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Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2021 at 2:20 pm    

Each year, hundreds of people across the nation are injured in large truck accidents. Because it takes them longer to stop and they have large blind spots on all sides, large trucks can often cause devastating accidents. In order to keep truck drivers and the trucking companies that hire them accountable for a driver’s behavior behind the wheel, many trucks now contain black boxes.

There are several important things to know about black boxes installed in large trucks. From the way they function to the data they collect, these devices can be an important element in determining negligence and liability in a large truck accident case. If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck accident, seek medical attention for your injuries and contact one of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs’s personal injury attorneys to discuss your circumstances.

What Does the Black Box Do?

The black box is a device installed in large trucks in order to collect data. There are two types of black boxes, an ELD (Electronic Logging Device) and an EDR (Event Data Recorder). Trucks are required to contain an ELD, but not an EDR.

The data from a black box can be helpful in an investigation, should you or your attorney seek to prove a truck driver or trucking company was liable for an accident. Some examples of the metrics the black box gathers include:

  • The truck’s speed
  • The driver’s breaks
  • The length of a driving period (both in time and in distance)
  • The truck’s tire pressure
  • The driver’s use of a seatbelt
  • The truck’s GPS location
  • The vehicle tilt
  • The truck’s braking activity

Crash Liability

Determining liability is contingent upon several factors, one of which is negligence. In most cases, negligence is defined by an action, or lack of action, that can bring harm to another party. Negligence in large truck accidents can occur in several ways.

Any of the following parties may be considered negligent in a large truck accident:

  • The truck driver whose failure to obey traffic laws caused an accident
  • The trucking company whose insurance covers an at-fault driver
  • The trucking company that hired an underqualified driver
  • The cargo loading company whose lack of proper loading caused cargo to fall
  • The company responsible for maintaining the truck who failed to ensure fully functioning equipment
  • The municipal body responsible for road and roadside conditions which caused an accident

In many cases, a party will be considered liable to the same degree to which they are found to have been negligent. In the state of Washington, parties are able to pursue as much compensation as they are entitled to. Even if you were 99 percent at fault for the accident, you could still recover one percent of the damages the accident caused you from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

For example, if you are entitled to $90,000 for damages sustained in a large truck accident but are found to have been 30 percent liable, you’d be eligible to collect only $60,000.

Tampering with Black Box Data

Even though a black box is intended to collect enough data to be informative in the event of an accident, trucking companies can attempt to hide or even destroy this evidence. As you might expect, this data can be an important part of a truck accident case, as it may prove a truck driver or trucking company’s liability in an accident.

Trucking companies may attempt to tamper with this data in several ways. They may have the black box reset or the truck repaired before the injured party is able to gather evidence. The company may even attempt to destroy the box and its data.

How The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Can Help

Dealing with injuries and damages from a large truck accident can be an extremely difficult process. If you or someone you love has been injured in one of these accidents, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Fortunately, the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are prepared to help you through the process of communicating with insurance companies, gathering evidence, and strategizing so that you can build a compelling truck accident case.

Don’t allow one more thing to stand between you and the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a large truck accident, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696. We’ll connect you with one of our personal injury attorneys so that you can determine the best course of action in your truck accident case and begin your journey towards justice today.