We're Injury Lawyers for today's Texas.

The Role of the “Black Box” in Trucking Accidents

Published on Apr 23, 2024 at 12:40 pm in Truck Accidents.

black box truckA truck’s black box can provide critical information about the driver’s actions before a Texas truck accident occurs. Truck accidents are some of the most challenging wrecks in determining responsibility, and black box information can significantly impact the damages an injured driver may recover. The injured party is responsible for proving how a truck driver’s behaviors before the accident may have been negligent, resulting in their injuries.

While these accidents are complex, it is possible to recover the compensation you deserve in a Texas trucking accident. It is common for collisions with 18-wheelers to lead to devastating personal injuries, requiring legal action. Your Houston truck accident lawyer should secure black box data as soon as possible to protect the information that may impact your case.

Data Stored on a Truck’s Black Box

A truck’s black box or electronic logging device allows faster and more accurate tracking, managing, and sharing of a truck’s data. It is integrated with the truck’s engine to more easily document driving time and precise hours of service. The route a truck travels and its status will generally be part of the stored information.

Additionally, a black box may contain the following information:

  • The truck’s speed before the collision
  • GPS coordinates
  • The steering wheel’s positioning
  • Whether cruise control was initiated before the accident occurred
  • The amount of braking performed by a truck driver
  • Whether rapid acceleration or deceleration occurred before the collision
  • The number of times a truck is involved in a motor vehicle accident
  • Whether the driver’s seatbelt was engaged at the time of the incident
  • A truck’s airbag deployment information
  • A truck’s activity log
  • Tire pressure and oil levels

A truck’s black box can relay insightful information about a truck’s location and a driver’s actions leading up to an 18-wheeler accident in Texas. Data collected from a black box may point to significant challenges a driver was experiencing, prompting a Houston truck accident attorney to request and examine emails between a driver and the trucking company, shedding light on any difficulties a driver encountered. A black box may also reveal hours of service violations.

Obtaining Black Box Data is Critical to Determining Fault in a Texas Trucking Accident

accident sceneElectronic logging devices do not store this critical information indefinitely, requiring your Houston truck accident attorney to act quickly to secure the data. Law enforcement and insurance companies may also request this stored information. A trucking company may consent to the data retrieval. However, a court order or discovery process may be necessary.

Ultimately, the trucking company has control over the black box. The evidence contained in the electronic logging device can point to negligence by a trucking company or its driver. If found at fault, defendants can face costly fines and fees, as well as having to pay compensation to any injured motorists. Unless you engage a Houston truck accident lawyer immediately following your collision, this data could be deleted or destroyed.

The less information available about the events preceding a truck accident, the more challenging it becomes to seek compensation to cover your damages. Most black box data is kept for 30 days. Even if you were involved in a Houston truck accident and more than 30 days have passed, a knowledgeable Houston personal injury lawyer with truck collision experience will seek alternative sources of information to protect your rights. Exploring your legal options is a priority at The Mejia Law Firm.

Additional Evidence in a Texas Trucking Accident

A truck’s black box continually collects data from a truck to measure a tractor-trailer’s operational parameters, making it one of the most significant pieces of evidence in a trucking accident. It can also be used to reconstruct the events of an accident by expert witnesses to prove negligence. It constructs a detailed timeline of events based on recorded facts that are challenging to dispute in court.

Additional evidence that may support your claim includes:

  • Law enforcement’s accident report
  • Pictures of the accident
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert witness testimony
  • A driver’s driving record and medical records
  • Breathalyzer or blood testing

Multiple sources of evidence from an 18-wheeler accident in Texas can be used along with black box data to give valuable insight into other factors contributing to a truck crash. Obtaining the truck operator’s driving and medical records will likely require legal action. Insurance companies for the trucking industry understand that supporting evidence of a truck driver’s negligent actions will significantly impact the compensation owed to an injured driver in Houston.

How a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help with a Truck Accident Case

Trucking companies often resist handing significant information over unless it is legally required. In addition to securing evidence found in a truck’s black box data and other documents in a truck accident, a truck accident attorney in Houston will apply state and federal trucking regulations to your case.

Additionally, your attorney should ensure you have a solid personal injury case through the following services:

  • Serve as a mediator between you and the insurance company
  • Identify all potentially responsible parties in a trucking accident, including cargo handlers, parts manufacturers, other drivers, or governmental agencies responsible for highway safety
  • Interact with law enforcement and other accident investigators on your behalf as an authorized representative
  • File the appropriate paperwork within the legal time limits
  • Strive to negotiate a settlement or proceed in court when an appropriate settlement cannot be reached

The costs associated with a Houston trucking accident can be financially devastating. The Mejia Law Firm tirelessly works for you to obtain the compensation you deserve while requiring no upfront fees for our services. You only pay if we secure financial compensation for your damages.

Black Box Data and Texas Truck Accident Lawsuits

truck crashWhen substantial evidence of negligence exists in a Texas trucking accident, insurance companies will often settle out of court to reduce incurring further costs. However, the ability to present evidence such as black box data in a trial is vital. Because truck accidents in Texas may produce significant damages and costs, an insurance company may fight in court to prevent paying these damages.

Having an experienced trial lawyer with The Mejia Law Firm manage your Texas truck accident case is critical. Your attorney must present the evidence clearly and understandably so the jury can fully comprehend what the data from a black box means and how it may provide proof of a driver’s negligence. An experienced trial lawyer in Houston must also be capable of successfully using this data to counter information presented by a defendant’s legal team in court.

Act Now to Secure Black Box Data from a Texas Trucking Accident

The Mejia Law Firm believes in your right to seek compensation for a Texas trucking accident. Our Houston truck accident attorneys also understand how trucking companies and insurance companies may use the confusion surrounding these incidents to discourage catastrophic truck accident injury victims from pursuing compensation. We strive to be the reason you successfully recover the maximum compensation in a Texas trucking accident.

Schedule a free consultation with a Houston truck accident attorney at The Mejia Law Firm today. We can help you determine if you have a Texas personal injury claim and the next steps to securing the compensation you deserve.

Free Attorney Consultation

Call us or fill out the form below to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We can help you determine if you need a personal injury or workers' compensation lawyer, if you have a potential case, and if so, what your next step should be.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Legal & Firm News

Types of Arm Injuries from a Car Accident

Car accidents can jolt, crash, crush, or otherwise damage various body parts of those involved. Drivers often experience injuries to their arms as impacts occur while their arms are extended in the driving position, gripping a steering wheel. Though differently positioned, passengers can also sustain serious car accident injuries. Along with significant pain, arm injuries […]

Read More

The Role of the “Black Box” in Trucking Accidents

A truck’s black box can provide critical information about the driver’s actions before a Texas truck accident occurs. Truck accidents are some of the most challenging wrecks in determining responsibility, and black box information can significantly impact the damages an injured driver may recover. The injured party is responsible for proving how a truck driver’s […]

Read More

Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?

In Texas, fault determines whose insurance is going to pay for a car accident. Being found at fault also affects the ability to recover compensation if you are injured. Insurance companies will fight hard on this issue to limit what they must pay for claims as much as possible. In multi-car accidents, the fault may […]

Read More