Who Is Liable in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

After a self-driving car killed the first pedestrian in the U.S., the news rippled across the country as a reminder of the fast approaching era of self-driving cars. Decades of research into control methods, navigation and advanced sensors have culminated into autonomous cars, and while the future is exciting to think about, there are many new questions that linger—one being, who is responsible for a self-driving car accident?

Self-Driving Car Accident Liability

Liability for an autonomous car accident depends on the extent of the systems installed in the car, how the driver interacts with them, and the amount of control that’s given to the system. Combined, these factors and more are likely to influence the form of liability decided upon by regulators and lawmakers. Potential forms of accident liability could include:

  • Manufacturer liability: If a driver cedes all control of the vehicle to an automated system, lawmakers may compel manufacturers to assume liability for their vehicles. However, manufacturers could force drivers to take some degree of monitoring the systems involved, allowing manufacturers to plausibly deny at least some degree of liability.
  • Driver liability: If vehicles require human control in an emergency or other situations, it is possible a system similar current no-fault liability insurance system may be implemented.

Regardless, the improvements of accident reporting systems or “black boxes” are likely to help determine accident liability instead of having the determination be dependent on the human memory and the knowledge of accident reconstruction experts.

If you are hurt in a car accident, whether it involves traditional vehicles or emerging driverless technology, you need experienced legal representation from a law firm that understands the changing face of high-tech auto accident law. Contact our Orange County personal injury lawyers at Law Office of Marshall Silberberg immediately. We can evaluate your case, advise you of your rights, and guide you through the entire legal process.

If you’re ready to get started, call (949) 565-4281 or contact us online today.

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