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As the second-largest city in the state, the residents of Lexington, KY, understand the challenges created by heavy traffic. Rush-hour traffic congestion is common on I-64 and I-75, and there is often heavy traffic along many of the other roadways connecting the city. With heavy traffic comes an increased risk of being in an accident.

Any type of traffic accident can lead to devastating injuries for all those involved. However, the chance of traumatic injury is increased when you are involved in an accident with a large truck or semi. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the standard vehicle merely weighs between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds. When an accident occurs, passengers in a standard-size vehicle have a severe disadvantage against the incredible size and momentum of a semi-truck.

That’s where black boxes come in—all trucks are required to have them, and they record valuable information such as the speed of the truck at the time of the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, every piece of evidence is valuable.

That’s why you must act now to make your case while the black box data is still intact. The legal team at Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers can help you collect evidence and receive the justice you deserve. We are experienced in handling truck accident cases and have helped our clients receive maximum financial compensation for their injuries.

Call our office right in Lexington, KY, or fill out the online case evaluation form to schedule your free initial consultation.

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What to do after a big truck wreck and how a Lexington truck accident lawyer can help

What is a Truck’s Black Box?

A truck’s black box is also known as an electronic control module (EDM), or an event data recorder (EDR), and is similar to the black boxes found in airplanes. Black boxes began being installed in semi and large trucks in the 1990s as a means to stop fraudulent warranty claims by trucking companies. However, this isn’t the only thing black boxes are useful for; they also help piece together the circumstances of each accident.

The black box is made up of various sensors and components integrated with the engine of the truck. It collects and stores a wealth of information regarding the moments leading up to the crash and can be invaluable in showing what happened at the time of your accident. In many instances, it is the black box that helps us win the lawsuit for our clients.

What information can a black box provide?

A black box contains vital information about the truck’s performance, speed, and location over the last 30 days. It provides information such as:

  • Speed: At the moment of the accident, the average speed over the last 30 days, and how often the driver drove over a predetermined speed limit
  • Cruise control: Whether it was in use
  • Acceleration: Sudden deceleration or acceleration right before the crash
  • Braking: Sudden or hard braking
  • Seatbelt usage
  • Airbag deployment
  • Consumption of fuel
  • GPS coordinates
  • Engines average revolutions per minute (RPMs)
  • Tire pressure
  • Communication: Between the driver and trucking company regarding truck maintenance issues, driver fatigue, or other admissions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial trucks to be equipped with a commercial logging device (CLD). This device, along with the EDR, logs the number of hours a driver is behind the wheel. This ensures the driver isn’t violating hours of service regulations regarding how long they can drive without a break.

Why is it important to preserve the black box data quickly?

Black box data can be the key to winning truck accident cases. Most EDMs record data for only 30 days, and after that, the information stored on them is erased. Some older units record data for an even shorter amount of time. What’s more, when the storage capacity of the EDM is full, it begins recording over previously restored data, erasing it forever.

How to prevent the trucking company from destroying evidence

Usually, trucking companies don’t want you to obtain the information stored in the EDR, and they aren’t going to voluntarily give it out. In addition, they may have the legal right to destroy it unless there is a court order forbidding them to do so. This is another reason why it is so important to contact a lawyer immediately after your accident. An attorney will draft a spoliation letter to the trucking company advising them of your claim.

A spoliation letter legally informs the trucking company that you are filing a claim in relation to the accident. It puts a legal obligation on the trucking company to preserve any information pertinent to your claim, such as the data recorded on the black box.

In addition to the data on the EDR, a spoliation letter may request the trucking company preserve the following evidence:

  • Insurance information
  • Driver’s logs
  • Accident investigation report
  • Daily maintenance logs
  • Maintenance and repair records of the truck and trailer
  • Permits

The spoliation letter may also request the following information about the driver be preserved:

  • Drug and alcohol tests
  • Medical records
  • Employment history
  • Application, qualifications, certificates, and training
  • Driving record
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Compensation After Your Truck Accident

If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. However, you may need to act quickly before the truck company gets rid of the evidence that could solidify your case.

The experienced truck accident lawyers at Hughes & Coleman know the steps to take. That’s how we have obtained damages for our clients, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Vehicle repair or replacement
  • Loss of wages both past and future
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment

Why Entrust Your Case to the Truck Accident Lawyers at Our Firm?

Our legal team at Hughes & Coleman has extensive experience in this area of the law. We have successfully settled countless lawsuits for truck accident victims throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. With access to truck accident reconstructionist experts, safety specialists, and other consultants, we can clearly analyze the events surrounding your case.

We genuinely care about each of our clients and are dedicated to achieving justice for them and you. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you get paid. During your initial consultation, we will first sit down with you and listen to the details of your accident, and then we will explain your legal options.

After taking on your case, we will handle all communication and negotiations with the trucking company, their lawyers, and the insurance companies. We understand that a truck accident can leave victims with severe physical and emotional injuries. While recovering, the last thing you should have to worry about is the financial repercussions of the accident.

Instead, let us fight to get you the financial compensation you need. Call our truck accident lawyers in Lexington, KY, today or contact us through our online chat.

To Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Lexington Truck Accident Lawyer, Call Hughes & Coleman at 800-800-4600

The Hughes & Coleman team fights for your rights and the compensation you deserve. If you were injured in a truck accident, no matter the circumstances, do not wait another day to call us. We want to help you. Call us today at 800-800-4600.

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