Possible Legal Issues with Self-Driving Cars

self driving car

Self-driving cars were once thought of as something coming in the future, but many of these vehicles have now been tested or operated regularly on our roads. There are different levels of autonomy when it comes to self-driving technology, and drivers have varying levels of responsibility depending on the particular vehicle.

While self-driving vehicles aim to reduce driver errors that lead to accidents, there are certainly accident risks with these vehicles on the road. The technology might malfunction or an attending driver might fail to take the controls when needed.

If you suffer harm due to a self-driving car, you might have important legal rights, though these claims can be complicated. You need the right car accident attorney in Sarasota handling this type of case to best protect your rights.

Questions of Liability

When a self-driving car crashes into another vehicle and causes injuries, who is to blame? This is a question that has not been fully answered by our legal system, and the answer will likely depend on the circumstances of each particular accident.

The Manufacturer of the Vehicle

Manufacturers of self-driving cars have the duty to ensure the technology is safe and flaw-free before putting these vehicles on the market and our roads. However, there can always be defects in this type of technology or the vehicles themselves, and such defects might lead the car to collide with another car or person.

If the crash can be traced back to a design or assembly defect of the technology, injured victims might file a claim against the manufacturer. In addition, if a manufacturer failed to provide proper and accurate warnings and instructions regarding how to use the technology, the company could be accountable. For example, if the company did not make the driver’s responsibilities clear, and a driver does not realize they need to take action, the manufacturer could be liable for a failure to warn.

The Driver

Many people refer to self-driving vehicles as “driverless” cars, but this can be misleading. In most cases - at least to start - a self-driving car will still have a driver inside. The driver can largely leave the driving to the vehicle’s technology, but they should always be paying attention and ready to take control if needed to avoid a collision.

Many drivers might feel they are off the hook in self-driving cars, and there are reports of driver’s reading books and engaging in other distractions while riding in these vehicles. If a driver was supposed to be paying attention, and the crash happened because they failed to do so, the driver might be the liable party.

Consult with a Sarasota Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible

There are still many complex legal questions that need to be settled when a self-driving car is in an accident. If this happens to you, reach out to Matthews Injury Law for help. We handle complicated and technical car accident cases, so please contact us for your free case evaluation today.