TravelWhat You Should Know About Self-Driving Car Accident Claims

What You Should Know About Self-Driving Car Accident Claims


Despite the hype surrounding self-driving cars, they must have a perfect track record. These vehicles can still be involved in accidents, and you need to work with attorneys who understand how these cases are handled.

Typically, drivers must monitor these vehicles and constantly take control if necessary. However, these crashes raise questions about liability and how victims are compensated for their injuries.

Liability Issues

While many people are excited about the promise of self-driving cars, it is important to recognize that they will only be entirely safe once the technology catches up. Contacting a knowledgeable car accident attorney is critical if you were hurt in a crash caused by an autonomous vehicle.

While most crashes in the United States are caused by human error, some may be caused by a manufacturer’s negligence or a defect with the vehicle. Injured individuals can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages in these cases.

However, determining who is liable for an accident caused by a self-driving car can be complicated. Generally, the vehicle owner or operator will be liable for any damages awarded. But, if the accident was caused by a flaw in the vehicle or software, the manufacturer could be held liable under product liability law. This type of claim can take longer to resolve, as large companies with experienced lawyers often contest it.


When a person suffers damages in a crash caused by an autonomous vehicle, they may pursue compensation for economic and non-economic losses. These may include medical expenses, property repair or replacement costs, lost wages and income, pain and suffering, and more.

A self-driving car accident lawyer could help an injured victim determine who may be liable for a self-driving crash. As a result, a claim could involve multiple parties: the vehicle manufacturer, software developer, and various third-party component manufacturers.

Nevertheless, a compensation claim will still be decided using traditional negligence rules. For example, if the vehicle operator is zoned out on their phone and fails to take control of the car when the automation system alerts them, they can be liable for a collision. A driver’s negligence is the main cause of most car accidents, and, likely, this will not change with the introduction of automated vehicles. However, this issue remains complex and requires experienced legal representation.

Medical Expenses

Car accidents involving self-driving cars are complicated and often result in serious injuries. Victims should be compensated for their medical expenses. These should include all emergency and follow-up visits to the doctor, physical therapy or rehabilitation, prescription medications, devices or equipment used for their care, and lost wages if they cannot work.

Most car crashes are caused by human error, which is why most vehicles come with driver-assistance technology like cruise control and emergency braking systems. Many people feel safer in cars with these features, but they do not prevent accidents from occurring.

Automakers are working toward fully automated vehicles. If a person is injured while riding in a vehicle that is not fully autonomous, they may file a claim against the manufacturer or the software developer. The question of who is liable for accidents with self-driving cars is still largely uncharted territory. Still, an experienced attorney can help a victim determine the most effective way to seek compensation.

Time Limits

As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, how we define liability in car accidents will likely evolve. While most car accidents are decided based on traditional negligence rules, a self-driving car accident can become much more complicated.

In the case of a Level 2 or 3 vehicle, where the driver must be ready to take control at any time, liability may shift to the operator if they fail to do so. However, the manufacturer of the autonomous technology could also be held liable if they didn’t include appropriate warnings about the potential risks of their system.

Because many AV crashes involve multiple potentially liable parties, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible and to pursue fair damages. A knowledgeable Omaha auto accident lawyer can help victims of an AV crash pursue compensation from the correct defendant. This can be especially complex when determining whether an accident was caused by software or vehicle hardware.


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