Technological advances are impacting almost every aspect of our lives these days. Who thought 15 years ago we would be able to do everything we can with a cell phone. Motor vehicle technology is no different. The developments in motor vehicle equipment are having a big impact on personal injury claims from motor vehicle accidents. A major development is the Event Data Recorder.
What Is an Event Data Recorder?
An Event Data Recorder (or EDR) is an electronic device that is installed in a motor vehicle to record certain technical vehicle and occupant information. An EDR is more commonly referred to as a “Black Box”. This device is becoming very useful in motor vehicle accident investigations and reconstructions.
The EDR will record information before, during and after a crash. The information recorded can include a number of different vehicle operation aspects. For instance, EDRs may record the various speed changes, seat belt use, brake use, and air-bag deployment. EDRs for commercial trailer trucks will record or log additional data such as hours of service for truck drivers. This is increasingly used in the investigations of commerical trucking accidents.
Currently, there are no laws or regulations that make EDRs mandatory for all vehicles. However, since EDRs can have a major impact on highway safety, aid law enforcement, and provide specific aspects of a crash, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they become required in all cars in the future.
The Use of EDRs in Motor Vehicle Accidents
When someone is injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, he or she can seek financial compensation for the injuries and damages they incurred as a result. But, in order to obtain financial compensation, the injured party must prove that the other driver caused the accident and injuries. In other words, the injured party must establish that the other driver was negligent.
If there is a dispute as to who was responsible for causing the accident, there are many factors that must be investigated and assessed in order to determine who was negligent. Historically, evidence such as eye witnesses and photographs were and still are used in resolving the dispute as to who caused a car crash. But, an increasingly commonly investigated item has become the EDR.
In very serious accidents that result in severe injuries, EDRs can be very useful pieces of evidence. Crash data retrieval can be used to gather information about a motor vehicle accident. This investigative method consists of the obtaining and analyzing the data downloaded from a vehicle's EDR. The information gathered from an EDR can provide crash data, including the speed of a vehicle, whether the brakes were applied, and other additional evidence. This information can help determine who was responsible for causing the accident.
The technological advances of EDRs and crash data retrieval offer experts valuable evidence and information that were once unattainable through traditional investigations. The evidence obtained becomes extremely helpful in determining how an accident happened. For instance, an expert can use the data retrieved from an EDR to create the exact sequence of a car crash in an accident reconstruction.
For Example: We represented a Southbridge resident, who was seriously injured in a car accident in Sturbridge. The police investigated the crash and obtained the data from the defendant’s EDR (or black box). That information was used in the police accident reconstruction report, which established that the accident was caused by the defendant’s carelessness. The defendant’s auto insurance company accepted liability and the case was settled.
As you can see, in some situations, the EDR evidence can be exactly what you need to win your personal injury case and collect the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Speak With an Experienced Injury Attorney Today
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP has over 35 years of experience handling personal injury claims. We have successfully represented clients who were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. Call us today at 508-879-3500, or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.