Considerations of Liability in the Autonomous Car Accident

Jun 5, 2023 | Auto Accidents, Uncategorized

Autonomous car accidents

Autonomous car accidents

The rapid advancement of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles has sparked a significant shift in the landscape of car accidents. As a leading Belleville car accident lawyer, we must consider how these innovative technologies are becoming more common on our roads and the dangers that may arise. Here we consider some of the questions surrounding who is liable in the event of a collision.

The number of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles is growing. This is changing the way liability is determined in car accidents. This technology, designed to make driving easier and safer may, during its early adoption and development, inadvertently lead to more accidents.

More Autonomous Vehicles Equates to More Autonomous Car Accidents

Autonomous vehicles are often called “self-driving cars.” They are fitted with complex sensors, cameras and AI technology. This allows them to drive and make decisions without human input. On the other hand, semi-autonomous vehicles possess some self-driving capabilities but still require human supervision.

The emergence of these technologies promises a future of reduced human error, improved road safety and enhanced driving experiences. However, their arrival has also raised concerns regarding liability and the legal implications of accidents involving autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles.

Technology’s Shifting Liability Paradigm

Traditionally, liability in car accidents has largely centered around human error, such as negligent driving, violation of traffic laws, or failure to exercise reasonable care. However, with the integration of autonomous features in vehicles, the responsibility for accidents is gradually shifting towards the manufacturers, software developers, and other entities involved in the production and deployment of these technologies. This shift in liability is primarily driven by the fact that accidents involving autonomous vehicles often result from issues related to the vehicle’s design, programming, or technical glitches. The question many in our field are asking is: Who is liable in a self-driving car crash?

Product Liability vs. Human Error

Auto accident lawyers are now faced with the task of determining whether the accident was caused by human error or a defect in the autonomous vehicle’s technology. In cases where the accident can be attributed to a flaw in the vehicle’s design, manufacturing, or programming, product liability claims become crucial. Manufacturers could be held liable for defects that directly contribute to the accident, such as faulty sensors, inadequate safety features, or incorrect responses to unforeseen situations.

On the other hand, when human error is involved, the legal framework remains largely unchanged. The driver, even in a semi-autonomous vehicle, is expected to exercise due care and follow traffic regulations. However, determining the level of driver responsibility becomes a complex task when the line between the vehicle’s autonomous functions and the driver’s control blurs. In such cases, auto accident lawyers must navigate the nuances of shared responsibility between the driver and the autonomous system.

The Importance of Data Collection and Evidence

The rise of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles brings new challenges in collecting and interpreting evidence following accidents. These vehicles are equipped with various sensors and data recording devices that can provide valuable information about the events leading up to a collision. Auto accident lawyers must adapt their investigative techniques to access and analyze this data effectively. Additionally, collaboration with experts in automotive technology and accident reconstruction becomes crucial to build strong cases and determine liability accurately.

Legislative and Regulatory Implications

As the number of autonomous vehicles on the road continues to increase, lawmakers and regulators face the challenge of adapting existing laws to accommodate these new technologies. The legal framework must address issues such as liability determination, insurance requirements, and the allocation of responsibility between the driver and the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Auto accident lawyers have a unique role to play in shaping this framework, advocating for their clients’ interests, and ensuring that justice is served in a rapidly evolving legal landscape.

The Importance of Hiring a Thorough Attorney Well-Versed in Technology

The advent of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles has undeniably influenced the way liability is determined in car accidents. As these technologies become more prevalent, auto accident lawyers must navigate the complexities of shared responsibility, product liability claims, and the integration of technology into the legal process. While autonomous vehicles hold immense potential for increased road safety, the legal challenges they pose should not be overlooked.

It is important that attorneys keep well-versed in understanding emerging technologies, open to inviting in the critical input of technology professionals and able to assemble the multi-faceted teams necessary to present this complicated information to a jury.

Keefe, Keefe & Unsell, P.C., win complicated medical cases because of careful case evaluation and litigation of every medical malpractice lawsuit we pursue. Our firm has years of experience in assembling teams of qualified physicians, medical experts and other experts to thoroughly present the cases we represent.

If you’re in the Belleville, Illinois or greater St Louis area, and you’re searching for a Belleville auto accident attorney, call Keefe, Keefe & Unsell, PC at: (618) 236-2221

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