When it comes to proving your side of a case, you expect those representing you will use everything in their power to create a compelling story. The more quality evidence you collect, the better your case.  Today, technology has given us ways to know what happened in automobile collisions that people never thought before. The injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno explain how a “little black box” and some high-tech know-how can make your case.

Everyone knows airplanes have a black box that help answer questions following a plane crash. But what you may not know is that some more modern automobiles also have them. Called an Event Data Recorder (EDR), these boxes can make a huge difference in your case. That’s why Todd Rayan and Peter Abbarno, partners at Althauser Rayan Abbarno, have made it their business to know all they can about them.

Peter Abbarno
Peter Abbarno has dedicated his life to helping his clients navigate the complexities of workers compensation laws and helping those injured due to the negligence of others get justice. Photo courtesy: Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.

“The black box is important because the facts are often disputed in automobile collisions, whether because of inattentiveness to details at the time of collision or injury prevents accurate recollection,” Peter says. “The black box can determine a number of facts that eliminates human memory or perception errors.”

The EDR system can give lawyers like Todd Rayan and Peter Abbarno critical information, including GPS location, acceleration and braking, degree the steering wheel turned, and timing on all of these things. In some vehicles, sensors give it the ability to tell what positions the people in the car were in. For example, was the driver leaning out of their seat to reach for something on the floor? All of this, can make or break a case.

But knowing about the technology isn’t enough. Your law firm needs to act quickly to retrieve the EDR data, especially in cases where the car has been labeled “totaled” by the insurance company. Once the car is compacted, the EDR is destroyed forever. In addition, there are standards to follow, including Civil Discovery Rules, to preserve the evidence from a collision scene.

“Just about three weeks ago, I had to retrieve an EDR for a case and I called my expert in the afternoon,” Todd says. “They were down the very next morning. The vehicle was a total loss so they had to actually rewire the car to access it, but they were able to pull all the data off it. This was huge because there was a dispute as to liability. Our experience representing clients injured in automobile collisions creates relationships with doctors and experts. Attorneys that dabble in personal injury may not have those connections and miss important collision information.”

These experts are Forensic Mechanics or Engineers. Forensic experts gather information and data from a vehicle and/or scene and then recreate it to try and find out what happened. And of course, you want the best ones on your case.

Todd Rayan
For Todd Rayan, advocating on behalf of his clients is his passion. Photo courtesy: Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.

“It is difficult to find forensic experts that are credible, one that has the pedigree through training and experience to not only understand the capacity of an EDR, but also know how to access it and has the forensic training necessary to perform an objective analysis,” Todd says. “It is important to remember that the really good ones are used by both defense and plaintiffs and provide objective analysis as opposed to being a hired gun.”

With more than 70 years of combined personal injury experience under their belts, the lawyers at Althauser Rayan Abbarno not only know how to represent your personal injury case from start to finish, but they have strong relationships with the experts to help get your case over the finish line.

For more information, visit Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s website or call their offices at 360-736-1301 (Centralia) and 360-352-1134 (Olympia).


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