One thing you may not have been aware of is that commercial vehicles contain black boxes similar to those used in airplanes. These boxes have a few functions including identifying important operational data such as the speed of the vehicle, highest speed driven, the time driven, the amount of time spent driving over a certain speed, often 65 mph, and other data that could help following a collision.
The black box, more formally known as an Electronic Control Module, is integrated in with the engine of the truck. Since the vehicle may be taken back by the trucking company following a collision, you and your attorney do need to seek the ECM’s data from the company before there is a potential for it to be destroyed.
In many states, the data on the ECM is considered the company’s property, but with a court restraining order, you can make sure that it isn’t destroyed. To get this, your attorney will need to act quickly following a crash. In some states, it’s required to maintain the data if the vehicle was in a crash, but to be safe, your attorney should seek a restraining order to officially protect that data.
ECMs only record data for a certain amount of time before erasing old data and recording over it. Your attorney will need to move quickly following an accident to guarantee that the data will still be accessible through the ECM’s memory. Our site has more information on truck accidents and the steps you can take to help yourself when you make a claim.