Recent technology developments brought driverless cars to the roads. Large companies like Google and Uber have self-driving prototypes that are in circulation on the road, but this is just the start of the autonomous vehicle movement.
When vehicular automation is in use, it creates safety concerns for other motorists on the road. In the event of an accident with injuries and property damage, determining who is liable for the incident becomes a priority.
When human error is the reason for a car accident, the victim can use a claim of driver negligence to pursue damages and compensation. When a car is on autopilot, the car is essentially driverless at the time of the crash. It is possible for the vehicle owner to deflect liability by claiming the accident is the result of a manufacturer’s defect. As the issues and concerns with autonomous vehicles are still growing, state laws are continually evolving to address the legal liabilities of car accidents.
State law does require companies employing autonomous vehicles to report collisions involving death, injury or property damage to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the incident. As of early 2022, the DMV reports receiving 465 incident notifications.
While the conditions surrounding a car accident involving an automated system may differ, those who become injured by these incidents still have a legal right to pursue a personal injury claim. It is important to carefully document the incident to preserve the details of your claim, whether it will is against the vehicle owner or a manufacturer.