Multiple California Pedestrian Incidents Raise Red Flags About a Fleet of Self-Driving Taxis

Multiple California Pedestrian Incidents Raise Red Flags About a Fleet of Self-Driving Taxis

Autonomous vehicles represent one of the more exciting new technologies being developed. Once it's developed sufficiently, the technology has the potential to provide people with substantial boosts in convenience and productivity. When rolled out too soon, however, self-driving vehicles potentially represent a serious danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. Just as all drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, the makers of self-driving vehicles similarly have a duty to ensure their fleet is safe. When those safety duties aren't met and people get hurt (or killed,) a skilled Santa Barbara car accident lawyer can become an invaluable resource to the families affected.

A recent crash in Northern California is an example of that. In early October, a driver and a pedestrian collided in San Francisco. The impact threw the pedestrian into the path of a self-driving taxi. The taxi braked, but not before dragging the pedestrian 20 feet. That dragging was the source of the woman's critical injuries, a city supervisor told Forbes magazine.

Self Driving Car

That October accident is a powerful example of one scenario where skilled legal counsel can help immeasurably with your injury lawsuit. Sometimes, the circumstances of your accident clearly show that one person or entity was liable. Often, though, the facts point to multiple potentially liable parties -- such as the driver and the autonomous taxi company in this San Francisco crash. An adept attorney can use his/her knowledge and past experience to help you make crucial assessments about who's liable and apportioning liability.

Your legal team can also acquire proof crucial to your success. Did the autonomous vehicle perform improperly due to flawed hardware or a "bug" in the software? If the problem originated with something manufactured/developed by a third-party vendor, what degree of knowledge of the problem did the vehicle company have? Answers to these questions can be vital to determining who's liable and to what extent. 

Identifying Causes and Responsible Parties

Several weeks earlier, two of the company's taxis were indirectly involved in a fatal pedestrian incident. A vehicle struck a San Francisco pedestrian, causing life-threatening injuries. An ambulance responded to the accident site, which was near the taxi company's depot. According to the San Francisco Fire Department, the ambulance was ready to leave but was delayed because two autonomous taxis were blocking its path. The pedestrian eventually died from their injuries.

John Frye, Santa Barbara Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
John Frye, Santa Barbara Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Lawsuits arising from accidents like this can present potentially complex legal issues, which again is a huge reason to have powerful legal representation by your side. The driver who hit the pedestrian might be legally liable but, potentially, the taxi company might be too if the evidence proved that the stopped taxis delayed the pedestrian's receiving life-saving care. The taxi's blocking of the ambulance potentially represents an "intervening" cause that can impact each party's degree of legal liability, depending on the extent the delay worsened the harm to the pedestrian.

Whether or not your injury accident involved an autonomous vehicle, you need a powerful voice advocating for you. To give yourself the best chance of the best possible outcome, get in touch with the knowledgeable Santa Barbara pedestrian accident attorneys at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today, and put our diligent and determined team on your side.


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