In recent years, vehicle technology has expanded at a rapid rate. The newest technologies available in today's cars and trucks can be helpful in proving another driver's responsibility for causing a car accident. These technologies on the market for today's motor vehicles may also help drivers avoid car accidents in the first place.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, our team of personal injury attorneys can help. When an insurance company tries to deny or limit your monetary compensation and damages, a personal injury lawyer can fight that insurance company head on and help you maximize the value of your case.
Burden of Proof in Personal Injury Car Accident Cases
Every personal injury car accident case in Florida consists of two components: liability1 and damages. Liability has to do with who was at fault for the accident – or who caused the subject accident. Damages, on the other hand, have to do with the economic and noneconomic recovery the injured plaintiff may be entitled to as a result of the injuries he or she sustained in the accident.
In order to prevail in a Florida personal injury car accident case, the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant driver had a duty to drive in a reasonable, careful, and prudent manner under the circumstances, that he or she breached that duty of care, and that this breach factually and legally resulted in the subject accident as well as the personal injury plaintiff's injuries and damages.
Denial of Liability by Insurance Companies
Often, insurance companies try to deny liability (or fault) for the accident by alleging that the plaintiff caused or contributed to the car accident or that he or she was partially to blame for the resulting injuries and damages. In other cases, insurance companies will try to dispute who was driving the motor vehicle at the time of the subject collision.
In these instances, modern technology on vehicles can be helpful in assisting injured plaintiffs with proving that the defendant driver was at fault for the subject accident and that he or she was driving the vehicle that was involved in the accident.
Technology on Modern Motor Vehicles
Many car buyers are unaware that almost every motor vehicle that has been manufactured within the past five years contains a "black box" – or an Event Data Recorder (EDR).2 In fact, these devices are mandatory for all new motor vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2014.
Although these boxes do not record audio or video footage inside or outside the motor vehicle, they do record and retain certain vehicle information before and after a motor vehicle collision occurs. This information may include the following:
- Vehicle speed patterns before and after the collision
- Vehicle braking patterns before and after the collision
EDR Technology Data Recordings
EDR technology on motor vehicles is becoming more advanced with each passing year. In fact, some EDRs have sensors under the vehicle's driver and passenger seats that can record the weight of the person who is sitting in the seat. EDRs can also record approximately 30 different types of data, all of which can be helpful for reconstructing a motor vehicle accident and determining who was at fault for the accident. These types of data include the following:
- Changes in velocity
- Engine throttle
- Brake use
EDRs store a vehicle's data in different ways depending on the severity of the subject accident. When a vehicle's airbags deploy, the EDR will save all of the stored information on a permanent basis, including the vehicle's speed, brake use, and velocity information recorded directly before and after the accident occurred. However, in accidents where a vehicle's airbags do not deploy, the information is stored in the vehicle's EDR system for only a limited period of time, after which it is discarded.
EDR technology is helpful because accident reconstructionists and other experts no longer have to rely on the memories and recollections of the motor vehicle driver or passengers(s) to shed light on how a motor vehicle accident happened. They can instead use the vehicle's EDR technology to accurately recreate exactly what happened in the accident and determine who or what caused the accident.
Types of Damages Available to Injured Plaintiffs in Car Accident Cases
Modern vehicle technology can go a long way toward proving fault in disputed liability car accident cases. In addition to proving liability, an injured plaintiff must also prove injuries and damages sustained in the accident. An injured plaintiff in a car accident case may be eligible to obtain some or all of the following types of economic and noneconomic damages:
- Compensation for medical and physical therapy bills
- Compensation for lost wages
- Compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Compensation for past, present, and future mental anguish and emotional distress
- Compensation for psychological or psychiatric treatment that directly results from the accident
- Compensation for loss of earning capacity
- Compensation for loss of consortium or spousal support
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
The insurance company may try to challenge liability in your personal injury accident case and unfairly attempt to place some or all of the blame for the accident on you. An experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney may be able to use modern vehicle technology to prove that the defendant driver was the sole and proximate cause of your car accident.
Even when insurance companies accept liability in motor vehicle accidents, they still may try to limit your monetary recovery and damages. If the insurance company does not place an attractive settlement offer on the table, our highly skilled Clearwater personal injury lawyers are not afraid to litigate your case through the Florida court system or take it to trial if necessary.
To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Clearwater personal injury attorney, please call us or contact us online.Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900