As driverless or automated vehicles become more and more common on the road, there has also been an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving them. When a driver or pedestrian is injured in an accident involving an autonomous vehicle, the injury victim may not know who is responsible for the accident, which can make it difficult to take immediate legal action.
Fault in a car accident involving a self-driving vehicle depends on a number of factors, including whether one or more vehicles were in violation of traffic laws before the accident occurred.
A car accident attorney may argue that fault in a driverless vehicle accident involves one of the following factors:
The operator behind the wheel of a partially autonomous vehicle;
The human driver of the normal car (not the driverless vehicle); either
The car manufacturers that produced or designed the driverless vehicle.
In most cases, fault in a car accident is due to negligence behind the wheel. Motorists owe other drivers, pedestrians, and others a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving. Drivers have to be aware of other vehicles, pedestrians and other obstacles.
However, fault in an accident can fall on multiple parties. If more than one person or group is responsible for causing an accident, a jury can decide what percentage (out of 100%). of blame each party shares. Even if the injury victim shares fault for causing the accident, they may be able to recover partial damages under California’s “comparative fault” laws.
Victims of accidents involving these types of vehicles can file a lawsuit for damages against the company behind the driverless vehicle after an accident to obtain compensation for their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage, and
- Pain and suffering.
Additionally, if someone is killed in a self-driving vehicle accident, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can include:
- Funeral expenses,
- Loss of income of the deceased, and
- Loss of support caused by the death of a loved one.