Should a carmaker be held liable in a self-driving car crash? Who can you
hold responsible for injuries if you have been harmed from a self-driving
When an autonomous car crash occurs, it is important to know what type
of claim to file and against whom.
One Current Self-Driving Car Accident Case
Tesla may be up against a difficult situation because a driver lost his
life in an accident using the self-driving technology of the autopilot
vehicle. The driver died when the autopilot system did not recognize a
tractor trailer that was turning in front of the vehicle. An investigation
is being conducted and the federal government is investigating the company’s
This is just one of many incidents where a self-driving car proved its
inability to prevent an accident from occurring. But can you file a product
liability claim against the vehicle’s company? In some situations,
this may be a longshot because buyers of these vehicles have to agree
to contract terms, requiring drivers to keep hands on the steering wheel
at all times, even when it is set to autopilot. In some of the latest
cases, drivers could have prevented the accident if they had complied
with the agreement.
The problem is that self-driving vehicles, which only take on some of the
driving responsibilities, can be problematic by allowing the driver to
become complacent while they should still remain in control. These systems
can be counted on to handle a lot of problematic circumstances, but there
are still cases in which the driver will need to take control of the vehicle.
Some automakers, such as Google, are under the impression that having a
completely autonomous self-driving car is the best option, one that does
not even include pedals or a steering wheel. This would entirely remove
the driving task from the driver.
In the future, car makers may be held ultimately responsible for accidents
involving self-driving vehicles. State courts assume that future liability
lawsuits of this nature will lead to that conclusion. If there is no driver
to blame, technology would be the undeniable culprit, which would lie
in the hands of the auto maker.
Injured? Contact Our Firm for Your Free Evaluation
If you or a loved one has any questions on an auto accident and want to
pursue compensation, look to Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci. We offer
free initial consultations to help you get started building a case. Contact us for assistance in
Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas.