Understanding the Role of Event Data Recorders in Auto Accident Cases

Auto Accident Cases

When you are involved in an auto accident, understanding what happened and proving it can be challenging. This is where an Event Data Recorder (EDR), commonly known as a car’s “black box,” becomes crucial. In this post, we will explain how EDRs work, why they are important in auto accident cases, and how the auto accident lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices can help interpret and use this data to your benefit.

What is an EDR?

Most modern cars (approximately 96% of all new cars) come equipped with an EDR that briefly records technical vehicle and occupant information before, during, and after a crash. Think of it as a diary that captures events in the critical moments of an auto accident. It records data like:

  • Speed of the vehicle
  • Throttle position
  • Airbag deployment times
  • Seatbelt usage
  • Brake application

Importance of EDR Data in Auto Accidents

In the chaos of an accident, memories can be unreliable, and witness accounts may vary. EDR data offers objective evidence that can clarify events during the crash. It is like having a completely unbiased eyewitness who can give specific, reliable, and admissible data gathered while the accident is happening.

How Lawyers Use EDR Data

The auto accident lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices understand the technical language of EDR data. They collaborate with forensic experts to analyze the EDR data, ensuring that all information is accurately interpreted and used to strengthen your case. They use this data to:

  1. Reconstruct the Accident: Auto accident reconstruction engineers on our team can use EDR data (along with other information) to piece together what occurred in the accident. This reconstruction can be used to help determine fault.
  2. Corroborate Evidence: EDR data can support or contradict witness statements or claims made by those involved in the accident.
  3. Negotiate Settlements: Objective data from an EDR can be a powerful tool in negotiations with the defense.

Legal Considerations

EDR data is powerful but must be handled correctly. Lawyers must ensure the data is admissible in court and respect privacy and evidentiary rules. The data must be extracted and used in a legally sound way.

Privacy Concerns with EDR Data

One of the significant concerns surrounding EDR data is privacy. The data recorded by an EDR is quite detailed, and there are valid questions about who has the right to access this information. For instance:

  1. Ownership Questions: Who owns the EDR data? Is it the car owner, the car manufacturer, or someone else?
  2. Consent and Access: Can this data be accessed and used without the car owner’s consent? In many cases, legal processes must be followed (which varies by state) to access EDR data, ensuring that privacy rights are not violated.
  3. Data Protection: There are concerns about how this data is protected and who can access it outside of an accident investigation.

These privacy issues add a layer of complexity when using EDR data in legal cases. The auto accident lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices can help you navigate these privacy concerns, ensuring that the data is used in a way that respects everyone’s privacy while still providing crucial information for the case.

EDR Data: The Other Side of the Coin

While EDR data can be a valuable asset in supporting your case, there are scenarios where it might work against you. Understanding these potential pitfalls is crucial:

  1. Contradictory Evidence: If the EDR data contradicts your account of the accident or the statements of witnesses, it can weaken your case. For example, if you claim you were driving at a safe speed, but the EDR data shows you were speeding, this discrepancy can be problematic.
  2. Partial Data: EDRs do not capture everything. This incomplete picture might lead to misinterpretations that do not favor your case.
  3. Technical Errors: Although rare, EDRs can malfunction or record inaccurately, especially if they were damaged in the accident. Discrepancies due to technical errors can complicate the case.

In these situations, the expertise of the attorneys at Schlesinger Law Offices becomes indispensable. They can critically analyze the EDR data, challenge inaccuracies, and provide a broader context to ensure the data is interpreted correctly and justly.

Schlesinger Law Offices Auto Accident Victories:

At Schlesinger Law Offices, we recognize the value and complexities in using EDR data to substantiate our clients’ claims. We serve as the bridge between the technical data and the legal process. Our attorneys use all the available evidence and a team of experts in our thorough investigations to help secure favorable and just outcomes such as:

  1. $30.5 Million for a Brain Injury Case: Our attorneys secured this significant compensation for a family impacted by a severe brain injury due to a car accident.
  2. Roster v. Florida Department of Transportation – $15.7 Million Verdict: Mr. Roster was struck by a drunk driver and was rendered a quadriplegic. Attorneys at Schlesinger law offices meticulously investigated this case, strategically using all available evidence to secure the compensation our client deserved.
  3. $14.5 Million Against Geico: In this case, the lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices argued for a sizable verdict to help compensate our clients for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
  4. $6.8 Million for a Father and Son: This multi-vehicle accident case involving a young child injured as a fetus was complex. Schlesinger Law offices used the available evidence to establish the sequence of events and establish fault, resulting in a substantial verdict for our clients.
  5. Over $5 Million for a Rear Seat Passenger: In this case, our firm was able to secure compensation for a rear seat passenger injured during a collision with another car.


In today’s world, cars are becoming increasingly sophisticated, EDRs play a crucial role in auto accident cases. They provide valuable insights into the crash, but understanding and using this data effectively requires technical and legal expertise. This is why it is important to have the auto accident lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices on your side. With their help, EDR data can be a powerful tool in ensuring that justice is served in the aftermath of an auto accident.