Commercial truck accidents are often massive collisions that cover multiple lanes of traffic, yielding much more damage than a collision between two consumer vehicles. The costs of covering these losses may reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even into the millions, meaning that the driver of the truck and the owner are heavily invested in avoiding liability if at all possible.
If you recently survived a truck accident, then you may have medical expenses piling up quickly while your income drops or even stops entirely. You need fair, complete compensation for your losses, which means you need a strong accident claim. Building a strong claim is much easier and effective with evidence gathered from the scene of the accident, and, in some cases, from the commercial truck itself.
Commercial trucks’ black boxes
Just as aircraft contain data recording devices built to keep some kinds of information safe in a crash, commercial trucks also contain electronic control modules, or ECMs, that serve a similar purpose.
The data from an ECM is often very useful when building an accident claim. These devices record information about:
- The average speed of the vehicle in a given timeframe
- The top speed of the vehicle
- The number of hours the driver spent driving over 65 miles per hour
- The average RPMs in the engine
- The number of hours spent idling the engine
- The frequency of the drivers’ seat belt usage
This data can help shed light on driving behaviors that potentially contributed to the accident, but you must act quickly if you hope to get this evidence before it disappears.
ECM data belongs to the owner of the truck
Part of the difficulty of securing ECM data is requesting it quickly before the owner deletes it from the device. Legally, the data belongs to the owner of the vehicle, and the owner may legally discard this data unless you formally request it in writing. Once the owner receives the formal request, they may not delete the data, but if you wait to make the request, it may be long gone.
If you have not yet begun building your claim, make sure you understand the many pieces that you must assemble and the rights that you have to protect. Without a clear understanding of these issues, you leave yourself vulnerable when you most need protection.
Recovering from a serious accident is a full-time job for many victims. Do not hesitate to seek out the legal resources and guidance that you need to strengthen your claim and keep your rights protected on your road to recovery.