Who Will Be Liable in Self-Driving Car Accidents?

Who Is Accountable? written on chalkboard

We have become used to technology making our lives better. But, when it comes to self-driving cars have we taken things too far?

In the case of autonomous cars, who will be held responsible for the compensatory damages and other remedies to make victims whole again?

Well, following are some of the possible litigants who might be held responsible for an auto accident involving a self-driving vehicle.

The Manufacturer

Depending on the situation, accident victims might have a case against the manufacturer, since product liability law protects consumers from harm caused by defective products.

Almost every self-driving car accident will require an inspection for defects. After all, if the manufacturer put the car on the market, the owner and others have a right to assume the vehicle is operable, right? Any defect linked to the accident will probably result in a lawsuit against the automaker.

The Passengers

The expectation is that an autonomous car should perform its duties to perfection. However, the passengers can affect things. Those sitting in the vehicle can cause the computer to react in a bad way. Something as seemingly insignificant as spilled coffee might be a catalyst for a malfunction.

The Car Itself

States may have to require self-driving cars to hold some degree of insurance.

Just as corporations are legal entities capable of suing and being sued, these cars may warrant a heightened legal status over other non-living things. Just remember, they will be engaging in a basic human function of the modern world, the right to operate a motor vehicle on public roads.

The Owner

Depending on state and federal laws, ultimate responsibility for these accidents could one day be the burden of the car owner. The act of putting such a vehicle on the road could be held to form an implied contract between the owner and others. The failure to anticipate a likely malfunction can be negligent behavior in some cases.

Get Proper Legal Advice About Self-Driving Cars Today

As seen here, there are many possibilities for where the guilt can be placed for an accident involving a self-driving car. The best source of advice is a reputable personal injury firm, such as Dashner Law Firm.

The reality is that self-driving cars are already here and only time will tell when they will become a ubiquitous presence. Find out now how to deal with an accident by contacting Dashner Law Firm before it is too late.