Only a few years ago, self-driving cars were simply the stuff of science fiction movies like Total Recall, but now self-driving cars are already on our roads (and even causing accidents like the March 2017 accident that led to Uber suspending its self-driving pilot program), and may well proliferate on our roads and freeways in the coming years. And, knowing California’s role as a technological trendsetter for the nation, we can expect to see many of those self-driving cars right here in our home state. Which leads to the question of who would be at fault in a personal injury claim involving a self-driving car.
A Non-Driving Operator of a Self-Driving Car Can Still Be at Fault
When a driver takes his hands off the wheel of a car’s operations, both literally and figuratively, that does not absolve him of liability for any accidents caused by the car. As with any personal injury claim involving a car accident in California against a party, the law will look at whether the defendant acted reasonably under the circumstances in operating the car. If the self-driving car owner failed to follow reasonable protocols in operating the self-driving functions of the car, he might be found negligent and thus liable for the physical and emotional injuries suffered by those injured in a crash with the car.
Self-Driving Car Manufacturers May Be at Fault as Well
In addition, the manufacturers of the self-driving car can be liable in a personal injury suit if the fault for the car accident can be traced to either a defect in the design or the manufacture of the self-driving car. If, for example, it can be shown that a self-driving manufacturer failed to include a reasonable mechanism for avoiding the very type of accident that caused a victim’s injuries, the injured victim could pursue financial recovery from the self-driving car manufacturer itself.
Contact an Inland Empire Personal Injury Attorney Today Regarding Your Car Accident
You have many options of personal injury attorneys vying to represent you, and it is your mission as a consumer to find the attorney you trust to be professional, compassionate, and aggressive in winning the recovery you need. As the founder of the Law Offices of Farris Ain, APC, I am committed to providing excellent client service and outstanding results to every client I represent. Please contact me for a free consultation regarding the circumstances of your car accident today.