Speed is often a crucial factor in determining liability in automobile accident cases, especially during snowy and icy conditions. Every person, whether driving a car, truck, SUV, minivan or motorcycle, has a legal duty and obligation to operate his or her vehicle at a safe speed, taking into consideration the road conditions at the time he or she is driving. Regardless of the posted speed limit on a road, drivers must decrease to a safe speed if road conditions are not safe at the posted limit. In fact, many states issue Advisory Orders, reducing the speed limit on highways, parkways, and turnpikes during snow and ice storms. Accordingly, proving the speed of vehicles at the time of an accident is important.
Traditionally, the issue of speed was often proven by testimony of persons involved in the accident and sometimes by eye witness testimony or accident reconstruction experts. However, with the advancement of technology, many automobiles are equipped with a “black box” or other device which records crucial data such as speed immediately prior to an accident. Securing this information may often times be the critical difference in pursuing or defending an automobile liability case. Accordingly, it is important that immediately following an accident that you take steps to secure and preserve the information contained in the black box. There are various ways that this information can be protected, including placing the other party immediately upon notice to preserve the information contained in the black box or other device. If the opposing party does not preserve the information after receiving notice, then his or her failure to do so may result in civil liability or other sanctions.
If you have any questions regarding a car, automobile, motorcycle, pedestrian or truck accident, whether in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience in representing injury victims to your advantage.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.