A truck accident can take place for a variety of reasons. In most cases, they are caused by the negligence of the commercial truck driver. As a victim of an Augusta truck accident, you can seek compensatory damages to cover your crash-related losses. An Augusta truck accident lawyer can help you with filing the claim and getting a fair settlement.
A number of parties can be held liable in a truck accident. If the crash was caused by the truck driver, you may be able to file a claim against the driver, the trucking company, the manufacturing company, the shipping company, or the maintenance company. In some cases, it is possible to file multiple claims to recoup the full amount of damages.
That being said, proving liability can be hard in truck accidents. This is particularly so if there is no clear evidence to show who was at fault in causing the crash. In such cases, data from the truck’s black box can prove invaluable in connecting the dots and establishing how the accident actually took place.
What is a Black Box?
A black box is a piece of equipment that records data about various aspects of a truck’s functionality. Also known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM) or an Event Data Recorder (EDR), the black box is used to note the precise details of a truck’s operation just before a crash occurred. The box can be tapped to look for useful details such as:
- The acceleration and braking behaviors of the truck just before the crash
- The number of times the driver went above the speed limit when operating the vehicle
- The actual speed of the truck just before the crash
- Whether or not the driver was using a seatbelt at the time
- Whether or not the airbags deployed when the crash occurred
- The movements of the steering wheel just before the crash
- Any skidding or jack-knifing maneuvers that the vehicle performed just before the crash
Using Black Box Data for Accident Reconstruction
Accident reconstruction is when experts use the available data to create a detailed view of how the crash occurred. Such reconstruction helps determine who was legally responsible for causing the crash.
The black box data is immensely useful in accident reconstruction. By considering vital details such as the movement of the steering, the rate of acceleration, the speeding trends of the truck and so on, accident reconstruction experts are able to create a fairly accurate picture of how the accident took place.
In addition, black box data is also used to note the driving trends and habits of the truck driver. For instance, if the data reveals that a driver had gone above the posted speed limit several times in the hours leading up to the crash, proving driver liability can become easier.
Obtaining and Preserving Black Box Data
The black box is a piece of private property owned by the trucking company. This is why you will need the legal consent of the company to obtain data from the black box. This is often easier said than done.
There is typically a limited storage space on the black box so that it can preserve data for only the 30 days past. If you don’t act quickly and find a way to obtain data from the black box, you stand to lose this data. Trucking companies may also use other tactics, such as rewriting, to remove crash-related data and replace it with new data.
The best way to obtain crash-related black box data is to contact a lawyer right away. Your lawyer can then contact the trucking company and file a spoliation letter. Also known as a preservation letter, it legally bars the trucking company from deliberately or unintentionally rewriting the black box data. Furthermore, the letter also compels the company to produce the relevant data records of the black box.
Why Hire an Augusta Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you have suffered a truck accident in Augusta, GA, you must seek legal help immediately. As noted above, you will need to act quickly to obtain the relevant black box data from the truck. This data would be crucial in substantiating your claim for damages.
Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers help you obtain this data and clearly establish the liability of the truck driver or trucking company. We also work with you to secure a maximum amount of compensation from the liable party. Reach out to us now to discuss your Augusta truck wreck with our lawyers.