Who is Responsible for a Self-Driving Car Accident?

man wearing a suit sitting in the driver's seat of a moving autonomous vehicle reading a book

Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly common on roads all over the world. While these vehicles have been designed to make driving safer, there is still a chance of accidents occurring. In the event that such an accident does take place, it’s important for people to understand who may be held liable and how they should pursue a claim. This blog post will discuss the different entities that may be held responsible for a crash involving an autonomous vehicle.

3 Possible Liable Parties in an Autonomous Vehicle Crash

The Operator/Driver

The first entity that should be considered when determining liability is the individual operating or driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. Depending on whether they were manually controlling the car or allowing it to drive autonomously, this individual can be held accountable if their negligence contributed to the crash in any way.

For example, most self-driving vehicles (like Tesla) require the operator to have hands on the wheel at all times and alerts them if their hands have been removed for too long. Should the driver have their hands off the steering wheel for a prolonged period and there is a malfunction in the autonomous functions that they don’t gain control of, they may be held liable.

The Manufacturer

Another entity that could potentially be found liable for an autonomous vehicle crash is its manufacturer. If a defect in either the hardware or software caused or contributed to an accident, then it is possible that a product liability case could be pursued against them. Additionally, manufacturers could also be held liable if their cars did not meet certain industry standards or other requirements set forth by law.

Government Entities and Regulatory Bodies

Government entities and regulatory bodies can also potentially be held responsible for accidents involving autonomous vehicles depending on what laws they failed to enforce or what regulations they failed to implement.

If a state allowed self-driving cars without proper safety standards being set first, this could lead to more accidents due to the lack of oversight and regulation of these vehicles. This could ultimately lead to legal action being taken against those responsible for setting such laws or regulations, as they would have been negligent in ensuring adequate safety measures were met before allowing autonomous cars on public roads.

Car Crash? Call (888) 302-3669

Mike Slocumb Law Firm understands the unique situation that can occur in motor vehicle accidents. We’ve helped thousands of people across the country obtain the compensation needed to recover lost wages and heal from their injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (888) 302-3669.

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