woman riding in a self-driving car


Three Possible Liable Parties in Self-Driving Car Crashes

Self-driving vehicles are becoming more accessible to people every day, so much so that companies are even beginning to beta-test self-driving rideshare services, long-haul trucks, delivery vehicles, and more.

What this increased availability brings to the forefront, however, is accident liability. While, in most cases, the fault is placed on one or more drivers involved in a crash, what can you do when there is no driver in the vehicle to account for? This blog will dive deeper into who may be held accountable for these crashes.

1. Vehicle Manufacturers

In the event of a crash involving a self-driving vehicle, the manufacturer can be held liable. This is due to their responsibility to create safe products and ensure they are up to industry standards. If the car’s technology fails in any way, resulting in injury or property damage, this could result in civil litigation against the manufacturer.

2. Software Developers

Another party who may be held liable in a crash involving a self-driving vehicle is the software developer. They are responsible for creating and maintaining the technology that runs the car, so if something goes wrong, they can also be sued in court. The software developer may be liable for any damages resulting from a malfunction in their software, such as if the system fails to recognize an object on the road and causes a crash.

3. The Driver

In most cases, self-driving vehicles require a person to be in the driver’s seat with their hands on the wheel at all times. While this isn’t always the case (trucking company TuSimple has operated fully autonomous semi-trucks without a human driver on board), a person who owns and operates a personal vehicle with self-driving capabilities is still responsible for maintaining a safe roadway. Should they take their hands off the wheel to use their phone or be otherwise distracted and an emergency arises, they are likely to be found liable for a crash occurring.

It’s important to remember that most self-driving vehicles are not fully autonomous. Owners and operators still maintain responsibility for reducing crash risks.

How You Can Take Legal Action

If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash involving a self-driving vehicle, it’s important to take legal action as soon as possible. You should consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you identify the liable parties and file a lawsuit accordingly. Your lawyer will also be able to advise you on the best course of action and maximize the chances of a positive outcome.

Contact Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers today by calling (318) 221-1508 to schedule a free consultation.

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