The complexities of a tractor-trailer accident require much more than witnesses and word of mouth, like many of your day-to-day fender benders. These days, technology is the first place we go to start looking for answers. At The Segal Law Firm, we are knowledgeable about what questions to ask and where to get the information we need to prove the cases of our clients.
It has almost become an industry standard for trucks to be equipped with black boxes. These keep track of several different variables in the truck including mileage, speed and other important data. This data can be downloaded with the correct computer software and often provides a lot of information about what the driver was doing up to and until the time of the accident. It may not be clear at first glance why the drive crossed the median or hit a passing car, but this black box information may be the key that can legally prove your case.
Another interesting development is the fact that big companies are keeping track of their drivers with GPS systems. If you’ve ordered a package for delivery, you’re probably aware of tracking numbers. These allow you to see if your package will arrive in three hours or three days. Well, the same technology allows companies to see where their drivers are, how fast they’re going, where they’re going and what their estimated time of arrival is. This collection of data is often for business user, but during a legal proceeding, this information can come in very handy.
We can usually find out what type of data a company collects by going onto their website. If not, we simply get a deposition from the employee in charge of collecting the data. Under oath, they will tell us how they collect it and where it’s stored. After that, if the company does not make the recorded information available to us, we go to the judge, and the judge takes care of getting it to us. You need a lawyer who is experienced at this process and know how to get into those issues to find out what the company knew about what their driver was doing.
Unfortunately, the black box and GPS systems are not yet industry mandated. The US Congress has been looking at regulations to beef up the type of data collection that has to occur, but with the way our Congress is currently operating, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. It is, however, becoming more of an industry standard, especially with the bigger companies.
Knowing how to get to this information is imperative for you and your family if you’ve been hurt in a tractor-trailer crash. It may not be obvious to the untrained eye, but with a little investigation, it’s possible to find out why these accidents occur. If you have any questions about the type of information available or something more specific to your situation, please give us a call at The Segal Law Firm at 855-344-9100.