A crash between your everyday vehicle and a large tractor-trailer can be catastrophic. A tractor-trailer truck can have a big advantage in weight over your typical car, SUV or pick-up weighing as much as 80,000 pounds. This means if your vehicle is struck with a greater impact than you could possibly imagine.
Because of the size and weight differences, the consequences of a truck accident can be extremely significant. However, it can be difficult for someone injured in these types of crashes to receive the fair and just compensation they may deserve. The reason for this is there are challenges involved when it comes to proving maintenance failures by the trucking company and/or negligence of the truck’s driver.
Luckily, there is a device that can help provide the needed evidence so you can prove your case. This device is called an Electronic Control Module, also known as a “black box.” Much like the black boxes you’ve heard about on airplanes, the ECM records data relevant to your truck accident case, such as time driven, overall average speed, highest speed attained, amount of time traveling over 65 miles per hour and more. Most trucks manufactured and driven in the United States since the 1990’s contain ECM’s/black boxes.
Truckling companies know just how valuable the black box is to a truck accident case and they may actually try to destroy it before you can get access to it. It is important for you to contact a truck accident attorney after an accident so they can help you take the appropriate steps to preserve the data. Acting quickly is important because an ECM typically only stores recorded data for approximately 30 days. The steps that should be taken to preserve the black box data include:
- Limit the movement of or access to the vehicles with a court order
- File a protective order to preserve the information contained in the truck’s black box
- Have the data on in the black box read by a qualified company
- If necessary, seek data from the ECM of another truck that was following the truck involved in the accident.
Since most of the steps noted above require action by the court, you will normally need to hire a personal injury attorney experienced in handling trucking accidents to work on your behalf and obtain the necessary court orders in a timely fashion.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, contact the trusted truck accident attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett today at 252-378-2525.