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Will Self-Driving Cars Result in More Auto Defect Cases?

In the early 2000’s, Google, BMW and other companies began developing and testing self-driving cars. Now there’s a race to see who will be the first to commercialize autonomous automobiles, but whether it’s Tesla, Waymo, or Baidu, one issue that is likely to surface is the possible increase in auto defect cases.

Yes, driverless cars have the potential to bring huge safety benefits, because most car accidents are due to driver error, whether it’s from carelessness, poor driving or some kind of criminal negligence. Driverless vehicle technology will make it possible for cars to automatically apply the brakes when traffic suddenly slows down and to stay in their lane even if the “driver” falls asleep.

But what happens when a driverless car is involved in an accident? While the laws for self-driving cars are still being written, there are three parties who could potentially be held liable for an accident:

  • The owner
  • The manufacturer
  • The software company

First, the owner may still be held liable for an accident if they improperly set up or configure the autonomous software in the car. However, if a defect in the car’s design or manufacturing causes the accident, the manufacturer or the software company will likely be at fault. This may lead to a rise in auto defect cases, because less drivers will be held liable for accidents once self-driving cars become more available to the general public. As autonomous technology evolves, product liability law will play a pivotal role in how these accidents are handled.

If you have a question involving a car defect that you believe may have caused your injury, please contact our Los Angeles product liability attorneys at Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation. We will seek the maximum possible compensation for the damages you suffer.

Call (866) 884-1717 or contact us online for a free consultation.