With the advent of new technology, drivers on the road are becoming more acquainted with a sensory overload. They must be more interactive than before due to the abundance of touch screens present in cars and the interconnection of personal devices and their vehicles. It is no surprise that self driving cars are leading to some issues and accidents; there is always a period of adjustment that comes with new and unfamiliar technology and transportation. If you are involved in a self driving car accident, whether as the operator or as a fellow driver, you can sue the responsible party for compensation for any injuries and damages you suffered. The fault could lie with the manufacturer of the vehicle, another individual on the road, the person inside the autonomous car, the company who put the self driving vehicle on the road, and more. Our team of attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group in Los Angeles, California, will be able to assist you.
Information on Self Driving Cars
Self driving cars function with the use of artificial intelligence, algorithms to recognize the surrounding area and objects, sensors to determine proximity and speed of other vehicles and objects, data management, the internet, radar, GPS, connectivity, and more. They have slowly been getting more and more popular and have been introduced to the roads on both a personal and a commercial level. The level of autonomy the car has dictates how much input it needs from a human. Some cars only have basic forms of autonomy, such as cruise control, but others can fully navigate roads and keep the drivers relatively safe. Many of these cars, however, have alerts that indicate that a driver should take control for that instance. Some self driving cars have been put on the road by companies like Uber and Google. Uber has experimented with the vehicles to put even more transportation on the road, but an accident resulted in the death of a woman – she was crossing the road at night with her bicycle beside her when a self driving car struck her. The woman in the self driving car was not paying adequate attention and could not stop the accident from occurring.
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Google, on the other hand, has experimented more with freighting and transportation of goods and merchandise. These freighting vehicles, if operated autonomously, would not require truck drivers to stay up for many hours to meet deadlines. The trucks could be routed to fuel stations and would eliminate the risk of sleepy drivers.
How Do Accidents Happen with Self Driving Cars?
Accidents with self driving cars happens due to numerous reasons. All of the vehicles should have a human in the driver’s seat to intervene in case something goes wrong, whether it’s a lack of communication with the car and the environment or a technological failure. Some of the causes include:
- Lack of field of vision of car
- Broken cameras
- Weather (rain and fog) prevent sensors from working
- Broken or faulty sensors
- Brake failure
- Car doesn’t recognize a hazard
- Car’s depth perception is compromised
- Car can’t stop in time when something pulls or darts in front of it
- Improper or outdated technology
- Wrong tech parts from the manufacturer
The accident may even be contributed to other drivers. A self driving car would not be able to do anything if a driver suddenly rear ended you or if someone suddenly merged into your lane and forced you off the road. Even those in the self driving cars could be held responsible if they were not paying attention while on the road. They may have been texting or even sleeping, trusting the car implicitly to make it to its destination, but they would be unable to intervene in case of an emergency. In order to file a claim against the responsible party, you must show that you were the victim of negligence. There are four required points of negligence: you were owed a duty of care, the duty of care was breached, the breach led to an accident, and the accident resulted in physical injuries. To establish negligence, it is recommended that you hire a skilled lawyer who has experience in self driving car accidents. You may not be able to file a claim after your crash due to injuries or an uncertainty as to what to do. Our lawyers will be able to handle your case for you and ensure that you’re well protected and represented.
What Are Some Injuries from a Self Driving Car Accident?
Like all car accidents, the potential for injuries is high. Even though self-driving cars are touted as being much safer than those driven by people, the truth is, an accident will still result in the same type of injuries due to the nature of the cars. They will only be lessened if the cars have additional safety features and can mitigate a lot of the force that will inevitably rock the vehicle. The extent of your injuries will be the primary determining factor of your settlement. Some of the injuries you can receive from a self-driving car accident include:
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- Broken bones
- Knee and hip damages
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck injuries
- Brain damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Severed limbs
- Soft tissue damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Sprains, strains, and fractures
- Cuts, bruises, lacerations, and abrasions
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
What is the Statute of Limitations to File a Lawsuit after a Car Crash?
You only have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a claim for damages resulting from a self driving car accident. The statute of limitations exists so that claims do not sit on shelves or sit for too long without any action; the longer that claims go without litigation, the more likely it is that evidence will get lost or corrupted. There is the possibility that your case can be extended beyond the 2 year limit if certain circumstances fit. For example, if you were underage when you were in a crash (perhaps as a passenger or a pedestrian), the statute of limitations would be suspended until the time you turn 18. Further, if you were severely hurt and unable to physically or mentally file a claim, the deadline would be pushed back to when you returned to full health. An attorney can help you determine how much time you have left on your case and whether or not you are eligible for any exceptions.
How Much is a Self Driving Car Accident Lawsuit Worth?
Your self driving car accident will be valued by an insurance agent handling your claim. The agent will consider how injured you were, how impactful those injuries were, and the effect they had on your daily life and career performance. If you were severely hurt to the point of permanent damage and employment was affected or made impossible thereafter, your claim could be worth much more. The agent will also consider the degree of fault of each individual; if you were partially responsible for the damage, you would likely earn less. You could potentially receive compensation for numerous damages resulting from a self driving car accident. It should be the responsibility of the driver who hit you or the manufacturer of the vehicle to pay for your expenses if you were hurt in an incident. We will fight to bring you a fair settlement, including coverage for:
- Medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, future treatments)
- Lost income (and future missed wages)
- Property damage (vehicular repair, replacement of personal items, repair to other belongings)
- Pain and suffering damages (PTSD, psychological trauma, fear, anxiety, emotional scarring, and more)
- Punitive damages (handed out in times of gross negligence; however, they are seldom handed out, and only a skilled lawyer will be able to win them)
- Wrongful death expenses if a loved one or family member died in the accident (funeral expenses, pre-death medical bills, pre-death pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of expected savings and inheritance, and more)
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Our lawyers will do everything possible to secure you the restitution you deserve. We recommend hiring a lawyer to handle your case; if you do not have an attorney, you may find it extremely difficult to negotiate a worthwhile settlement. The insurance agent will likely throw your case out or ignore any requests you have to discuss a better deal. Our attorneys will work around the clock to negotiate the best offer possible from the insurance agency.
Choosing DTLA for Your Case
Our Los Angeles law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, has taken on numerous cases involving self driving cars. We commit ourselves to our clients and ensure that you are safe and healthy throughout the duration of your case. You will not have to worry about any part of the legal process as long as we represent you. Our aggressive lawyers will fight tooth and nail with the insurance agent to bring you a settlement you are satisfied with, and if we need to, we will take your case to court to prove that you deserve a rightful, maximum compensation amount under the law. Get in touch with an experienced lawyer at our firm to set up a free legal consultation. Our consultations are confidential and meant to inform you about anything you need to know, from the type of compensation you can earn to the potential value of your case. We’ll give you crucial advice so you have the best knowledge moving forward and making a well-informed decision. If you wish to hire us, we will give you our zero fee guarantee. You will not touch your own private savings throughout the case; we will pay for all the necessary expenses during the legal process, including hiring expert witnesses and filing key documents. If we win, our expenses will be paid off from the settlement we secure you. If we lose, you owe us nothing whatsoever, not even a penny. We do this to ensure that your personal finances are always undisturbed. For more help filing your self driving car accident, contact the Downtown LA Law Group in Los Angeles.