Self-Driving Car Accident

As the popularity of autonomous cars continues to rise and more drivers make the switch to self-driving vehicles, the number of autonomous car accidents will inevitably increase.

While most accidents are due to driver error, malfunctions in the mechanics and computers of autonomous cars do cause accidents.

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If you are involved in an accident at no fault of your own, you may qualify to file a self-driving car accident lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for free, no-obligation case consultation with a self-driving car accident lawyer.

An autonomous car lawyer can review the details of your case to determine what legal options you have to gain compensation for the losses you incurred.

You can also use our chatbot below to get an instant online case evaluation for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

TorHoerman Law operates on a contingency fee basis.

Thus, our clients do not owe any form of payment or legal fees until we have won their case.

Compensation amounts in personal injury lawsuits vary depending on certain circumstances.

For instance, those who have suffered major injuries are typically awarded a higher amount than those with minor damages.

Talk to an experienced autonomous car accident lawyer to determine how much compensation you could receive.

Determining liability in self-driving car accidents can be a difficult task.

The latest blueprints suggest that a fully autonomous Level 5 car will not include a dashboard or steering wheel, so a human passenger would not even have the option to take control of the vehicle.

However, in self-driving cars that enable humans to operate a vehicle, the driver may be held accountable for a self-driving car accident due to their own negligence.

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Table of Contents

Autonomous Cars

To execute their software, autonomous cars rely on:

  • Sensors
  • Actuators
  • Complex algorithms
  • Machine learning systems
  • Powerful processors

These cars create and maintain a map of their surroundings based on a variety of sensors in different parts of the vehicle.

While self-driving cars may be the future of roadway travel, they currently bring more potential danger to roadway occupants.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving an autonomous car, you should contact a self-driving car accident lawyer immediately.

How Do Driverless Cars Work?

The continuing evolution of automotive technology aims to deliver greater safety benefits and deliver automated driving systems (ADS) that can handle the entire task of driving.

Ultrasonic Sensors

Ultrasonic sensors are used to assist drivers with parking and nearby obstacle detection.

They send out short ultrasonic impulses which are reflected by objects.

Radar Sensors

Radar sensors monitor the position of nearby vehicles.

These sensors send out radio waves that detect objects and gauge their distance and speed in relation to the vehicle in real-time.

Image Sensors

Autonomous cars often have video cameras and sensors in order to see and interpret the objects in the road just like human drivers do with their own eyes.

LiDAR Sensors

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors bounce pulses of light off the car’s surroundings to measure distances, detect road edges, and identify lane markings.

LiDAR is expensive and is still trying to strike the right balance between range and resolution.

Are Self-Driving Cars Legal in the United States?

There are currently 37 states along with the District of Columbia that have enacted legislation or issued executive orders regarding self-driving vehicles (2020).

13 states simply authorize a study, define key terms, or state contacts, or authorize funding.

While 11 states and the District of Columbia authorize full deployment.

Of the previously mentioned states, 12 of them allow testing or deployment without a human operator present in the vehicle.

Lastly, five states regulate truck platooning.

The Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) Levels of Driverless Automation

Fully autonomous cars and trucks that drive humans instead of humans driving them are likely to become a reality soon.

Self-driving vehicles will integrate onto U.S. roadways by progressing through six levels of driver assistance technology advancements in the coming years.

These levels span from Level 1 to Level 6, which are defined as:

  • Level 1:  No automation
    • Where a fully engaged driver is required at all times
  • Level 6:  Full autonomy
    • Where an automated vehicle operates independently, without a human driver

Level 1:  No Automation

Zero autonomy.

The driver is the one performing all the driving tasks.

Level 2:  Driver Assistance

The vehicle is controlled by the driver, but some driving assist features are included in the vehicle design.

The vehicle may be able to help the driver with steering, braking, or accelerating, but not both simultaneously.

Level 3:  Partial Automation

A vehicle with partial automation has combined automated functions like acceleration and steering, but the driver must always remain engaged with driving.

Level 4:  Conditional Automation

The driver is still a necessity in conditional automation, but they are not required to monitor their environment.

While the driver does not always have to be engaged with driving, they must be ready to take control of the vehicle with notice.

Level 5:  High Automation

In high automation cars, the vehicle can perform all driving functions under certain conditions.

Under these conditions, passengers do not even have to pay attention to the roadway.

The driver may not even have the option to control the vehicle.

Level 6:  Full Automation

The vehicle can perform all driving functions under all conditions.

Drivers and passengers are not required to maintain focus on the road.

Once again, the driver may not even be able to control the car.

Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?

The safety benefits of automated vehicles are paramount.

The potential of self-driving vehicles to save lives and reduce injuries is rooted in one tragic fact:

  • 94% of serious crashes are the result of human error.

Self-driving vehicles have the potential to remove human error from the crash equation.

Automotive companies must comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and certify that their vehicle is free of safety risks.

Self-Driving Car Accidents

While self-driving cars have the potential to reduce car accidents and truck accidents dramatically – the technology is still in its fundamental stages and errors do occur.

Self-Driving Car Accident Statistics

  • A 2017 study from RAND corporation found that the sooner highly automated vehicles are deployed, the more lives will ultimately be saved.
  • The latest California DMV report showed a total of 104 self-driving car accidents.
  • 57% of self-driving car accidents are rear-ended collisions, according to the California autonomous vehicle collision report in 2018.
  • Additionally, the California data showed that 79% of the rear-end crashes occurred while the car was in autonomous mode.
  • Researchers found that producing self-driving cars that are just 10% safer than the average human driver will save more lives than waiting until the self-driving cars are at least 75% safer.
  • The global autonomous vehicle is valued at an estimated $54 billion and is projected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
  • Waymo celebrated its vehicles driving 10 million miles on public roads since its 2009 launch.

Common Causes of Self-Driving Car Accidents

Self-driving car accidents can cause irreparable harm.

It is important to know what to do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Similar to regular car accidents, here are some steps you should take to ensure the safety of all involved:

Computer Malfunction

Most self-driving cars are made up of 30 to 100 computers.

The software that controls these automobiles is admittedly complicated.

Engineers have yet to figure out how to ensure that the car will operate smoothly in all weather conditions.

Furthermore, technical glitches from the sensors create a potentially dangerous roadway environment.

Manufacturing Defect

Developers of self-driving cars have had major trouble dealing with the human component of driving.

Thus far, they have not been able to determine how to make an autonomous vehicle decide between two unavoidable bad options:

  • Hitting a pedestrian
  • Striking another car

Also, since these vehicles are so dependent upon technology – there is a worry that they are very susceptible to hacking and remote control.

Accidents caused by a manufacturing error may lead to product liability or product defect lawsuits.

User Error

Human error is a leading cause of self-driving car accidents.

One of the main problems with autonomous vehicles is that they can give passengers a false sense of security.

Therefore, humans are not always prepared to take over the wheel in the event of an emergency.

Common Self-Driving Car Accident Injuries

While data for self-driving car accident injuries are scarce, there is a ton of information out there about car accident injuries in general.

Some of the most common car accident injuries include:

For additional information regard car accident injuries, visit our most common car accident injuries blog post.

What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

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Call the Authorities and Report the Accident

You should never leave the scene of an accident.

It is illegal and will damage the credibility of your self-driving car accident lawsuit.

Instead, you should call 911, report the accident, and wait for first responders to arrive.

Seek Medical Treatment and Mitigate Damages

Making a concerted effort to treat your injuries is a critical step in any self-driving car accident lawsuit.

Undeniable proof that you attempted to mitigate your damages will strengthen your claim in court.

Contact a Self-driving Car Accident Lawyer

Finally, contact a professional self-driving car accident lawyer.

A legal professional can help you decide which legal action is best for you.

A successful self-driving car accident lawyer can help you obtain certain compensation that your insurance company may not be able to do.

Filing a Self-Driving Car Accident Lawsuit

The civil lawsuit process is very tedious and requires extreme attention to detail.

An experienced self-driving car accident lawyer will be able to walk you through these steps and help you choose the best legal path for you.

An attorney can help you figure out if you qualify for a personal injury settlement or if you should file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Among many other things, a self-driving car accident lawyer can aid you in gathering and preserving evidence that supports your claim.

Contact a self-driving car accident lawyer at TorHoerman Law for a free lawsuit evaluation.

TorHoerman Law Firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t collect any payment until you are awarded appropriate compensation.

File your self-driving car accident lawsuit quickly, before the statute of limitations expires.

Who is liable in a Self-Driving Car Accident?

Determining liability in self-driving car accidents can be a difficult task.

The latest blueprints suggest that a fully autonomous Level 6 car will not include a dashboard or steering wheel, so a human passenger would not even have the option to take control of the vehicle.

However, in self-driving cars that enable humans to operate a vehicle, the driver may be held accountable for a self-driving car accident due to their own negligence.

Self-Driving Car Accident Damages

If you suffered any damages because of an autonomous car accident, you may be able for financial compensation through a self-driving car accident settlement.

These damages may include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental suffering

Visit the following for a more in-depth look into personal injury damages:

Personal Injury Damages – How to Assess Personal Injury Damages.

Hiring a Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a self-driving car accident lawyer is a very important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Not only should your legal representative have extensive knowledge of the legal system, but they should also have your best interests in mind.

At TorHoerman Law we have decades of experience in personal injury lawsuits.

Our team of legal experts specializes in self-driving car accidents.

We understand that car accidents can cause lifelong damage.

We fight for justice.

Our self-driving car accident law firm has won over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Contact an experienced self-driving car accident lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

Use the chatbox below for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law


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