Who is Responsible in a Driverless Car Accident?

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Driverless vehicles may be the new wave of auto technology, but they do not come without their own set of legal issues. According to Forbes, 41% of Google’s Waymo autonomous driving vehicles have already been involved in 32 accidents in the Mountain View area. As if driving in San Francisco was not challenging enough for human motorists, now we have another aspect to consider: driverless vehicles. If you have been injured in an accident involving a driverless vehicle, contact the car accident attorneys at Willoughby Brod today for a full and free consultation of your case.

Who is at Fault?

Who is at fault in a car accident involving an autonomous vehicle depends on a number of factors, such as whether the vehicle was fully autonomous or partially autonomous. In order to determine which parties may be at fault, it is important to evaluate the specific case at hand. However, below is a list of parties that may be at fault depending on the specific circumstances.

Vehicle Driver

If the vehicle involved in the accident was a partially autonomous vehicle, and the vehicle was being driven by the driver at the time of the accident, the vehicle driver may be at fault. The liability analysis in this case would be similar to that of a regular car accident involving two cars.

Vehicle Manufacturer

The vehicle manufacturer has a duty to build the vehicle according to the specifications provided to them, and to do so with care. If the accident was not caused by driver error but rather by the vehicle malfunctioning due to an error from the vehicle manufacturer, then the vehicle manufacturer may be at fault.

Software Provider

Since driverless cars rely so heavily on the software that allows the vehicle to do what it does, it is important that the software is not built with the utmost care. A malfunctioning software can easily cause a driverless car accident, and in such cases, the software provider would be at fault for providing a buggy software.

Vehicle Owner

While it is certainly important that the software provider installs reliable software in the vehicle, it is the vehicle owner’s job to follow the instructions that come with the vehicle and perform the necessary updates to the vehicle. If the owner fails to follow care instructions and maintain the car, and their failure to update the car’s software is what leads to the accident, then the vehicle owner may be the party at fault.

Contact a Santa Rosa or San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney Today

The attorneys at Willoughby Brod have years of experience fighting for the rights of car accident victims and remain at the forefront of cutting edge technologies like driverless cars. Our main mission is to make you feel whole again after being injured in a car accident, both physically and emotionally, and we will not stop trying until you have gotten what you want. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us at (800) 427-7020 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.