Auto Accidents Involving Self-driving Cars By Matt Quick on April 19, 2022

car accidentEvery year millions of Americans are injured or killed in automobile crashes. And although the number of self-driving cars is still limited, there have already been numerous instances of auto accidents involving self-driving cars.

Auto accidents involving self-driving cars bring up questions and uncertainty regarding liability, or who is at-fault for the crash. Car accident lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, serving Seattle, WABellevue, WA, and surrounding areas can work with individuals who have been injured in a self-driving car accident to determine who is liable for accident damages.

What are Self-driving Cars?

Self-driving cars are a newer technology in the automobile industry. Different automobile manufacturers have different models of self-driving cars, some of which are referred to as “autonomous” and some of which are referred to as “driverless.” 

These cars have different levels of autonomy. Most self-driving cars on the road have only certain autonomous features, such as cruise control, lane assist, or self-parking. These functions are controlled by a series of computers and cameras. 

It is important to point out that, although they are called “self-driving,” most states currently require that autonomous vehicles have a licensed driver behind the wheel at all times, so they can take over control of the vehicle if necessary.

Liability for an Auto Accident Involving a Self-driving Car

Because self-driving cars are still so new, there is not a lot of precedent regarding how to establish liability when a self-driving vehicle is the cause of a car accident. It is possible for an automobile manufacturer to be assigned at least partial liability if a defective part causes a crash. However, drivers of autonomous vehicles are just as likely to be held accountable for accident damages. 

Most state laws require that someone is behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle at all times, even when an autonomous system is activated. Drivers are responsible for watching the road, monitoring what the vehicle is doing, and being prepared to take over if it is necessary for safety reasons. If a driver neglects to practice their duty of care and an accident occurs, they can be held liable for resulting damages.

Since liability issues for self-driving car accidents are so complex, it is important for accident victims to work with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer, such as those at our Bellevue law firm, who has a thorough understanding of state laws.

What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Crash with a Self-driving Car? 

There are important steps to take when involved in an auto accident with a self-driving car that can make it easier to establish accident liability and pursue compensation for damages, such as:

  • File a report with the police
  • Take photos of the accident scene, damages, injuries, etc.
  • Collect contact information for involved drivers and accident witnesses
  • Make note of as many accident details as possible, including whether or not there was a driver behind the wheel of the vehicle at the time of the crash
  • Report the accident to your insurance company
  • Contact a car accident lawyer

Contact Quick Law Group, PLLC

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can prove invaluable in the aftermath of a self-driving car accident. To learn how the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can be of assistance to you following a crash, contact our practice online, or call (425) 576-8150 to schedule a consultation.

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Brad Fulton, Liz Quick, and Matt Quick

Quick Law Group, PLLC

At Quick Law Group, PLLC, our clients are given straightforward, candid advice about their legal situation, and they are always treated with respect as they deal with the legal and medical issues that result from an accident. Our accolades include:

  • Being named among the 20 Best Car Accident Attorneys in Bellevue
  • Being named a Top 100 Lawyer by the American Society of Legal Advocates
  • Having a 10.0 rating by Avvo

Contact us online or call us at (425) 576-8150 to schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer. If we take your case, we will fight to collect maximum compensation for your injuries.

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