black box in car accident

Can Your Vehicle’s “Black Box” Help with Your Auto Accident Claim?

How can you prove your side of the story after a car accident? As it turns out, your vehicle can actually back up your story for you. Your car’s “black box” is a good source of information about your driving choices prior to and during an accident. Find out how this piece of equipment could affect your accident claim and what your next step is.

The team at Mann & Potter is here to help you with your car accident claim and handle communication with the insurance company. Ready to get started? Call us at 205-879-9661 to set up a consultation now.

What is the Black Box?

Your vehicle may have a “black box” built into it. Officially known as the Event Data Recorder or EDR, the black box records information about your car’s operations. The information it provides about your vehicle before, during, and after a crash van be invaluable if you’re struggling to prove your side of the story.

It’s important to note that not all cars have EDRs, especially older vehicles. The vast majority of cars made after 2014 do have an EDR.

Your EDR collects very specific information. Its primary purpose is to look at the factors used to deploy airbags. It tracks information like speed, acceleration, crash force, brake activation, seatbelt use, front-seat position, and steering. The amount of time it collects data varies. It generally records about 20 seconds prior to a crash and up to 10 seconds after a collision. Data is recorded whether or not your airbags are deployed.

How the EDR Can Help Your Claim

Data from your black box could help you fight for the compensation you deserve as it can prove exactly what happened prior to a crash. However, since the data is relatively difficult to access, it isn’t done as a matter of routine. It is primarily used for collisions that involve multiple vehicles or collisions, crashes where both sides’ stories contradict each other and the truth isn’t clear, and collisions where it’s hard to tell the severity of an injury.

When you look at the information contained in a black box, it is clear how it could help your claim. If the other side claims that you hit them and made no attempt to stop, the EDR may show hard braking immediately prior to impact. If you were rear-ended and then hit the car ahead of you, the EDR may show that there was an impact prior to the impact that caused damage to the front vehicle.

If the other party’s insurance company is claiming that your injuries aren’t nearly as severe as you say, your EDR may show the force of the impact and that your airbags deployed. In a crash where you are accused of speeding or driving erratically, your black box may indicate that you were driving the speed limit and did not accelerate prior to the crash.

How It Could Harm Your Claim—and Why You Need an Attorney

Just like the information in the EDR could help your accident claim, it could also work against you. Legally, you are the only one who can access the EDR or give others the right to access it. If the other party’s insurance company or attorney gets to you before you know this information, you could unintentionally harm your claim. Before you sign anything, make sure you talk to your attorney and figure out if it’s in your best interest to do so.

In a crash where your black box could be helpful, you’re likely looking at a fairly complex accident claim. You need to talk to a personal injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you’re owed and prove the extent of your injuries. Whether you’re hurt at a busy intersection on Montclair Road or Gadsden Highway or a smaller rural road outside the city or anywhere else, you should discuss your options with a lawyer.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Auto Accident Claim

With the team at Mann & Potter on your side, you can feel confident that your claim is in good hands. Take the first step now by contacting us to set up a meeting. Reach out online or call us at 205-879-9661 to schedule your consultation right away.

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