Tesla Sudden Braking Accident Attorney
The latest report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed 750 complaints from Tesla owners whose cars had come to a sudden stop while they were on the road. According to the owners, the vehicle’s automated driving features malfunctioned, causing the cars to brake in the middle of a ride. There were no warnings for the phantom braking, which left owners in fear of their lives if another vehicle crashes into them. The NHTSA has decided to investigate these incidents, and asked Tesla to supply them with any complaints they had involving sudden braking. Furthermore, Tesla has been asked to provide a list of claims for injury, death, and property damage related to problems with their automated driving system. Initially, the federal probe only involved Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. But now, the NHTSA is asking for information on all other Tesla Models, which includes Tesla Roadsters, Model S, and Model X vehicles.
The NHTSA probe will likely result in a recall, which Tesla has experienced numerous times over the years. Considering there are 750 victims so far, there’s a good chance that a class action lawsuit will be filed. That brings up some important questions, such as:
- What are my rights if I was hurt by a Tesla coming to a sudden stop?
- If I want to sue, do I need to join a class action lawsuit?
- I’m hurt but I didn’t crash into another vehicle; can I still file an injury claim?
If you have been injured by a Tesla vehicle coming to a sudden stop, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. But lawsuits involving autonomous vehicle technology are incredibly complex. To win such a case, you will need representation from a lawyer with expertise in sudden stops. That’s what you’ll find here at DTLA Law Group, along with the drive to fight aggressively for your claim from day one. To learn more about your legal options as a Tesla accident injury victim, contact our office and schedule a free consultation.
Injuries from Sudden Braking Accidents
We’ve all had to slam on the brakes at some point in our lives when someone cuts us off in traffic, or we become aware of a hazard at the last minute. In those situations, your body will involuntarily brace itself for the impact. However, there is no opportunity for your protective instincts to kick in when your car stops out of the blue. Below are the most common injuries you can sustain in a car crash if your vehicle suddenly stops:
- Fractures / broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Facial scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Torn ACL / MCL, dislocated kneecap
- Foot / ankle injuries
- Shoulder fracture / dislocated shoulder
- Wrist / hand sprain
While car accidents generally involve crashes, that’s not always the case with autonomous vehicles. Drivers and passengers can be injured from mechanical defects and design flaws, which can lead to problems like phantom stops. Tesla owners in these situations have called us to ask:
“I was not in accident with another vehicle but the sudden stop caused injury. Do I have a case?”
Yes, you may have a case for monetary damages even if you were not in a car crash. The following injuries can happen just from a car coming to a stop with no warning:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Slipped disc / spinal damage
As you can see, sudden braking in a Tesla has serious consequences, with or without a car crash. To protect your rights and recover the damages you deserve, speak to a Tesla sudden braking injury attorney right away.
Can I Sue if I was in an accident because of the Sudden Stop?
If you were injured in a Tesla vehicle that came to a sudden stop, you may be able to sue the company for your financial and emotional losses. While the law is on your side, lawsuits against autonomous vehicle makers are incredibly challenging as this is a newer area of personal injury law. The most important step is proving that the manufacturer is responsible for the sudden braking (mechanical or design issues, for example). That’s the basis of the recent complaints from 750 owners who are experiencing sudden stops with their Tesla vehicles. In their report, the NHTSA stated, “Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, and often repeatedly during a single drive cycle.”
Tesla had remained quiet so far on these issues, but their history of denying liability is well known to the general public. In fact, they’ll go out of their way to insist that owners are careless and rely too much on the car’s automated features. Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t explain why so many Teslas stop right in the middle of a ride, putting the driver and other motorists’ lives in danger. Furthermore, the company can’t deny that the NHTSA is currently investigating 34 crashes, and 28 of them involve Teslas.
As an accident victim, you must take action right away to recover the damages you’ve suffered. A Tesla sudden braking accident attorney can help you file a claim and fight for the full value of your losses. Your lawyer’s experience is essential, as most of these accidents are dismissed as “frivolous” by insurance companies. But the number of serious, long-term injuries we’ve seen from sudden stop accidents tells a different story. Legal remedies are available to you, but companies like Tesla are experts in avoiding responsibility and getting out of paying compensation to their victims. Experienced legal representation will give you the best chance in these cases, which is why you should call us without delay.
Through a lawsuit for sudden braking injuries, you may be able to recover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
While most of these compensation types cover financial losses, car accidents victims can also from emotional trauma. Their emotional distress can turn into mental health disorders like PTSD, which requires long-term treatment from a licensed therapist. The combined costs of recovery can be very expensive, so you must take immediate action on a claim for sudden braking accident injuries. Our lawyers can help you with this process and ensure that you are fairly compensated by the responsible parties.
Do I have to join a Class Action to Receive Compensation?
You do not have to join a class action if you are interested in filing a lawsuit for sudden stop injuries. A class action is certainly possible in the upcoming months, and Tesla is used to settling with class action victims. However, you can go ahead and file an injury claim on your own instead of waiting for a class action lawsuit.
There are, of course, advantages to joining a class action. This is a mass lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who have all suffered similar injuries. Because there are so many plaintiffs, these cases make a strong impression on judges and jury members. In essence, it’s hard to argue that so many people were hurt in the same way by something other than negligence by the defendants. It can also be more efficient to hear from many victims at once, instead of having each of them wait for a trial date. But there are downsides to joining a class action, which is why many victims pursue a lawsuit on their own.
Legal advice is crucial to making the right decision for you and your loved ones. Contact our office and speak to a Tesla sudden braking injury attorney about the pros and cons of joining a class action lawsuit.
What is the Average Value of these Cases?
No two car accidents are the same, so there is no universal value for what a Tesla injury victim is entitled to. Still, we can get a sense of possible recovery amounts by looking at past settlements involving defects with Tesla’s autonomous driving system.
- 6 plaintiffs sued Tesla over defects with their car’s “self-driving” system, including the autopilot mode shutting off while the vehicle was in operation. The company settled with the owners for $5 million.
- A woman crashed into a parking barrier when her Tesla accelerated forward on its own. She received $250,000 for medical injuries and property damage.
- The plaintiff crashed into his garage when his Tesla jolted forward while it was on autopilot mode. His lawyer helped him negotiate a settlement of $300,000.
- A Tesla suddenly stopped on the highway, causing the driver behind it to slam on the brakes. The driver sued for neck and back injuries and settled the case for $100,000.
- A woman veered off the road in order to avoid hitting another driver when her Tesla’s automatic braking system failed. She sustained numerous injuries from rolling into a ditch and agreed to $1.2 million in compensation.
Keep in mind that these are examples and should be used for general purposes only. But these numbers indicate the level of responsibility autonomous car makers have to ensure the safety of their customers, as well as the general public. Sadly, Tesla usually defaults to pointing out that the vehicles are not 100% autonomous, and blame the drivers for relying too heavily on the car’s autopilot functions. However, a company can’t just hold the driver responsible when they offer features like “Automatic Emergency Braking” and “Full Self Driving.” The lawyers of DTLA will fight for your rights as a Tesla injury victim and make sure the company is brought to account for the harm you’ve endured.
How long does it take to Settle these Cases?
As with case values, there is no average timeline for a Tesla sudden braking accident case. Depending on the extent of your injuries and the complexity of your accident, these lawsuits can take a few months to a few years to resolve. More complex accidents tend to result in serious injuries, so it may be a while before you are recovered enough to calculate a fair amount of compensation. Additionally, both your lawyer and the insurance company will need time to investigate your accident. This process can be long and complicated due to the high-tech features in Tesla automobiles. Thus, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year for an injury claim to be filed with Tesla’s insurance company.
After that, it all depends on Tesla’s willingness to negotiate a settlement. If they reject your claim or settlement negotiations don’t go anywhere, you can pursue a lawsuit to recover your damages. For relatively minor injuries, a settlement may be negotiated within the first 6 months. But we’ve represented enough victims to know how stubborn Tesla’s insurers are when it comes to injury claims. It’s their job, after all, to save the company money by denying claims or offering as little as possible. You may feel tempted to accept their offer and move on with your life, but there are dangers to accepting a low settlement. Depending on your losses, it can take many months or years before you are fully recovered. Your compensation is meant to cover these losses and ensure that you can continue to live a decent quality of life. That’s why all settlement offers should be reviewed with an attorney to ensure that you are not being cheated by the insurance company.
If a lawsuit is your only option, legal representation will be more important than ever. Our lawyers can build a solid case to show Tesla’s negligence, and how that negligence was the direct cause of your sudden braking accident. That way, you can present the evidence needed to persuade a jury if your case goes to trial. However, it’s important to note that 95 percent of these cases are settled before the trial date through mediation. If you’re able to agree on a sum with help from a certified mediator, your case timeline will probably be 1 to 2 years from the date of your accident. But if mediation doesn’t work and you have to go to trial, it may take several years before a jury rules on your case.
For more information on the process for a sudden braking injury lawsuit, give us a call and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Contact a Tesla Sudden Braking Injury Attorney
As a car accident victim, you have enough to deal with as you fight to recover the losses associated with your injuries. The battle is even harder without legal representation, but the costs associated with litigation are holding you back from making that call. In that case, we’d like to tell you about our Zero fee guarantee. As our client, you will never be charged upfront for our services. We work on contingency, so our legal fees are factored into your settlement and recovered only if we win your case. And if we don’t win, you will not be responsible for any legal fees, even if we go to trial.
Our Zero fee guarantee will also cover you if you switch over to us from another law firm. If you’ve filed an injury claim or lawsuit but have concerns about the way your case is being handled, please schedule a free second opinion with one of our lawyers. You are under no obligation to switch to us, but if doing so is in your best interest, we’ll take care of the entire transfer process free of charge. So there’s no cost to you no matter what you decide, and no risk in taking the time to come and see us.
Contact DTLA Law Group and let us fight for the restitution you deserve.