person in self-driving car

As technology advances, numerous car companies have been working on developing self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles). The majority of vehicles today have self-driving features such as cruise control, which allows drivers to drive under certain conditions without full control. However, fully automated vehicles can operate with no human interaction. Essentially, the goal of autonomous vehicles is to prevent car crashes as it is believed these cars will be safer on the road without the risk of human error. As more and more companies develop software for vehicles to have self-driving capabilities, many people wonder who may be liable for an accident involving a self-driving car. Ultimately, as with any type of auto accident, several parties may be responsible. Continue reading to learn who may be liable for this type of accident and how a proficient Westchester County Car Accident Attorney can help you establish fault. 

Who could be held liable for an accident involving a self-driving car?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is tricky as autonomous vehicle accidents are uncharted territory for insurance companies. However, for the most part, if another party’s negligent actions cause a collision to occur, they are at fault for the accident. Understandably many are quick to assume that the motorist of the autonomous vehicle is the only party who can be liable for a collision. In some cases, they may be responsible. If a motorist does not exercise reasonable care while behind the wheel, they are negligent. Although certain automated vehicles do not need human involvement to operate, motorists are still legally required to remain alert as they may have to take control of the vehicle at any time. If they fail to pay attention to the road they are negligent and can therefore be liable for an accident. In other cases, the motorist may not have been able to prevent an accident because there were manufacturing issues or malfunctioning parts. For instance, if there is a mechanical issue such as a failing brake, the manufacturer can be held liable for the accident as the issue that caused the collision was out of the motorist’s hands. Furthermore, another party who may be liable for an accident involving a self-driving car is the software company that designed the vehicle. Autonomous vehicles rely on sophisticated software to operate without human involvement. If there is an issue with the sensors or radar, the vehicle will not be able to detect its environment which can lead to the vehicle not detecting unexpected hazards on the road. In this case, the software designer can be held liable for the accident.

If you have been injured in a self-driving car accident, you need an experienced Westchester County car accident attorney on your side. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek monetary compensation for their damages.