Car accidents involving self-driving cars are a growing concern for Florida drivers. However, legal liability isn’t always clear. As companies race to put self-driving cars on the roads, the laws are struggling to keep up. If you’re in an accident with a self-driving car, you need to know who is liable. Our Tampa car accident attorneys explain car accidents involving self-driving cars.
Car accidents involving self-driving cars may be the basis for legal liability. The manufacturer, the vehicle owner or a person in the vehicle may have legal liability for damages to a victim. The State of Florida allows self-driving cars to operate on the roads. However, standards for legal liability still apply. When you’re in an accident that involves a self-driving car, you may receive financial compensation by bringing a legal claim against the responsible party.
The Florida autonomous vehicle law is Florida Statute 316.85, which has been in effect since July 2019. Under the law, a person or corporation can put a driverless vehicle on the road. There does not need to be a human operator or even a person present in the car.
Companies that operate autonomous vehicles for commercial purposes must follow the laws that apply to transportation network companies. Car accident laws and product liability laws are still valid parts of Florida’s autonomous vehicle law.
There are several different levels of self-driving cars. Some vehicles are fully autonomous. Other cars use varying degrees of driver-assist technology while leaving the driver in control of the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies cars into levels based on their degree of autonomy:
With traditional vehicles, determining fault in a car accident usually comes down to which driver causes the accident. The law looks at each driver’s actions to see who violated a traffic law or acted negligently. But what happens when there is no driver? What happens when an autonomous vehicle makes a driving mistake and causes a car accident? The answer is much more complex.
The first step is to determine the cause of the accident. It may have occurred because one of the sensors in the self-driving car failed to function properly. There may have been a software problem that caused the vehicle to fail to react safely to its surroundings. Determining the cause may take some investigating.
When a problem with the self-driving car causes an accident, the vehicle’s manufacturer or owner may be to blame. There are several different legal standards that may apply based on the reason for the breakdown that results in the crash. Here are some of the ways legal liability may result in an accident:
Our attorneys can help you bring a claim for financial compensation after a self-driving car accident in Tampa. With over 30 years of experience and a fully-staffed legal team, we have the skills and determination to handle new and complex legal issues. We’re prepared to help you apply the law to the fullest extent in order to assert your rights. Contact the offices of Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys today to talk with a team member about your case.