Understanding Black Box (or EDR) Data

It’s important to understand that EDRs do not record in words but in binary digital code, which consists of zeroes and ones.  This raw information is useless by itself; it must first be downloaded and decoded through proprietary software.  As a result, we often obtain a court order requiring the vehicle manufacturer to decode the information from the box and produce it.

Once this information is produced, a skilled technician must carefully analyze the EDR data to understand what information was recorded, and whether the information is likely accurate or inaccurate.  Often, information may have not been accurately recorded, or information may become damaged, such as if the electronic connections are disconnected after an accident.

How Automobile Manufacturers and Defendants Try to Use Black Box Data to Their Advantage

In court, automobile manufacturers and other defendants sometimes point to data from the black box of a car or truck to prove that a defective product was not to blame in a car or truck accident. The defense lawyer may show a page filled with rows of numbers from a black box download, and then claim to the jury that injured victim or their family has no case.

The defense lawyer may be wrong.  But it takes skilled experts and technicians, and a knowledgeable lawyer, to refute these claims.

It’s important to understand the process by which the raw information is collected on a CDR.  This information, for instance, does not say explicitly that a driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; rather it says that seat belt usage was (or was not) detected at certain time intervals based upon the sensors used to measure seat belt usage.  These sensors may or may not have been functioning properly, and there may or may not be other issues with the CDR.

How We Fight Back When the Defense Tries to Exclude CDR Evidence

As a result, at trial, the accuracy of the CDR may be called into question by the lawyers for either party.  When the accuracy is called into question by the defendants, it’s important that the injured plaintiffs have an attorney who understands well how CDRs work, and who has an expert that can testify to refute any claims made by the defense.

If an attorney does not have this experience and an expert available to refute the claims made by the defense, it is possible that the CDR data may not be allowed into the case as evidence.  If this happens, the plaintiff’s claims may be seriously weakened.

To Learn More About Black Box Data and How We Can Aggressively Work Towards Obtaining a Recovery For Your, Please Call Our Firm

We will identify all those who may be liable for your injuries and damages, we will seek to prove each and every aspect of your case, and we will seek to recover from those responsible the full measure of compensation owed based upon their actions or negligence.

There is no fee for our services unless we recover for you.  Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation private consultation.


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