Northern California Is Now Home to More Driverless Vehicles Than Ever… So What Should I Do if I Was Hit by One?
Last week, this blog touched upon vehicles with automatic emergency braking and the problems that sometimes arise with that new technology. Of course, automatic emergency braking isn't the only cutting-edge technology on the roads. There are also self-driving vehicles, which are steadily increasing in number. Just as with automatic emergency braking technology, the technology of self-driving vehicles is not 100% foolproof, meaning that accidents caused by driverless vehicles have happened. Whether you were hurt because of errors made by a self-driving vehicle or a human driver, be sure that you protect yourself by putting an experienced San Mateo auto accident lawyer on your side.
San Francisco's PBS station announced it unequivocally: "You're Not Imagining It: There Are More Driverless Cars in SF Now." According to KQED, California had 900 driverless vehicles
registered with the DMV in November 2020. A year later, that number was up more than 150%, at 1,400+. Nuro has launched a fleet of self-driving delivery vehicles
in Mountain View. Bloomberg has reported that Apple is working on a fully self-driving
While these driverless vehicles are piloted by intricate algorithms and cutting-edge technology, they aren't perfect. Just a week ago, CTV News reported on a person who ended up in critical condition after a self-driving shuttle bus
slammed into a tree.
Some issues of law and liability in cases involving self-driving vehicles will be unique, but other things are universal. One of those universal notions is that, if you are hit and injured in an accident, you need a skilled legal team
to do the thorough and in-depth investigation necessary to identify everyone liable to you. This is extremely important because, the more culpable parties you can identify, the better your chances of reaping a full recovery.
For example, to win an injury lawsuit
, you have to identify who or what was to blame. This can be particularly complex if the accident involved a self-driving vehicle. First, was the self-driving vehicle the one that violated the rules of the road, or was the driver of a non-autonomous vehicle the one who committed the errors that precipitated the crash?
Even if you've identified the self-driving vehicle as the one that erred, your work is still far from done. If the vehicle is only partially autonomous, you'll need to obtain the evidence necessary to determine who was driving at the time of the crash... the human or the vehicle.
Was Your Crash the Result of a Hardware Defect or a Software Problem?
If after you've done all that and you've unearthed proof that the driverless vehicle
alone was responsible for the crash, you still have some steps ahead in your pre-litigation process. A driverless vehicle can cause a wreck for many different reasons. An error in the vehicle's computer algorithm may have caused the vehicle to err, like failing to stop or turning improperly. If that's the case, then you may have a negligence case against the entity that created the algorithm upon which the vehicle relied, along with anyone responsible for testing and verifying the algorithm's functionality.
Alternately, the algorithm may have functioned completely properly but the vehicle erred due to a mechanical malfunction. If that is the case, then there are a variety of new avenues down which your case may lead. You may have a case against the manufacturer of the part that malfunctioned, against the vehicle manufacturer, the owner of the vehicle, and possibly any entities responsible for the vehicle's maintenance.
In other words, there are a lot of variables and permutations. What that means is that your self-driving vehicle case can seriously benefit from a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional handling your case. Look to the skilled San Mateo car accident attorneys
at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to be that kind of representative and to help you get what you deserve from your case. To set up a free consultation
with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484
or through our website.