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How a GPS black box can prove the truck accident case

October 15, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Video tip 6 for truck accident lawyers

This is the sixth tip from my series of 13 videos for truck accident lawyers on how to handle truck lawsuits. This video is from a past American Association for Justice truck accident attorney seminar. I’m discussing the importance of GPS black boxes (also called on-board hours of service devices).

The takeaway: It’s often very important that truck accident lawyers look at what information is on these devices after a serious truck crash or a death caused by a truck accident. Why? A truck accident attorney can use the black box data to cross-check the truck driver log books, and find inconsistencies with how that truck driver testifies or reports how the crash occurred, proving not only that the driver is negligent, but often that he or she is lying about the speed, hours of service or other critical details before the injury or death occurred.

The ECM or black box data recorders on trucks become another source of fact-checking a driver’s habits.

As I say in the video, there’s also major spoliation issue here, because again, if the black box is requested in a timely manner, and the trucking company fails to produce (they might say that it got lost, or destroyed…), know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that back-up data be kept in a separate location and updated once a month in addition to being kept on the truck.

This is according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rule 395.15.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the top truck accident lawyers in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for truck accident lawsuits. Steve was also named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his work to promote national truck safety.

Related information to protect yourself:

What truck accident lawyers must know about GPS black boxes

Help for truck accident attorneys

What surprising safety violation is the No. 1 truck accident predictor?

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (800) 968-1001 to speak with one of our truck accident lawyers.

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