There is much discussion about a commercial truck’s black box and the importance of obtaining the data from the black box in a truck accident case. The reason for this is because a truck’s black box can contain vital information that proves the truck driver or another party related to the truck was at fault for your car accident. In a truck accident where fault is difficult to determine, the data on the black box may be the deciding factor in a personal injury lawsuit.

What is an 18 Wheeler Truck’s Black Box?

Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBR) — a Black Box — have been in use for a long time; however, there is no federal law requiring the trucking industry to use a black box in each of its commercial trucks. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all trucks be equipped with a black box; however, the law has not caught up with the NTSB’s recommendations.

Because there is not a federal law requiring the use of a black box, there are no industry standards for these devices. The information a black box records depends on the device and its settings; however, most black boxes are capable of recording information including but not limited to:

  • Average speed of the vehicle including the specific speed the truck was traveling at the time of an accident;
  • A maintenance history;
  • Critical data such as whether the driver applied the brakes immediately before the collision (i.e. rapid deceleration or hard braking);
  • The RPMs of the engine prior to the accident;
  • Tire pressure;
  • Fuel use;
  • Hours used;
  • Airbag deployment;
  • Information regarding the anti-locking brake system;
  • If the cruise control was engaged;
  • Engine problems and engine fault codes; and,
  • Daily engine use and history of engine use.

How Can a Black Box Help Me?

The information contained on a truck’s black box can be used to establish fault in a truck accident. However, the attorney must act quickly to preserve this evidence before it is destroyed or lost. The information on a truck’s black box can be erased or recorded over. Most truck companies record over the information on a truck’s black box. If the attorney does not put the trucking company on notice to preserve the black box information, it could permanently be lost.

When a truck accident occurs, the insurance company for the trucking company and/or the trucking company itself sends a team to the crash scene to being investigating the accident. They are searching for ways to limit their liability for the accident. In some cases, this may mean taking the black box because the information on the black box can be used by experts to recreate the accident to prove fault. If this information is damaging to the company, it may want to dispose of the black box quickly to avoid the evidence being used by the accident victim.

A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney understands the importance of a truck’s black box in a commercial trucking accident. He acts quickly to preserve this key evidence so that he can use the evidence to hold the truck driver, trucking company, and any other party responsible for the accident accountable.

Have You Been Injured in a New Orleans Truck Accident?

The truck accident lawyers of The Olinde Firm represent accident victims in the New Orleans area and throughout Louisiana. 18 wheeler accidents result in traumatic, life-altering injuries. Trust your personal injury case to The Olinde Firm. We put your best interest first and we will not stop fighting for your right to receive a fair and just settlement for your truck accident claim.

Contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced NoLA truck accident attorney.