While you may have pictured driverless vehicles as a feature of the future, self-driving cars are quickly becoming a staple on the streets. With manufacturers across the globe developing this technology, these vehicles are increasing in popularity. As with any new technology, however, there are risks involved. One of the most interesting points to consider is who can be held liable for accidents that occur. Keep reading to learn who is responsible and discover how a Houston auto accident lawyer can help you with this modern problem.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Accidents Involving Self-Driving Cars?
Though many cars have autonomous capabilities, there is still often technology in place that requires a driver to pay attention to the road around them. As such, drivers can be held liable for injuries that result from operating self-driving vehicles. Unfortunately, because the technology allows the car to drive on auto-pilot, many assume this gives them the freedom to do other things. Whether texting, eating, or fiddling with the controls, drivers who are unfocused on the road can be held liable for accidents. Even with autonomous capabilities, the driver must remain alert and ready to intervene.
However, drivers are not the only party that can be held liable for accidents. In some cases, the manufacturer of the vehicle can be held responsible if the technology they created caused an accident. If the technology is defective, the driver may not be liable. This is especially true if the driver is alert and tries to manually intervene with the car’s autonomous capabilities to no avail.
However, there are instances where a driver and manufacturer can be held liable. For example, the vehicle’s technology may not have recognized a stop sign, and the driver who wasn’t paying attention did not react to the upcoming stop. As a result, the car crashes into another vehicle. A driver injured by a self-driving car, in this instance, would likely be able to pursue damages from both the driver and manufacturer.
What Should I Do if I Am Injured?
If injured in an accident involving an autonomous vehicle, it’s essential to take the necessary steps. One of the most important things you’ll want to do after an incident is to contact emergency services as soon as possible. Not only is it vital to have a police presence at the scene of an accident, but it also helps you receive the necessary medical treatment.
If you are physically capable of doing so, you should try to take as many photos and videos of the accident as possible. This can be beneficial later when pursuing a lawsuit for the damages you’ve suffered.
Finally, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney from the Gonzalez Law Group as quickly as possible. In Texas, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident, so you’ll want to proceed quickly. Our dedicated legal team can help guide you through the process and will fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.