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Black boxes may change car accident liability lawsuits

Many new vehicles in the U.S. may be able to help car accident victims pursuing legal action against another driver, company or insurance company. How so? By using a device called an event data recorder or "black box" that can help reconstruct the events of the car accident.

More than 90 percent of new vehicles in the U.S. now have these black boxes installed in their vehicles, and all vehicles may soon have to have these little devices if the federal government decides to mandate the technology. Black boxes may become the future of car accident claims and lawsuits as the devices record what happened during the minutes and seconds before the crash occurred.

This information is very important for investigators to determine what contributed to a car accident and who may be at fault. The black boxes record the vehicle's speed, acceleration and braking leading up to the car accident. The device can also tell if there were any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash or not, which could help prove if someone left the scene of an accident while others remained in the car.

Black boxes could be very significant in liability lawsuits filed by car accident victims. Since black boxes keep track of a vehicle's speed, acceleration and braking, it can help determine which driver was more at fault for the accident as well as if one driver was possibly breaking any laws. The information stored in black boxes could help victims prove the other driver was negligent or unsafe in their actions leading up to the accident and this evidence could impact a judge's ruling in a liability case.

While black boxes can provide very helpful information for victims of car accidents, it is still important to consult a personal injury to discuss the specific case and see how that information may be used in any legal action taken against the negligent party.

Source: NPR, "Yes, Your New Car Has A 'Black Box.' Where's The Off Switch?" Martin Kaste, March 20, 2013

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