testimonies

Eyewitness accounts of the crash could contradict what the victim or at-fault driver said. Even without witnesses, the victim and at-fault driver’s account of the collision may differ wildly. These discrepancies can make it difficult to decipher fact from fiction.

Black box data, however, can help clarify what happened and potentially back up what you said or remember about the incident.

Linking an Injury to a Crash

If you suffer an injury, it can become very challenging to prove it is directly related to the crash. Black box data could show the force of impact from a crash, helping to show why your injury likely happened during the collision.

Can Insurance Companies Use EDR Data To Undermine Your Claim?

While your attorney will use black box data to help your case, insurance companies have a different goal. They will be looking for any information that gives them a reason to assign fault to you, such as the speed of your vehicle or whether you applied your brakes or turn signal.

Insurance companies may also drag their feet on recovering the data. They are in no rush to obtain evidence that could be used against their interests. They just want to save themselves money. They do not want to pay fair compensation to someone injured by a negligent driver.

If a negligent driver rear-ended you on the highway, black box data from your car and the at-fault driver’s car could help establish fault. For example, you could see the other driver’s speed. However, it would be in the best interest of the at-fault driver’s insurance company not to retrieve the data. They could then make false claims about how fast their policyholder was traveling, as there may be no objective evidence to contradict them.

How Do Attorneys Access Black Box Data?

It is essential that you contact an experienced lawyer soon after the crash, as he or she can take steps to collect the black boxes before the data gets erased.

For example, you can authorize your lawyer to obtain the black box information on your behalf. Your lawyer can also formally request the event data recorder from the at-fault driver’s vehicle. Another step your lawyer could take is sending a letter to the insurance company requesting that they preserve evidence, including the black box.

You never know when you might need this information to help prove your case. That is why you need to contact a lawyer as soon as you can following a crash.

However, this is just one of the benefits. The attorneys at TSR Injury Law have decades of experience building motor vehicle crash cases. We know how to link an injury to a collision and gather strong evidence to prove fault. We also know how to determine the full value of a case and aggressively advocate for maximum compensation.

Unsure if You May Have a Case? Call TSR Injury Law

At TSR Injury Law, we guide crash victims through the legal process, answering their questions and advocating for their best interests. If we represent you, we will stay committed to securing the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call us today to discuss your options. We work on contingency, so there are no upfront costs.

Call today: (612) TSR-TIME. No upfront costs. Free initial consultation.

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