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Who is Liable in a Self-Driving Auto Accident?

Over the last couple of years, the automobile industry has developed unprecedented technologies to make driving safer and reduce road accidents. Some vehicles now know when there’s another car in the blind spot; others will stop or slow down automatically to prevent a collision. But even with these advanced safety features, a driver is still behind the wheel and operating the vehicle.

Determining fault and liability for a crash is usually straightforward when a human is behind the wheel. In most cases, drivers are liable because they are in complete control of the vehicle. But when it comes to self-driving or autonomous vehicles, figuring out fault and liability isn’t so easy.

Liability in Accidents Involving Full Self-Driving Vehicles

The self-driving and autopilot features of Tesla don’t make the vehicle autonomous since a driver must still be behind the wheel while the vehicle operates itself. This enables the driver to prevent accidents from occurring when the autopilot feature is malfunctioning or making errors. In accidents involving self-driving vehicles with drivers inside the vehicle, the driver may be held liable for the crash, even if the vehicle was technically operating itself.

This is known as tort liability, which includes negligence, where the driver of the self-driving vehicle can be held liable for the injuries and damages they cause when their negligence directly caused or played a part in the accident.

Liability in Crashes Involving Driverless or Autonomous Vehicles

Liability for accidents involving truly driverless or autonomous vehicles would fall to the company that manufactured the vehicle and the individuals who designed the technology used by the vehicle to drive itself. But since this technology is relatively new, lawsuits involving these autonomous vehicles vary widely from one case to another. Liability for these accidents is usually determined by the court according to existing laws and new facts based on similar incidents.

In any case, a claim involving autonomous or driverless vehicles will fall under the product liability cases. Product liability refers to the strict liability and negligence imposed on product manufacturers when their defective or faulty designs and products cause injury to people.

Talk to an Experienced Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney Now

Self-driving cars may seem cool and all, but you won’t be thinking this is if you were involved in an accident where a self-driving car crashed into your vehicle because determining fault and liability for the accident and your injuries can be particularly difficult when a self-driving vehicle is involved. This task is extremely difficult, but you do not have to do it on your own.

The Boca Raton car accident attorneys of Demand The Limits recognize the serious dangers that self-driving vehicles can inflict, and we are here to guide you. Our attorneys can investigate your case and figure out fault and liability for your damages. We can pursue maximum compensation for all your losses and hold the negligent party responsible for their actions.

To set up a free case assessment with our Boca Raton car accident attorney, call our office at 561-600-3555 or send us a message online.