Tractor-trailer accidents are not exactly rare in the U.S. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were more than 500,000 police-reported truck accidents in 2019 alone. This means a reportable truck accident happened somewhere in the country about every minute and a half that year.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation. Your chances of receiving compensation, though, may depend on determining fault for the crash. Obtaining the truck’s event data recorder is likely to be invaluable.
Event data recorders
After a major plane crash, investigators work diligently to uncover the aircraft’s event data recorder, commonly called its black box. Many commercial vehicles have these black boxes too. If you can secure the truck’s EDR, you may know about one or more of the following:
- The speed of the truck
- The position of the truck’s accelerator and brake pedal
- The position of the truck’s steering wheel
- The maintenance history of the truck
- The driver’s use of the truck’s seat belt
If there is some doubt about the cause of the accident, it may be beneficial to employ the services of a professional accident reconstructionist. This individual is likely to glean valuable information from the truck’s EDR. That is, the reconstructionist may use data from the black box to recreate the crash.
It may be possible for the truck driver or the trucking company to destroy or erase data from the truck’s EDR. Ultimately, you may need to take quick legal action to prevent the destruction of critical evidence.