Self driving car about to get into an accident on the freeway

As self-driving cars become increasingly popular, there’s a growing incidence of self-driving car accident cases. Accidents involving driverless cars raise some interesting legal issues regarding who’s at fault for an accident. 

Legal regulations will likely continue to evolve as self-driving cars become more popular. After an accident involving a self-driving car, it’s best to work with a car accident attorney who has experience navigating this unique car accident claim.

Who Is at Fault in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

When seeking compensation for car accident injuries, the first step is determining who was at fault for the accident. In a self-driving car accident, typically, one of three parties is to blame: 

  • Owner of the self-driving car
  • Another driver
  • Self-driving car manufacturer

Under California law, the operator of a self-driving car is still required to follow basic safety requirements. These include remaining in a position that allows them to take control of elements like the brake or acceleration should the need arise. If drivers violate these laws, they can be held responsible for failure to provide proper oversight. 

When a driverless vehicle accident happens due to a technology failure, the company that produced the vehicle can be held responsible. Self-driving vehicles contain various elements that work together to make a driverless car function. 

When any part of a driverless vehicle fails, and the result is an accident, the designer or manufacturer of the driverless vehicle may be found at fault. 

Proving Liability in a Self-Driving Car Accident

Proving liability after a self-driving car accident follows many of the same steps in any car accident case. There will be an investigation into the accident by the car accident attorneys representing each party. 
However, self-driving car accidents bring the added complication of considering whether the self-driving technology played a role in causing the accident. It may be necessary to bring in experts to testify about the cause of the accident. 

Compensation After a Self-Driving Car Accident

Gaining compensation over a self-driving car accident relies on first proving liability. Once a driver or car manufacturer is determined to be at fault for the accident, they can be held financially responsible for any damages. 

A car accident attorney will help a victim determine a fair compensation value. Car accident damages are composed of economic and non-economic damages. The first consists of the losses you can prove, such as medical bills associated with the accident. The second is designed to encompass non-financial damages. 

In some cases, a court can also order punitive damages. These are ordered atop other damages and are intended to punish excessive negligence. 

Seeking Compensation over a Loved One’s Death

If a loved one was killed in a self-driving car accident, a car accident attorney can help you seek compensation for the loss through a wrongful death claim. 
Only immediate relatives like parents, children, or spouses are typically eligible to bring forward a wrongful death claim over a loved one’s death. 

Consult with a Car Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving a self-driving car, a car accident attorney can help you gain compensation for the damages. 
Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today to learn more about your options. 

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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