Posted On October 27, 2016 In Local Car Accidents
An experienced attorney has many tools at his or her disposal to prove fault after a car accident. They may secure phone records to show a motorist was texting at the time of an accident, or they can use witness statements or camera footage. Perhaps high-definition photos of damage to a vehicle or medical records can be used. An attorney uses more than one source of evidence to strengthen a case. A lesser-known tool for proving fault is using an event data recorder (EDR) found in almost all passenger vehicles.
EDRs are similar to the black boxes found inside commercial and noncommercial aircraft. They are also similar to electronic control modules found in commercial trucks. Depending on what year the vehicle was made, EDRs are capable of recording various types of data, such as vehicle speed at the time of a collision. EDRs made after 2013 include data on crash event duration, engine rpm, steering wheel angle, vehicle speed and brake application – just to name a handful of examples. In fact, EDRs made after 2013 are required to collect this data.
EDRs are not mandatory, but that may change in the near future. Several legislative and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rulemaking attempts have sought to make these devices mandatory in all passenger vehicles. Despite the lack of a mandatory rule, the vast majority of vehicles in the US have EDRs.
EDRs are extremely useful for proving fault in car accidents, especially when combined with other types of evidence. We will explain further.
Let’s say for example a motorist was driving from Houston to Lufkin, and he gets hit by a distracted driver. The injured motorist hires an attorney, who works on his behalf to make sure he is fairly compensated by insurance. In addition, the injured motorist files a lawsuit.
To prove fault, the injured motorist’s attorney gets a court order to secure data from the at-fault driver’s EDR, which shows the brakes were not applied at the time of the accident despite travelling at 30 miles per hour.
In addition, the injured motorist’s attorney gathers social media data from the at-fault driver. Social media data shows the at-fault driver had just typed a Facebook post complaining about the drive from Houston to Lufkin at the exact time of the accident.
See how EDRs can be extremely useful for proving fault? It is not just that they are useful by themselves, but that they can be essential when combined with evidence from other sources. Remember, commercial trucks use comparable technology, and similar rules apply to truck accident cases.
The Texas personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC, can help victims of car accidents and their families hold negligent drivers accountable.