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Insurance Tracking Devices and Car Accidents

| Category: Car Accidents | December 23, 2022

Every major insurance company is now offering lower premiums in exchange for allowing them to monitor your driving habits. These programs work by way of a device that you install in your car or via an app on your smartphone or a combination of both. Similar to a black box on an airplane, the device or app then tracks everything you do while behind the wheel. For many people, the significant savings is enough incentive to participate in the program. However, drivers should consider the ramifications these devices can have in the event of a car accident, especially when it comes to determining fault. You should talk to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney if you have been involved in an accident and one of these apps or devices is at issue. 

Insurance Companies Now Have Access to Massive Amounts of Data

These apps and devices essentially enable insurance companies to track everything that happens while the car is running. This can include the following: 

  • Braking
  • Acceleration and speed
  • Cornering and turns
  • Location
  • Time
  • Lane alerts and similar warnings
  • Phone usage

The stated purpose behind collecting this data is to incentivize drivers to drive safely. Your premiums will remain low if you consistently obey the speed limits, stay off your phone, and generally drive safely. Speeding, driving aggressively or using your phone while driving will cause your premiums to rise. This also means that the insurance company can essentially recreate what was happening with the vehicle at the time that any accidents occurred. 

The Data Can Help You Build a Claim

For people who have been injured in a car accident, gaining access to this data can be powerful evidence in proving that the other driver was negligent. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the other insurance company will voluntarily make this data available. More than likely, you will need to file a subpoena in connection with a lawsuit in order to compel the other driver’s insurance company to provide the data. This means that you will need a personal injury attorney to help you get the data that you need. 

Similarly, if you have a tracking device in your vehicle, your own data can be used to demonstrate that you were driving safely at the time of the accident. 

The Data Can Also Work Against You

One of the most common defenses in car accident cases is contributory negligence, where the other driver claims that your own negligence contributed to causing the accident. In the state of Maryland, you can be barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries if it is proven that you were contributorily negligent. If you have a tracking device in your car, the other driver could use this data to prove that you were speeding or were otherwise negligent. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to overcome this defense, however. 

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Personal Injury Attorney Thomas E. Pyles

These new technologies and the data they provide have arguably made it harder for car accident victims to get the compensation they deserve. We can help – call or email us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.