Determining Liability in Autonomous Vehicle Accidents
Although self-driving cars may have certain benefits, there are significant technological hurdles that could very likely outweigh any benefits these cars may have. One such obstacle is the great likelihood of driverless cars being involved in serious and fatal accidents. And when these accidents do occur, the most important thing we need to consider is who can be held liable.
Theories of Liability
It is safe to assume that the shift to self-driving cars will expose manufacturers to greater liability. Some school of thoughts believe that the best method of liability is to allow it to develop organically through traditional legal mechanisms, such as:
- Design defect
- Failure to warn
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
- Among other theories
In the event of an accident, courts traditionally assign liability to the parties with the most control over the situation and individuals with the greatest knowledge to prevent future harm. In cases involving human driven cars, such responsibility is generally imposed on the individual driving the car, unless a mechanical issue was involved.
In the case of accidents involving self-driving cars, car manufacturers will generally have the greatest knowledge and control over the cars. Under traditional analysis, it is possible that vehicle makers will bear the majority of the liability.
Other Parties Who May Be Liable
Just because an accident involves a driverless car, it does not automatically mean that the only party at fault is the vehicle maker. An experienced Los Angeles driverless car accident attorney will look at the details of the accident to determine if other parties may be at fault as well.
When an attorney evaluates these types of accident, he will consider three parties and to what degree each may be responsible for the collision:
- The claimant. If it is determined that the claimant is likely less than 51 at fault, it means that there are likely other parties who can be held liable for the majority of the fault for the accident.
- Another driver. Not all driverless car accidents are the result of a product liability case. The attorney will need to evaluate the details to decide if another driver can be blamed for the accident.
- Third party. Sometimes, a third party is to blame for an accident. The manufacturers of self-driving cars would be considered a third party who could be at fault for these types of accidents.
Have You Been Injured In A Self-Driving Car Accident? Call Us.
If you or a loved has been injured due to a defective self-driving car system such as the Autopilot in Tesla cars, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation.
The Los Angeles autopilot car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas advocate for our clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and aggressive lawyering. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas at 949-449-2703.