FAQ: What if I’m in a self-driving car accident?

The automobile industry has been a leader in technological innovation. Features that are now the norm, like rearview cameras and automatic emergency braking, were nonexistent just a few years ago. More and more functions, typically the responsibility of the driver, are now being automated. While not yet in use by the public at large, we even have completely self-driving vehicles. The goal with self-driving, or autonomous vehicles, is to make daily transportation safer for everyone. There is still much progress to be made and accidents with self-driving cars can, and have, occurred.

Have you been in an accident caused by or otherwise been injured by a driverless, or self-driving, car? For self-driving car accident cases, you need an experienced attorney who has the skills necessary to get to the bottom of a complicated case. Choose a lawy firm like the Hayden Law Firm, who is familiar with previous settlements that have been decided for these types of cases. To get started, contact us or call (314) 480-3100 right away.


Self-Driving Car Accidents

Each car accident is unique, and there are many different ways an accident can occur. In most car accident cases, there is an undeniable element of human error. External factors – weather conditions, road maintenance, medical emergencies, distractions – play into an accident as well. However, whether the driver willfully misoperates the vehicle, such as speeding, or makes an honest mistake, like running a stop sign that is obstructed by overgrown trees, the operator is, at least in part, to blame for the accident.

A lot less is known about self-driving cars and the accidents in which they are involved. Issues on who (or what) is controlling the vehicle, and how reliable the automated features are, make self-driving accidents messy. In addition to injury and accident claims, you may be eligible to file a product liability claim if you purchased or used an automated vehicle that malfunctioned or endangered you or a family member.


Self-Driving Car Laws

Self-driving cars present some very unique complexities in the world of personal injury and accident claims. Where self-driving cars are concerned, legislation and liability both become complicated. It is a new, still progressing technology that the mainstream has yet to adopt in full force. Our laws governing self-driving vehicles, therefore, are not well-developed. We lack comprehensive, universally enforced safety laws and regulations for the manufacturing and use of autonomous vehicles.

Missouri does not yet have any laws in effect for autonomous vehicles. However, about half of the states in this country have some form of legislation for these vehicles, and the federal government has taken some action. The US Department of Transportation published The Federal Automated Vehicles Policy in 2016.

Liability in Self-Driving Car Accidents

Manufacturers hope that their self-driving vehicles can one day make the roads safer for everyone. If a self-driving car is in an accident, though, whose fault is it? In the court of law, precedence set by previous cases on the same issue largely informs a judge’s decision. There have already been cases on self-driving car accidents (all settled outside of court, so far), but liability in these cases is more difficult to determine than in traditional, human-operated vehicle accidents. Whose fault is it: the company that made the vehicle, the company responsible for the software that makes the car “self-driving,” the vehicle owner, or the human “driver” in the vehicle?

As in any other vehicular accidents, many parties are involved and, therefore, many potentially at-fault entities. Things get especially convoluted when the vehicle is commercially owned. This is the case for many of the self-driving cars that are currently on the roads. Google and Uber are two corporations that have begun to test and use autonomous vehicles.

There is also the matter of autonomy these cars have. The human driver can still elect to operate Tesla’s Model S, but Google and others focus on cars that function completely independently without human control. At this point, the self-driving cars on the roads are not fully autonomous. As such, at this time, the human drivers of these self-driving cars are still largely responsible for making sure the car behaves safely, and are therefore liable when the car causes an accident.


Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyers | The Hayden Law Firm

Trust Attorney Amanda Hayden to represent you and defend your rights as the victim of a self-driving car accident. Anyone who is injured due to another party’s actions deserves a lawyer who believes in them and knows how to secure a settlement they feel is fair. Amanda Hayden and the Hayden Law Firm see each of their clients as individuals who need and deserve adequate reparations for their injuries. To find out if we are a good fit for your case, contact us or call (314) 480-3100 right away.


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