Monday, November 30, 2009

A "Black Box" in Auto Accidents?

When we hear news stories about plane crashes, they usually include some refernece to the plane's "black box." The "black box" or Flight Data Recorder is the device that monitors the plane's functions during flight and that data can often be used to help determine how the airliner crash occurred. But did you know that many late model cars also have similar devices? (I know, some of you fans of CSI probably already know this...) The development of this technology in cars tracks pretty well with air-bag advances, so if your car has an air-bag, chances are it has the automotive equivalent of a "black box." In your family car this "black box" is known as an event data recorder, and the information can, for the most part, be extracted by knowledgeable accident reconstruction professionals following an accident. (This is not always true as there is a certain lack of uniformity in the technology between auto makers, but it is generally true.)

At this point, the technology does not appear to have progressed to the point of replacing skilled accident reconstruction experts, but the data has generally been found to be reliable and often can be used to corroborate the conclusions of your expert (or perhaps discredit the opposition's expert) at the time of trial.

What does this means for you if you or someone you know is involved in a serious accident? Well, don't let the car get "scrapped" without first taking some precautions to save the data that may be extracted following an accident. In past cases, when contacted early enough, we've taken measures to preserve the vehicle not only for future inspection by our experts, but also for the purpose of obtaining the available crash data. Cynics may scoff, but hiring the right lawyer early on can not only protect you, but also preserve evidence for all to use. After all, the law is there is to serve the interests of justice, isn't it...
As part of our firm's newly revamped web-site, my partner John & I will periodically be posting items on our blogs. We will tread into these new blog waters carefully at first while we get used to this new (for us) territory. We hope that you find the information in this blog, and on our site, helpful.