What Happens If You Get Hit by a Self-Driving Car

self driving car accidentBefore the introduction of self-driving cars, the legal process was rather defined on vehicle protection and the responsibility of drivers, proprietors, and car manufacturers concerning vehicle damage and injuries that occur in a car crash. 

The simple yet advanced technology in self-driving cars is leaving its mark on car owners. By 2030, it is assumed that in the U.S. there will be over 20.8 million autonomous vehicles on the road. However, with ever-evolving technology, the features in these self-driving cars require less human feedback, which worries about 28% of driving Americans.

How Do Americans Feel About Self Driving Cars? 

According to the American Automobile Association, most Americans don’t believe that self-driving cars are reliable, and would want more laws established to protect drivers if they are in an accident with one. Six in ten (57%) Americans say they would like to have a clear understanding of who will be legally responsible in the event of a crash with a self-driving vehicle.

Determining who is at fault in self-driving car accidents and who is liable for initiating safety measures have been put into question due to its complexity.  Therefore, if you were in a self-driving car accident, it would be best to seek experienced legal counsel to help you recover compensation for what you deserve. If you’re curious about what happens if you get hit by a self-driving car, here are some things you should understand. 

What Automated Features Do Self-Driving Vehicles Have Today? 

Self-driving cars have fully functional automated features and the ability to override them and take control of the car. This is important to understand because even if the driver was in an autonomous car, they may have been driving without a hands-free stirring enabled.

You should be aware of the different features that self-driving cars have and what they do. Some of these include: 

  • Hands-free steering places the car in the center of the lane but still requires attention from the driver 
  • Adaptive cruise controls down to a complete stop remains a safe distance away between the car in front and the driver’s car 
  • Lane-centering steering automatically pulls the car back between the lanes if a driver crosses the line marking 

While these features are attractive and made to keep driving safe, technology is prone to mechanical issues. Also, new things are always updating on the roads– construction, new roads, and debris. Anything can happen on the road at any given minute, which could make it more difficult for cars that rely on a computer system to react. 

Who is Responsible If You Get Hit by a Self-Driving Car? 

Determining who is responsible for accidents is demanding. There are factors that need to be considered to determine fault in an accident– attorneys review police reports and insurance companies assess the damage, while police interview possible witnesses. They may also review security footage if it’s obtainable. 

People who support self-driving cars believe that once more and more people adopt technology accidents and insurance costs will be reduced. This could be possible in the future, but right now, technology is still evolving and is vulnerable to error. 

Congress has yet to pass any thorough legislation regarding self-driving car crashes, therefore, it has been up to each state to pass its own laws. In general, companies behind the software are liable if the technology fails but drawing the line between humans and technology is perplex. 

The situation entirely depends on if the technology could have been a faulty design or if the negligence of the driver led to the collision. Data from the car system may be able to determine what happened, but it still might not be enough. 

How Does Insurance Handle Self-Driving Collisions? 

Current auto coverage rules and regulations are slowly transforming their policies to be specific to self-driving cars, but it is possible that this type of coverage will come with costly rates.  

Victims who file a claim after an accident are still unsure of who regulates damage and injury reimbursements. 

In a self-driving car accident, pointing fingers at one person usually aren’t the case. Fault would likely be distinguished between either the manufacturer or the driver.

If the manufacturer was found to be at fault for an accident, it is presumed that there would be a few more companies involved such as those who provide the car parts or those who update the tech. Normally, there are 3 types of product defects: 

  • Design effects
  • Manufacturing effects
  • Warning or label effects 

Victims can try to recover compensation by filing a claim with their insurance company or taking a claim to an attorney to sue the insurance company of the at-fault party and other parties that may be involved. Victims may be able to recover compensation for: 

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of future wages
  • Pain and suffering

Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

If you were in an accident involving a self-driving car, determining who is liable could be a complex process. A self-driving car crash involves multiple components to investigate and needs a great deal of time to unfold. For this reason, if you’re a victim of a self-driving car accident, you should seek legal counsel to assist you in revealing all liable parties.

The Umansky Law Firm employs skilled and aggressive personal injury attorneys who will fight to get you insurance companies or car manufacturers to compensate you for what you deserve. Our legal team has more than 100 years of combined experience representing clients injured in car accidents.  We can guide you through the legal process and explain your rights in a clear and transparent way. Call us any time of the day at (407) 228-3838 or complete our contact form for your free consultation today.