Truck Wreck: Get a Lawyer Who Can Get the Black Box

Aug 21, 2020 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers


If you are hurt by an 18-wheeler rig, you need a lawyer who understands this very specific type of law.

Take this for example. Did you know that most tractor-trailers have a black box very similar to what is inside an airplane? These boxes have been manufactured for most big rigs since the 1990s.

However, there is a tricky part. You must collect that information before it is destroyed. It is not uncommon for the information to be available for only 30 days or so, and then it is recorded over. In my experience, if the information is harmful to the trucking company, there is a greater chance of it being erased.

Since each trucking company handles the information differently, we generally hire an expert to gather the black box information. This is complicated because much of it can be uploaded to remote servers, often in foreign countries.

Here is some of the information that a black box may contain:

  • How fast the truck was going?
  • Was there a sudden acceleration?
  • Were the brakes hit?
  • Was the trucker using cruise control?
  • Was the driver wearing a seatbelt?

I tell clients black box information is like an unbiased witness to the accident. Juries, judges, and insurance companies all seem to respect what this “witness” has to say.

If you suffer a personal injury like an 18-wheeler accident, auto accident or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are working remotely mostly but are always available.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we have come up with.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer