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Yechnology could help pinpoint accident liability

It is not unheard of for negligent motorists in California and around the country to blame the accidents they cause on the other drivers involved or some sort of mechanical failure. Law enforcement, insurance companies and personal injury attorneys have generally relied upon witness statements, security camera footage or physical evidence such as skid marks to determine exactly what transpired in the moments before a collision, but the sophisticated electronic monitoring systems being installed in many of today's passenger vehicles could soon make the process of establishing accident liability far simpler.

The owner of a brand new Tesla Model X learned this the hard way when the Santa Clara County-backed auto maker released details of the sedan's last few seconds before a crash that contradicted accounts that the owner had posted online. The owner claimed that the car, which was less than a week old at the time, suddenly accelerated without warning and only came to a stop when it struck a building, but data released by Tesla revealed that the car was traveling safely at 6 mph until the person behind the wheel abruptly floored the accelerator pedal.

The electronic monitoring systems fitted to many modern automobiles are in constant communication with car makers. This data is generally used to help ensure that vehicles are running properly and drivers are alerted when maintenance is required or a safety issue has been identified.

Personal injury attorneys seeking compensation for car crash victims are sometimes faced by defendants who refuse to accept responsibility for their negligent behavior or blame others, but seemingly incontrovertible electronic evidence could make such protestations futile. In addition to seeking the electronic data kept by auto makers, attorneys may also request the cellphone records of certain defendants. This data could be particularly useful in situations where distracted driving is suspected but denied.

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