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Liability for Self-Driving Car Accidents

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Self-driving cars are appearing more and more to be the way of the future. Google has had a fleet of automated cars in California for a while now, and several automakers, including Tesla, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, also appear to be getting in on the action. There are even rumors that Apple is developing its own self-driving vehicle.

Along with the fact that the technology is pretty fascinating, autonomous cars are also likely gaining in popularity as result of the fact that the majority of car crashes are due to driver error. Only about 6 percent of crashes are believed to be due to circumstances beyond a driver's control. Therefore, automated vehicles in theory could nearly eliminate car accidents.

However, many observers are questioning who should bear liability if an autonomous car injures or kills someone in an accident that was thought to be unavoidable. The owner of the car who was not in control of the vehicle might not be blames. However, a number of automotive manufacturers, including Google and Volvo, have stated that they would agree to be held responsible for these accidents.

Although they are mostly in testing stages now, self-driving cars will likely become a fixture on the nation's roadways in the future, and it is likely that they will be involved in auto accidents. A person who is injured in such an accident will often be forced to incur high medical bills, and if the victim is unable to return to work, the financial situation will be worsened by the loss of wages. A Walnut Creek car accident lawyer may be able to pinpoint responsibility through a review of the police accident investigation report and other evidence.