Event data recorders (EDRs), or “black boxes,” used to be found only in commercial vehicles. Over the last 10 years or so, though, automotive manufacturers have started installing them in passenger vehicles, as well.
That means if you were recently hurt in a collision, there’s a good chance at least one of the cars involved was equipped with an EDR. Should you be planning on filing a personal injury claim, the data from this device could prove integral to your claim. Read on to learn how:
What Kinds of Operational Variables Do Black Boxes Record?
The black boxes found in passenger vehicles must record at least 15 variables, as mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Such variables include:
- The vehicle’s ground level speed before any impacts,
- The vehicle’s change in velocity after any impacts,
- The steering angle,
- Whether the occupants were restrained,
- Whether the airbags deploy,
- The number of impacts and the amount of time between them,
- Throttle input and subsequent rate of acceleration, and
- Brake application (or lack thereof).
How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Use Black Box Data?
By analyzing the kinds of variables mentioned above, investigators can reconstruct what happened in the moments before, during, and shortly after a collision. Personal injury lawyers can then use these findings to assign blame, which will allow them to identify all those who might be liable for their client’s damages.
Your attorney will start their investigation by gathering all available black box data from the vehicles that were involved, including your own. Once they have acquired all the data they possibly can, they will scrutinize it with help from accident reconstruction experts. Over the course of their investigation, they’re going to look for any indicators that the other motorists were driving recklessly or otherwise exhibiting a pattern of negligence.
Is There a Chance Black Box Data Could Hurt My Car Accident Claim?
If you contributed to the collision in some way—or failed to take reasonable measures to avoid it—the data from the EDR in your own vehicle may indicate as much. Should this end up being the case, though, don’t worry; you may still be able to proceed with a claim (and chances are the insurance adjuster would have found another way to prove your contribution anyway).
Under Mississippi’s pure comparative fault rule, personal injury plaintiffs are not barred from recovering compensation just because they played a role in the accident in which they were hurt. Instead, their potential recovery is simply reduced by their own percentage of fault. That means if you’re deemed 30 percent liable for the wreck, you can still seek funds for 70 percent of the damages you incur.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in Jackson
Are you planning on taking action against a reckless driver? For help navigating the proceedings, turn to Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC.
Backed by decades of collective experience, our firm is proud to advocate for injured parties who have been wronged by others. To schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Jackson, submit our Contact Formor call 601-487-8448.