Can black box technology be used as evidence in criminal and civil courts?
If you have ever been in an automobile accident, it is likely that the events leading up to the collision were captured by a device known as a “black box”. The lay term is “black box” but the technical term which you will see in official documents and court records is “Event Data Recorder” or EDR.
Does my car have a black box installed?
History shows that in the early 1990’s, automobile manufacturers from Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac used the EDR as a way to understand how vehicles performed in accidents. Since 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected data involving car accidents as well. Today every vehicle sold in the United States must have an EDR.
Since 2012, automobiles equipped with EDR are required by the NHTSA to track 15 different data points including speed, steering, braking, acceleration, seat belt use, and if in an accident, force of impact and air bag deployment. To find out if an older car has an EDR check Harris Technical Services or Accident Reconstruction Network.
Will the download of my car’s black box data help my accident lawsuit?
With all this information stored in an EDR, the question becomes whether the data download is admissible in a court of law. Fifteen states have passed laws that give criminal law enforcement and others involved in civil litigation, the ability to retrieve the data with a court order even though the data belongs to the owner of the vehicle. Some argue that the privacy issue should be taken up with Congress when dealing with the issue of crash data.
Lawyers with experience in retrieval and interpretation of black box information
Regardless, the EDR in every car crash has relevant evidence and will likely be retrieved and used as evidence in all civil litigation cases. Lawyers, Charlie and Don Ward have experience in protecting and preserving black block technology data and working with reconstruction experts in the interpretation of the evidence. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim.
By Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501