Using Your Vehicle’s Black Box Data in a Car Accident Settlement

car accident settlement help

How Data Helps in Your Settlement Offer

After a plane crash we hear a lot about the black box.  This “indestructible” unit holds vital information on what happened just before the crash, and can help investigators determine what exactly happened.

But did you know that your vehicle likely contains its own black box?

Depending on when your vehicle was made, different data is recorded; the technology has changed over the years.  For vehicles made after the year 2000, it’s likely there is an Event Data Recorder (or EDR) installed in the vehicle that keeps track of vital data that can help to prove fault (or lack thereof) in your car accident settlement (you can see if your vehicle is supported on this PDF).

How the Black Box Data Helps You

Most black box recording start about 20 seconds before the accident.  They are actually constantly recording, but unless there is an event, the data is overwritten right away.

After a crash, the data stored may include:

  • Speed at time of impact
  • Airbag deployment time
  • Tilt of the vehicle
  • Brake usage
  • Seatbelt usage
  • Steering events

In some cases, such as with newer vehicles, the onboard cameras may be recorded as well.  Vehicles like the Tesla include 8 cameras that give a full 360 view around the car and are extremely helpful to determine what exactly happened.

Keep in mind that without court orders, owner consent, or a few other circumstances, nobody is allowed to access this data.  That is to say, unless you say you want to have it, it’s not going to automatically be saved for you.

Act Before it Erases to Protect Your Car Accident Settlement

There’s a time limit on accessing this data though.  Often around 30 days until the data is deleted or marked to be overwritten.

If your crash wasn’t severe enough to total out the vehicle, it will likely head to an auto body shop.  At the shop it can sit for weeks before parts arrive, or until it gets to the front of the line to be worked on.

Even if your vehicle is fixed before that 30 day mark, sensors and data is often reset before the vehicle is returned to you.  Your car accident settlement may be hurt if you don’t extract the data soon enough.

Your Dallas Area Car Accident Settlement Attorney

Here at Herbert Law Group we are all about helping you get back on the road to recovery.

Studies show that our bodies will heal from physical injuries much more slowly if we are suffering from high levels of stress.  Accidents can tend to cause stress, then dealing with insurance companies, settlements, and still paying the bills while  you may be laid up with injuries… well that makes life even more stressful.

If you have been in a wreck where you’re injured, you need a personal injury lawyer to get rid of some of that stress.  You focus on healing; we focus on getting you the settlement you need.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808 or fill out our contact form and we can get started with your free initial consultation to see how Herbert Law Group can help you heal.