Self-driving cars are not the future; they are the present. Many companies are making great strides in advancing the technology of autonomous cars and are continuously refining the safety protocols for these vehicles. But, as with any new technology, there is still a risk of malfunction or error.
So when a crash occurs due to an autonomous car, which can be held legally accountable? At this stage, the law still needs to be entirely clear on who has liability in the case of a crash involving an autonomous car accident.
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, 300+ self-driving car accidents occurred in the last ten months of 2022, and 70% of these self-driving cars were from Tesla.
Three to six major parties are usually responsible for a self-driving car crash. They are the vehicle owners, car manufacturers, software designers, companies involved in the supply chain, and self-driving car repairing garages.
Self-driving car accidents are complex; if you or your loved one has recently been involved in such a crash, you should take help from an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney.
It’s difficult to determine the actual liability in an autonomous car crash.
The first question that comes to mind is who is responsible for the car crash, whether it’s a driverless or driven vehicle. The answer to this question needs to be clarified as the law is still developing. It depends upon who was actually in control of the car at the time of the crash. Let’s first understand the different parties involved in a self-driving car crash:
Let’s understand the fault from the perspectives of all these six parties involved in a self-driving vehicle.
1. The driver of the autonomous car
You need to understand that the car is not “self-driving”; the driver is still responsible for the car’s performance. A driverless car is neither an independent “robot” nor a fully autonomous vehicle. The driver is still in control of the car and must ensure it functions correctly.
Car companies like Tesla and Google have warned that the car must be monitored and supervised by the driver at all times for this very reason. Therefore, if a driverless car causes a crash, the driver can still be held liable. The suffering party can take help from a self-driving car accident lawyer and file a lawsuit against the driver.
The thing is, even if car manufacturers are promoting their cars are 100% automated, it is still the responsibility of the driver to monitor and supervise the vehicle at all times. It’s because the overall driving ecosystem is yet to become entirely autonomous.
2. Car manufacturer
The car manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the car is in proper working condition and that all safety protocols are in place. They must ensure that all the safety standards and regulations required by the government are met. If a crash occurs due to a car defect, the manufacturer can be held liable.
The party needs to prove that the crash occurred due to a defect present in the car and that this defect led to the crash. The claimant must also prove that this defect was not previously known to the manufacturer or could not have been known before the crash. In this case, a car accident law firm can help the claimant prove that the manufacturer is liable for the collision.
3. Defective vehicle component manufacturer
As the name suggests, these are car component manufacturers such as brakes, steering wheels, and more. If a crash happens due to any defect in any of these components, the manufacturer can be held liable for it. The claimant must prove that this part was defective and led to the crash.
In this case, a car accident lawyer can help the claimant prove that the component manufacturer is liable for the crash. First, however, the vehicle owner needs to confirm whether the part is manufactured in-house or bought from a third-party vendor. The company can be held liable if the component is purchased from a third party.
4. Companies involved in the car’s chain of distribution
These companies or individuals sell and deliver cars from one place to another. During transportation, the consignment might get damaged. If this is the case, the transporter can be held liable for any damages caused. The claimant must prove that the crash was caused due to the transporter’s negligence or mishandling of the vehicle.
A top-rated car accident attorney can help prove this negligence on the part of the transporter. They will go deep into the case details and ensure that all the necessary evidence is provided to prove the transporter’s fault. It’s crucial to hire an attorney as they can cross-verify that the transport company was indeed negligent and that the crash could have been avoided if the necessary care had been taken.
5. Vehicle Software development and implementation company
Software plays a big part in the functioning of driverless cars. The car software development company is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle functions properly as per its designs. If a crash occurs due to any software problem, the software development company can be liable.
The claimant must determine if the software in the car was bought from a third-party vendor or designed in-house. If the software was purchased from a vendor, then that company can be held liable for the crash. In this case, a car accident lawyer can help in proving the fault of the software development company. They will provide evidence that the software was indeed faulty and that it led to the crash.
6. Third-party vehicle repair shop
These are the garages that carry out repairs to a vehicle. If a crash occurs due to an error in the repair work, the repair shop can be held liable. The party must prove that the crash was caused due to a defective part or improper repair done in the car. Here you need to understand that the repair shop may not necessarily be at fault, but if you can prove any negligence, they can be held liable.
You have to get help from the best car accident lawyers if you are confident that the crash occurred due to improper repair. The lawyers will look into the details of the case and present evidence that would prove that the repair shop was responsible for the mishap. That’s where Karpe Litigation Group can help you regardless of the above-mentioned multiple scenarios.
Hire Our Top-rated Car Accident Lawyers
Karpe Litigation Group is one of the best car accident attorneys in Indianapolis, helping claimants in proving their cases and getting the right amount of compensation they deserve. We are highly experienced and understand all the legal procedures involved in settling a car accident claim.
We will provide the necessary evidence required to prove negligence on someone else’s part and ensure that you receive all the compensation that you are entitled to. We have dealt with hundreds of cases in the past, and our team of experts understands the complexities involved in a car accident claim.
When a self-driving car causes a crash, it is essential to understand who is liable for the damages. In such scenarios, the claiming party must find out who is to blame for the crash and must provide evidence to back it up. From the transporter, software designing company, and vehicle repair shop to any third party involved, each of these parties can be held liable if proven guilty of negligence.
If you need to receive fair compensation for a self-driving car crash, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney. You can also count us as your lawyer. We are committed to providing the best legal service to car accident victims in Indianapolis. Contact us now.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is responsible for a crash caused by a self-driving car?
Depending on the situation, anyone from the manufacturer, software designing company, and vehicle repair shop can be held responsible for a self-driving car crash.
2. How to prove that a third party is liable for the crash?
3. What are the chances of getting compensated for a car accident?
The chances of getting compensated in a car accident claim depending on how strong your case is. If you can provide solid evidence proving negligence on someone else’s part, you have a good chance of getting compensated.
4. Will the court hear my car accident claim?
Yes, the court will hear your case if you present evidence of the other party’s negligence. You can also get the help of an experienced car accident attorney to represent your case in court.
5. Is it possible to get compensation without hiring a lawyer?
You can get compensation without hiring a lawyer, however, it is not the best option. Hiring a lawyer to represent your case gives you the best chance of getting fairly compensated. Also, the lawyer will guide you through the legal procedures and provide expert advice.