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.