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3 FAQs About Using Black Box Data to Support Your Car Accident Claim

scene of car accident

Nowadays, most car accident claims are supported by black box data. More formally called “event data recorders (EDRs),” black boxes are electronic logging devices that record a host of variables during a vehicle’s operation.

Such variables typically include:

· Seat belt usage,

· Rate of acceleration,

· Brake application,

· Average speed,

· Steering angle,

· Vehicle tilt,

· Throttle position,

· Force of impact, and

· Airbag deployment.

If you’re wondering how to use this data to bolster your car accident claim, read on. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject:

1. How Do You Obtain Black Box Data?

Since EDR logs can implicate motorists, people are highly unlikely to turn them over without legal pressure. As such, you typically need to file a subpoena in order to secure them.

Keep in mind, however, that you’re going to have a limited amount of time to do so. Most event data recorders automatically overwrite old logs with new ones to save space, so you may have as few as 30 days to get the data from the day of the wreck.

This is why reaching out to the other motorists who were involved is one of the first things your legal team will do. They want to try to obtain all the time-sensitive information they can while it’s still available.

As for actually accessing the EDR logs, your attorney will use a crash data retrieval system. This device must be plugged into the onboard diagnostic port, which should be located somewhere under the dashboard.

2. How Can Black Box Data Corroborate Your Claim?

Black box data can bolster your claim in a number of ways. For example, if you think the other motorist fell asleep behind the wheel, logs that show they made no evasive maneuvers prior to the wreck could corroborate your allegation. If, on the other hand, the data shows lots of erratic driving, it could be indicative of impairment.

At the end of the day, the circumstances surrounding the crash will determine just how valuable the EDR logs are.

3. Who Can Interpret Black Box Data?

When it comes to interpreting EDR logs, personal injury attorneys often refer to accident reconstruction experts. These highly knowledgeable professionals are trained to piece together what happened in the moments leading up to a wreck, so lawyers can assign liability.

To ensure they get a comprehensive understanding of what happened, accident reconstructions experts typically review the black box data from all the vehicles that were involved. This will inevitably include your own car, which should have an EDR if it was manufactured within the last ten years or so.

Speak with a New York Car Accident Lawyer

At Leitner Varughese, we advocate for injured parties across New York City, Long Island, and the rest of the state. Our tenacious team is determined to hold reckless and negligent parties liable for the damages left in their wake. To schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident attorney in New York, submit the Contact Form on our website or call 855-585-2969.


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