Crashed electric car in severe condition

Electric Car Accidents: Black Box & Personal Injury Claims

Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law Oct. 31, 2023

You may have heard of a “black box” being used to record flight data in an airplane. This information can often prove crucially important when the plane malfunctions or accidents arise. However, did you also know that most gas and electric cars are also equipped with a black box of their own? These devices can provide useful data when a crash happens and can be instrumental in helping support a personal injury claim when you’re seeking damages.  

In 2022, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, 18,880 people in the state sustained a serious injury as the result of a car crash, and it’s possible to use the information stored in a black box to help these victims. If you’ve recently been in a gas or electric car accident and want to know more about how a black box may be used to help you get the compensation you deserve, call me, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law. I’m, proud to help clients throughout the Houston, Texas region, including Webster (my office location), South Houston, and Pasadena.  

What Is a Black Box?

A black box – or event data recorder (EDR) -- is now a common addition to most cars built after 2000, including some Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac models made as early as 1994, and this includes electric cars as well. This EDR records information about how the car was operating during an accident that can then be used to better understand what happened. The data can be used by both law enforcement and insurance companies under certain conditions to determine liability in the case of a car accident or personal injury claim. This data is also shared with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to better understand trends in traffic safety. 

What Information Does the Black Box Capture?

The black box records several functions of the car that are recorded in the moments leading up to an accident, during the accident, and directly after it. This includes: 

  • Speed data 

  • Steering 

  • Braking 

  • Crash force 

  • Acceleration 

  • Number of impacts 

  • Crash duration 

  • Seatbelt use 

  • When the airbags were deployed 

An electric car black box can be used to record and transmit data about your battery consumption and battery health. 

Black Box Information and Personal Injury Claims

Whenever you pursue a personal injury claim one of the most important components is proving negligence in a car accident. Therefore, the first question you should be asking when you meet with your personal injury attorney is, “Who is to blame in an electric car accident?”   

Your lawyer will help you gather evidence from the accident scene. This includes photos and video, police reports, witness statements, and in some cases information stored in your car’s black box. Using this, they can begin piecing together what happened which can help determine who actually caused the accident to happen and will therefore be legally liable to pay damages. In most cases, this data can only be used with the vehicle owner’s consent.  

That said, there are instances where it can be obtained through a court order. This will most likely occur if there was a fatality, conflicting testimony, or if the parties involved in the accident don’t remember what happened. Importantly, this information will need to be retrieved as soon as possible since most EDRs only keep data for 30 days before it’s erased. 

Get Professional Legal Help

If you’re looking for an experienced car accident attorney and you live in any of the following cities: Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, Alvin, Dickinson, Bacliff, Kemah, Seabrook, Santa Fe, South Houston, Pasadena, Webster, or Houston, Texas, reach out to me, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law. I have the knowledge, resources, and experience to walk you through the entire process and seek your deserved compensation.