Liability in Driverless Car Accidents

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San Jose Car Accident Lawyers Give Their Advice

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 94% of the crashes experienced on the U.S. roads are a result of human error. Driverless cars have the potential to minimize the number of crashes that are as a result of these errors. However, these, too, have their fair of challenges. For instance, a driverless vehicle recently hit and killed a woman in Arizona. Should this happen to you, our experienced San Jose car accident attorneys can help you investigate and file your compensation claim.

Who is liable in a driverless car accident?

Several factors come into play when determining liability in autonomous car accidents. One of these factors is the level of autonomy. The different levels of autonomy in a self-driving car include:

  • Level 0 – in this case the driver is in full control of the vehicle
  • Level 1 – the vehicle can control the vehicle’s speed or its steering but not both at the same time. The driver is responsible for monitoring the road conditions and taking over should the assistance systems fail
  • Level 2 – the vehicle can brake, accelerate, and steer specific circumstances. The driver is responsible for responding to tactical maneuvers which include changing lanes and responding to traffic signals
  • Level 3 – vehicles with this level of automation can manage most aspects of driving. However, the driver must be available to intervene in case the system encounters a scenario it cannot maneuver
  • Level 4 – such vehicles can function without human oversight or input but in specific conditions defined by such factors as the geographic area or the road type.
  • Level 5 – these are fully automated cars that can operate in any road and under any conditions

Proving liability in the event of a driverless car accident begins by investigating its root cause. In partially automated vehicles, the driver must be available to control the vehicle when the need arises. After identifying the level of automation, a vehicle collision attorney in San Jose can determine whether the driver was negligent.

In some cases, there may be more than one liable party. For instance, the vehicle manufacturer may have failed to perform the required tests on the vehicle. Also, driverless cars are made up of components such as GPS, sensors, and operating systems that are sourced from different manufacturers. If any of these systems malfunctions, its manufacturer will also be liable.

If You Need Help, Contact our San Jose Car Accident Lawyers

As driverless vehicles are fairly new to the market, the laws governing collisions involving such are continually evolving. The only way to ensure that you will be compensated is by involving a skilled San Jose personal injury lawyer from Farling, Hecht & Davies, LLP. Contact us through our website or by calling at (408) 295-6100.