The Legal Issues Associated with Driverless Cars

Florida law now allows driverless cars on the state’s roads. These autonomous vehicles debuted in the city of Tampa back in 2018. As we reach mid-2019, these cars can be sighted on the city’s roads more frequently.

Driverless car manufacturers claim these cars are more reliable as they are not prone to human errors. However, there has been a barrage of accidents involving autonomous cars in cities across the U.S. These go on to show that these cars are not above error.

As they are still a relatively new technology, driverless cars have a lot of legal issues associated with them. With the standard automobiles, it’s easy to determine the victim and the person responsible in the case of an accident. Things are not as black-and-white with self-driving vehicles, especially because we still need more laws and regulations to properly oversee their operation.

This does not mean there’s no one to take responsibility for the accidents caused by self-driving cars. In fact, the driver or the person behind the wheel will still be blamed in most cases. Most driverless car accidents happen due to negligence or a fault in the car’s systems.

For instance, if the car’s sensors fail to detect a pedestrian ahead, it may run into the pedestrian and cause an accident. Driverless car manufacturers like Uber or Tesla have been blamed for such car failures in the past.

Who is at fault?

Driverless cars are still a recent phenomenon. So it can be hard to determine who’s at fault when an accident occurs. The concept of ‘duty of care’ is an important consideration in this regard. Even if a car drives itself, the driver behind the wheel has some responsibility. This responsibility falls under the duty of care.

In simple words, this means that the driver can be at fault in the case of an accident caused by the car. In this sense, there is little difference between standard vehicles and autonomous cars. The duty of car still rests with the driver even if the car is driving on its own. The driver can’t be negligent of the operation of the car and must be able to intervene when alerted or needed.

Things are slightly different if a company touts its cars as fully autonomous. Fully autonomy means that a vehicle requires no intervention. If the company makes this claim, it can be held responsible instead of a non-intervening driver.

What about malfunctioning cars?

Then there’s the case of car malfunctions. Autonomous vehicles rely on sensors and cameras to drive on the route set by the passenger. These sensors and cameras input data in real-time so that the car can avoid collisions and stay safely on the road. However, as with any machine or device, these systems are prone to error.

If a car malfunction causes an accident without warning to the driver, the car manufacturer can be held responsible in principle. Data about the malfunction can be obtained from the car’s systems. However, autonomous car manufacturers are notorious for fighting tooth-and-nail to avoid damages claims. The companies would pass the buck and lay the blame elsewhere in most cases. This is particularly so if the victim is not represented by a formidable legal team.

Autonomous Car Accident Attorneys in Tampa

If you have been a victim of an autonomous car accident, you will need a qualified and experienced legal team. The laws surrounding autonomous vehicles are still rather vague. Manufacturers and other parties may exploit this to interpret the law to their advantage and refuse fair compensation to the accident victims.

This is why you must consult the law offices at Winters and Yonker if you have such an accident. Our car accident attorneys have handled a large number of car accident claims and cases over the years. We review each case individually and develop a plan to make sure your claim is accepted. We also fight insurance companies and autonomous car companies to make sure you receive the fair compensation you deserve.

Hiring a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

If you have an accident involving an autonomous vehicle, you can file a claim on your own. However, the insurance companies and the car manufacturers are going to give you a tough time. You may be required to produce evidence that you don’t have. And the manufacturer may refuse to take any blame for the incident.

When you hire a reputed car accident attorney at Winters and Yonker, that’s a different story. Our attorneys will help you gather the evidence, narrate the incident clearly, and create a case that clearly holds the responsible party accountable. We are not daunted by big-shot lawyers or insurance representatives – and we are willing to fight on your behalf to secure a suitable compensation.

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