Self-driving Car Accidents: Who’s Liable? By Sean Burke on June 05, 2021

blurry cars in a tunnelThe dream of self-driving cars is to make the roads a safer place, free from human errors and accidents. Unfortunately, several self-driving car accidents have led to fatalities and serious injuries. A car accident lawyer can help hold liable parties accountable when an accident is caused by a self-driving car. 

Self-driving cars are still in the developmental stages but that doesn’t change the fact that they are already on California’s roadways and causing accidents. As their numbers increase, it’s expected that self-driving car accidents will be on the rise in Irvine, CA, and throughout California. Car accident lawyers Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos are here to help if you have been injured in an accident with a self-driving car. 

Self-driving Cars Are on California Roads

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), driverless testing regulations were approved in February 2018 to allow fully autonomous vehicles to be test driven throughout the state. The regulations were later revised to include the testing of driverless delivery vehicles. 

In addition to driverless cars, there are several semi-autonomous vehicles on the road. Semi-autonomous vehicles have driver assist technology that allows a car to drive itself to varying degrees but the driver of the vehicle still needs to pay attention to the road so that corrections can be made if and when needed.  

Self-driving Car Accidents Are on the Rise 

Perhaps someday, self-driving cars will be able to avoid all accidents and be safer than cars driven by people. As it stands today, we are not at that point. In fact, as of the date of this post, the DMV has received over 310 Autonomous Vehicle Collision Reports since 2014. 

The number of collisions has increased in the state of California each year. In 2020 alone there were over 40 incidents and with only five months into 2021 there have been over 30 collisions. While these may not seem like big numbers, self-driving cars need to be held to a high standard for the safety of everyone on the road.  

Who’s Responsible for Accidents with Self-driving Cars?

Self-driving cars are on the roads in California which means it’s possible for Irvine drivers to be involved in an accident with one. When an accident happens with a self-driving car, it can lead to confusion about who is liable. Liability will depend on the situation but may include:

  • The person behind the wheel of a semi-autonomous vehicle or driverless vehicle
  • The driver of a traditional, non-self-driving car
  • The self-driving car manufacturer or company

Seeking Damages for Injuries

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a self-driving car, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries and pain and suffering. Even if you are partially at fault, a car accident attorney can help you maximize your settlement.  

Contact the Attorneys of Burke Argos

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a self-driving car, it’s important to seek the maximum compensation for your injuries to help hold self-driving car companies and drivers accountable. For help with your car accident injury claim, call (949) 644-3434 to schedule a consultation with the Irvine attorneys of Burke Argos. 

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