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Who is liable when self-driving cars crash?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Personal Injury

The future of self-driving cars promises the ultimate relaxation during commutes. Equipped with advanced sensors and software, they have the potential to reduce traffic accidents by eliminating human error. Of course, no machine is perfect, so what happens when this dream car malfunctions and causes a fatal accident?

Is the manufacturer solely responsible for accidents?

Self-driving cars use complex sensors, cameras and software to navigate the road. If a malfunction in the system leads to a crash, other parties may be potentially liable.

  • The manufacturer: If the malfunction stemmed from a design flaw in the car, like a faulty sensor, the car’s manufacturer may be responsible for releasing a defective product.
  • The software developer: The software that interprets sensor data and makes driving decisions is crucial. The car may misinterpret information and crash if there is a coding error.
  • Other drivers: If the accident results from another driver’s negligence, standard traffic laws would apply to determine who is at fault.

Self-driving car technology is still evolving, and the state continues to develop the rules and regulations surrounding liability.

Can I claim for compensation in these situations?

While the future of public and private transportation may involve self-driving cars, laws for circumstances involving this type of technology are still under construction. Courts will consider the specific details of each case, including the car’s design, the software involved and the actions of any human drivers. You may seek legal advice to understand the potential avenues for claiming compensation.

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