Who’s at fault in a self-driving car accident?

May 27, 2021 Vehicle Wrecks

Technology has been advancing at a faster rate in the 21st Century. Driverless cars, which were once only a product of our imagination, are slowly become a reality. Car manufacturers like Tesla have introduced self-driving technology that allows drivers behind the wheel to give up control and let the car drive itself.

Whether or not you’re a fan of self-driving cars, this type of technology affects all of our lives. It affects drivers and their passengers out on the road.

If you or a loved one have recently been injured in a self-driving car accident, immediately call the Terry Bryant law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to take your call. Let our Houston car accident lawyers help you get the fair compensation you deserve!

Self-driving car accident in the news again.

The first time we heard about a self-driving car accident was back in 2016. A driver of a Tesla Model S had placed the car into Tesla’s autopilot mode. The car’s autopilot system did not detect an 18-wheeler that made a left turn in front of it, and the system did not engage the brakes. Instead, the Tesla tried to drive under the 18-wheeler and its driver was killed.

On its website, Tesla affirms that its autopilot technology requires “active driver supervision.” Tesla expects its drivers to have their hands on the wheel, ready to take control in any situation. Tesla confirms that its vehicles’ autopilot features do not make them “autonomous.” To read more about Tesla’s cars’ autopilot and self-driving capabilities, click here.

Recently, Tesla made news again when two persons were killed in a Model S last month in an area about 30 miles north of Houston. The car was going at high speed, and it went off the road and hit a tree. The authorities believe that the vehicle may have been running on autopilot at the time of the collision, but there is still an ongoing investigation taking place.

You can read more about this new story in the New York Times.

The law struggles to keep up with cutting-edge technology.

As car manufacturers continue to rapidly innovate in an effort to gain market share from their competitors, the law evolves as a much slower rate. Regulators also have had a hard time keeping up with the quick and numerous developments.

A question that has been on everyone’s mind with the introduction of autopilot technologies is who is at fault in a self-driving car accident. Is it the vehicle’s driver or the car manufacturer whose autopilot system was in control of the vehicle’s operation at the time of the collision?

Liability shift in a self-driving car accident.

Some legal experts think that liability will shift from the driver to the car manufacturer when vehicles achieve complete self-driving. Stay tuned for more legal developments in this area.

What should I do after a self-driving car collision?

Following the accident, there are three crucial steps that you should take.

First, you will need to seek immediate medical attention. If you wait too long after the accident to get treated, the insurance company may try to allege at a later time that your injuries weren’t serious. Don’t make that mistake and get medical treatment immediately after the collision.

Second, you should obtain as much information you can at the accident scene, including:

  • Name of the self-driving car’s driver and his/her contact information.
  • The license plate number of the self-driving car.
  • Driver’s license number of the driver operating the self-driving car.
  • Insurance information of the self-driving car.
  • Name and contact information of all potential witness to the accident
  • Pictures of the property damage to every car involved in the accident.
  • Pictures of the scene.
  • Pictures of the road and traffic conditions.
  • Pictures of your injuries.

If you find yourself seriously injured and cannot move to obtain this information, don’t move! Just wait for the paramedics to assist you.

Third, call the attorneys at the Terry Bryant Law Firm. You want an attorney who will fight for you and the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 713-973-8888.

Get the help you need by contacting the Terry Bryant Law Firm.

There are numerous reasons why you won’t want to deal with your claim on your own. The law surrounding self-driving cars is novel; therefore, you want an attorney who focuses on car accident cases to counsel you every step of the way. Further, insurance companies will try to delay your settlement or pressure you into accepting a low-ball offer. You need an attorney to fight for you!

If you have been recently injured in a self-driving car accident, contact our hard-working lawyers to discuss your legal options. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Houston law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.

Attorney Terry Bryant

Attorney Terry BryantTerry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]

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