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Serving Victims of Truck Accidents in the Chicago Area

truck and car crashAccording to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, out of the 411,000 reported crashes involving large commercial vehicles in 2014, there were more than 3,000 that resulted in a fatality and 82,000 injuries. Accident attorneys know how devastating truck collisions can be, and they are skilled at not only identifying who is at fault, but ensuring that their clients receive adequate compensation for their injuries.

The most important aspect of an attorney’s work is proving your case. While you may know that the truck driver was at-fault, you must prove such in court. An attorney can help by gaining access to the truck’s internal data systems, referred to as the “black box.”

What is the Black Box?

Most semi-trucks and commercial vehicles manufactured in the United States have Electronic Control Modules (ECM), which are integrated into the engine’s components. These control the engine’s performance, ensure fuel economy, regulate emissions, and protect the engine from abuse. They are used to troubleshoot mechanical issues and even monitor how the vehicle operates. They are also a critical piece of evidence following a collision. These ECMs could record data that is useful in determining what happened during the accident, as well as moments leading up to it.

Depending on the make and model of the semi-truck, the ECM could record a multitude of data. The events recorded are referred to by different names, such as Hard Brakes, Quick Stops, Sudden Decelerations, etc. But, the type of data recorded by the ECM may include:

  • Average speed of the truck
  • Highest speed the truck reached
  • Brake times
  • Throttle percentage
  • RPMs
  • Time driven
  • If cruise control was on or off
  • Amount of time the semi-truck drove more than 65 miles per hour

An Attorney Can Help

The truck’s black box can help in a truck accident, because it provides you with factual data regarding how the truck was operating and how the driver controlled it. If operator error played a role in the accident, having data from the black box is even more critical – because it could be the sole piece of evidence that establishes your claim. It is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to obtain the evidence. An attorney can preserve the data from the ECM before it reaches it’s time limit and the data is erased. Also, your attorney can help preserve other evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, police reports, and more.

Malman Law takes your injuries seriously. Regardless of how minor you may think your injuries are, it is in your best interest to speak with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys are available 24 hours per day to take your call, so schedule a free consultation toll-free or request a consultation online.

Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

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    - Cheryl Wagemann
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