Self-Driving Car Accidents
Devastating self-driving car accidents have already occurred in Texas. The autonomous automobile market is expected to reach over $60 billion by 2026. With more self-driving vehicles sure to be on the roads in the near future, crashes will soon take on a new level of complexity. If you’re in a car accident that involves a self-driving vehicle, call the Fort Worth, TX law firm with the expertise to handle your case with confidence. Call Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today.
Stephens Law Firm, PLLC has recovered more than $100 million for personal injury clients over the years. Founding attorney Jason Stephens is passionate about helping people who have been injured by senseless and preventable accidents.
Attorney Stephens is a nationally-recognized, award-winning trial lawyer with a long list of distinctions, including Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Best Lawyers in America, perfect 10.0 Avvo rating (highest possible rating), Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters, and many more.
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How Stephens Law Firm, PLLC Can Help After a Self-Driving Car Accident in Fort Worth, TX
Any car accident can turn your life upside down. But if you’re in a crash involving a self-driving car, the process is going to be complicated. Proving liability, fighting with insurance companies, and even publicity issues could all be part of the hassle. Let us help.
When you hire our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers, you can trust us to:
- Investigate the circumstances of your accident to pinpoint the cause
- Hire experts to analyze technical aspects of your case
- Calculate your damage to include past and future losses related to your accident
- Handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies
- Send an award-winning trial lawyer to fight for you in court, if you are not offered a fair settlement amount
We have the experience and resources to do what it takes to win – we’ve done so time and again for our clients. That’s why so many of our fellow lawyers send clients our way when they know of someone who needs an excellent Fort Worth, Texas car accident attorney. You have nothing to lose by calling for your free case evaluation. And if you hire us, you don’t pay us anything unless we secure a financial award for you.
What Is a Self-Driving Car?
While there’s a lot of hype around self-driving or driverless cars, completely autonomous cars are not yet on the road. Even Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” option is designed to have human intervention and oversight. Dallas, TX is in the running for Ford’s new initiative to make driverless cars.
Most vehicles on the road today have some level of automation. Your car may have adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping technology, or parking assistance.
According to the Society for Automotive Engineers, there are five different levels of automation in vehicles. Self-driving cars use technology like LiDAR and RADAR to provide information about their surroundings.
These cars have no level of automation. They might have alert systems, such as a warning if you are drifting out of your lane or are about to back into something. But a human controls all of the car’s speed and steering. These cars might have cruise control, but you have to manually control all aspects of it.
Cars with level 1 technology provide some driver assistance with speed or steering (but not both). For example, some cars have adaptive or dynamic cruise control that detects when you’re too close to a car in front of you and automatically reduces speed. That’s level 1 automation.
Vehicles with level 2 or partial driving automation have the capability to control steering and braking/acceleration simultaneously under certain conditions. Cars with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist would fall in this category. These systems usually deactivate after a relatively short period of time if hands are not detected on the steering wheel. The human still needs to monitor the driving environment.
Cars with level 3 or conditional automation can perform steering and speed and can monitor their surroundings on their own, but only under certain conditions. They have an alert system that notifies the driver when the driver needs to take over.
Level 4 is high automation. These cars are capable of operating without human intervention, but only under certain conditions, such as below a certain speed limit or within certain software-enabled areas (geofencing). These cars have some ability to take control if there is a system failure but still require human oversight.
Level 5 cars are fully automated. Level 5 cars are able to drive completely on their own in all circumstances without the need for human oversight or control.
From a human perspective, it may be hard to tell the difference in some of the levels of automation. But there is a big difference in the technology. Regulations, infrastructure, and cybersecurity must be ready before higher-level autonomous cars reach the market.
Who Is Liable in a Self-Driving Car Crash?
The answer to this complex question will continue to evolve as more self-driving cars hit the roads. Liability will be determined just like in any other automobile accident: by investigating and finding out what caused the accident, then tracing that to who is responsible.
But with self-driving cars, that could be complicated. Humans are still considered the drivers of cars with partially autonomous capability. But just like in any other accident, that doesn’t mean there won’t be other potential parties liable.
Parties who could be liable in a self-driving car accident include:
- Driver of the vehicle
- Car manufacturer
- Manufacturer of automated technology
- Government entities if the cause of the accident is related to infrastructure or regulations
Determining whether the crash was caused by lack of human oversight, defective technology, or improperly regulated automobiles can be tricky, but critical to your case.
Call a Fort Worth Car Accident Law Firm Today
Were you hurt in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle? Call the Fort Worth self-driving car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC for help. We have a long history of holding insurance companies accountable and making them pay fair compensation to injured victims like you.
We’ve been handling tough cases for more than 20 years – and winning big for our clients. Your initial consultation is completely free, so call today to learn how we can help.