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Self-driving cars, which recently were firmly in the realm of science fiction, are still a work in progress, and full automation for these vehicles has not yet happened. Consequently, a human driver is still necessary, and he or she must monitor the road at all times and must be ready to take over in the event it becomes necessary for him or her to control the vehicle. 

When a self-driving motor vehicle (or the driver of that vehicle) causes an accident, liability for the accident is not always clear-cut. Further complicating matters is the lack of case law on the issue, given that self-driving automobiles have not been around all that long. Finally, many traffic laws that apply to run-of-the-mill motor vehicle accidents – and which are currently in place – were not drafted with self-driving automobiles in mind.  

If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision involving a self-driving automobile, the Chicago car accident lawyers at Malman Law can examine the situation and determine whom you should file your claim against. Call today at (312) 629-0099 or contact us online to learn more about how we could assist you throughout your personal injury case. 


Manufacturer Liability for a Collision

If the car’s technology malfunctioned and led to a collision, the manufacturer of the self-driving vehicle may be liable for any damages suffered by victims. For example, the vehicle might not have detected the presence of another motor vehicle or a pedestrian, or the brakes may not have engaged in a timely manner, bringing about the collision with that other vehicle or pedestrian. In addition to the car manufacturer, a parts manufacturer could also be fully or partially to blame for any collision that occurs. 

As self-driving motor vehicles become more fully automated and less reliant upon humans, it may become clearer that the vehicle or parts manufacturer is wholly to blame when a collision occurs with another vehicle.


Driver Responsibility for a Collision 

Many motor vehicle insurance companies are treating accidents involving self-driving vehicles in the same way as any other motor vehicle accident. In other words, they are looking to what the driver of the vehicle did (or failed to do) to bring about the accident. In their view, operators of self-driving automobiles are still responsible for watching the road at all times, for monitoring the vehicle, listening to autopilot’s audio or visual warnings, and otherwise remaining diligent at all times while they are behind the wheel. Moreover, if the vehicle’s auto-pilot alerts the driver that he or she needs to take over, then the vehicle driver must be prepared to do so. 


Talk to a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision that involved a self-driving motor vehicle, you may be able to bring a claim or file a lawsuit against one or more individuals or legal entities. The attorneys at Malman Law can review how your accident happened and discuss all of your legal options with you. To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Chicago car accident attorney, please call us at (312) 629-0099 or contact us online to learn more. 

Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

  • Top Attorneys Diamond Member

  • Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020

  • The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only professional organization composed of premier trial attorneys from each state. These attorneys exemplify the very best qualities and qualifications of an attorney. Each attorney must meet stringent qualifications as a civil or criminal trial attorney. These attorneys practice in a variety of fields to help and promote the ethical and elite practice of law. Selection is based on a thorough multi phase process which includes peer nominations and third party research. Each member must be in good standing with their local compliance organization. Membership is extended to only a select few in each state and/or region.

  • As the founder of Steven J. Malman and Associates, P.C., Attorney Steven Malman has 21 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Malman is one of Chicago’s leading authorities on personal injury law and has taken a special interest in defending the elderly from neglect and abuse. He has personally handled over 10,000 cases successfully, and collected hundreds of millions dollars for his clients.

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