Driverless Cars Pose Liability Questions in the Case of Wrecks
Experts say self-driving cars offer considerable potential to make the roads of America safer.
But there are some complex issues about liability in the case of crashes caused by driverless cars that cause injuries, highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
Last year Arizona lawmakers discussed a law laying out guidelines for self-driving vehicles. “Then they got to a question they couldn’t steer around: Who is to blame if a driverless car gets in a wreck?” the Wall Street Journal wrote.
See this video about a self-driving car
In auto accidents of the kind I routinely see as a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer, the answer is simple; the at fault driver.
But what if a car is self-driven and the safety systems intended to prevent accidents, malfunction?
“The answer turns complicated, and the possible targets of lawsuits expand. Is it the company that designed the technology? The car’s owner, or a passenger who should have assumed control? The auto maker that built the car?” the article asked.
Fully driverless cars are many years away, but the big automakers are already testing the technology.
However, California, Nevada and Florida have passed laws on the subject, although they are hardly far reaching.
Eventually federal legislation may be necessary to ensure these important laws don’t evolve on a state by state basis.
So far the federal government has done little. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in October is to conduct research on automated driving but hasn’t issued any rules.
For the time being the cars on the highways of Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake all have drivers. If someone injures you in an accident and it’s their fault and they may be liable. You should consider contacting an experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer.
The Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Hampton, VA personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in specializing in auto injury as well as other accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA, and always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.