When an 80,000-pound truck is involved in an accident, it can cause serious, often fatal injuries, and the amount of property damage is usually extreme. Determining who is at fault for a truck accident is not always easy. Fortunately, most modern tractor trailers come equipped with a black box, also known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM), that captures a range of data about the operation of the truck. In the event of a serious truck accident, this is an extremely valuable piece of evidence as it can provide reliable and objective information about the events leading up to the wreck.
Types of Data Captured by Black Box
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a black box must record the following data:
Change in velocity
Safety belt use
Number of hours driven
Vehicle’s maintenance history
Number of crash events and the time between crashes
Securing the Black Box Data
Locating and securing black box data is an important step towards proving driver negligence. A skilled truck accident lawyer will take the necessary steps to secure black box data, including the following:
Preservation of evidence letter: This must be sent to the truck driver and trucking company, notifying them that the black box data must be preserved and not tampered with in any way.
Obtain court order limiting access to the vehicle and black box: A court order will ensure that the vehicle is not moved, and that the black box is not tampered with until it can be inspected by an attorney.
Seek black box data from other trucks involved: If the accident involved multiple trucks, the victim’s lawyer should obtain the black box data from both vehicles involved.
Hire a reputable company to read the data: Only use a qualified company to read and analyze the black box data. If it is being downloaded by another party, make sure that a representative from the victim’s law firm witnesses the process of removing the black box from the truck and the downloaded information.
It is important to act quickly when securing black box data because it is typically only available for 30 days. Once the recording capacity is exceeded, it will begin to record over the existing data, making it unavailable. If there was data that could help prove that the truck driver or the truck company was liable and the data is overwritten, this can have a negative impact on your case.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, our Baltimore truck accident lawyers will take every step necessary to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the financial compensation you deserve. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, we will make it a priority to secure black box data, and any other information that will help build a strong defense on your behalf. We will continue to fight for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.