Black box information can come in handy in proving the facts of a car, truck or motorcycle accident when there is a dispute about what happened in the accident, or when one or more parties involved in the crash do not remember the event or passed away because of the crash.
What is the black box?
The black box is also known as the “event data recorder” or “electronic control module”. It is related to the air bag control and deployment system in all most vehicles. For years, there was no third party software to access this information but recently almost all manufacturers allow this information to be downloaded.
How does the black box work?
Simply, the black box will capture information (the specific information that it captures depends on the manufacturer of the vehicle) from 5 seconds before an “event” that triggers the algorithm (wakes up the computer) until the vehicle comes to rest. Most of the time, the “event” that wakes up the computer is a sudden deceleration (slowing) – which is a typical event in car crashes.
When do we get Black Box information?
We go out and get this information in significant injury or death cases when speed or direction of the vehicles is an issue of contention. In these cases, when our accident reconstructionist is able to capture the black box data and couple it with the information that they're able to gather from the scene like skid marks, gouge marks on the pavement, final rest of the vehicles and photographs of the scene, they are able to come up with pre-accident speed, speed at the point of impact, post-accident speed, and position of the vehicles at impact.
In significant injury or death cases this information can mean the difference between compensation and no compensation for the injured person or their family. This is why it is best for seriously injured folks or the family of folks who have died because of a crash, to retain an experienced injury and accident lawyer from the beginning. Remember if the necessary information is not preserved immediately it could be lost forever and destroy the chances of proving a case.
Photo attribution: forbes.com