You never expected it to happen, but here you are, facing the aftermath of an autonomous car collision. As you stand amidst the chaos and confusion, you find yourself grappling with the consequences of a technology-driven accident that has left you injured and bewildered.
You might wonder, “Who’s responsible for this? Can I even sue anyone in such a case?” Many have found themselves in your shoes, unsure of the legal steps to take after being involved in an accident with an autonomous vehicle.
In this blog, we will walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit so you can focus on your recovery and reclaiming your life.
Gather All Relevant Information
As a victim of an autonomous car collision, one of the first steps towards seeking justice is to collect necessary information about the accident. In the immediate aftermath of the collision, it can be overwhelming to process the events, but taking proactive steps to document the incident becomes important.
Ensure you gather essential details such as the location, date, and time of the collision, as well as contact information from any witnesses present. You should also take photographs of the vehicle damage, road conditions, and traffic signals to provide a clear visual representation of the accident.
With technology getting more advanced, automakers are integrating cutting-edge features in their cars to avoid the possibility of accidents. With features like ADAS, these cars can prevent accidents from happening. However, the reports are rife that show these vehicles are also subjected to accidents. The fundamental question remains: is it attributed to technological factors or human errors?
To get insights into this question, a new report from IDTechEx sheds some light. The report shows 99% of these incidents involving autonomous vehicles were caused by human error. Interestingly, out of 83 recorded crashes involving self-driving cars, 81 of them were attributed to human actions, be it from another vehicle or a misbehaving pedestrian.
While the technology behind self-driving cars continues to evolve, it’s evident that human factors remain a significant contributor to accidents.
Consult With an Experienced Attorney
As a victim of an autonomous car collision, the legal process can feel threatening and unfamiliar. That’s where consulting with an experienced attorney becomes a vital step in your pursuit of justice. An attorney specializing in such types of accidents will guide you through the process with expertise and empathy.
From the initial consultation, a skilled attorney will try to understand your individual case, listening to your account of the accident and the damages you’ve suffered. They will analyze the evidence you’ve gathered, assess liability, and discuss potential legal strategies with you.
Today, even the most developed nations, like the U.S., are lagging behind in establishing a robust infrastructure for smart mobility. Many states are yet to build the infrastructure needed to provide a seamless driving experience in these tech-enabled vehicles. However, a growing number of states are now stepping forward to invest in creating the necessary infrastructure.
For instance, Illinois aims to build a world-class infrastructure for connected vehicles and smart mobility. To achieve this goal, the University of Illinois is constructing a high-speed autonomous and connected vehicle track. This track is known as the Illinois Autonomous and Connected Track.
But the sad part is, until the track is developed, owners of self-driving vehicles will continue to harbor fearful feelings of accidents in Illinois. The situation is even more grim in cities like Edwardsville, where the department records roughly 1,100 traffic crash reports annually.
However, there is no need to worry. If you or someone you care about has experienced such accidents, then the time is ripe to hire an Edwardsville personal injury lawyer. Securing the expertise of a competent lawyer ensures that your interests are protected with effective legal representation.
Initiate the Lawsuit
You’ve gathered all the vital information and consulted with an experienced attorney, and now it’s time to take the next decisive step i.e. initiating the lawsuit. Your attorney, acting on your behalf, will prepare the official complaint detailing the specifics of the autonomous car collision and the damages you’ve endured.
In this critical phase, you play a key role as the plaintiff, seeking justice for the harm caused by the self-driving car. Your attorney legal representative will lead you through the intricacies of the legal process while making sure your rights are protected.
To bolster your case against the manufacturer, referencing recent accidents involving these vehicles can be pivotal. Notably, NHTSA data on crashes related to driver-assistance technology has revealed an alarming trend since Tesla’s expansion of its Full Self-Driving technology. According to The Washington Post, Autopilot has been associated with 736 crashes since 2019, with a devastating toll of 17 fatalities.
As you initiate the lawsuit, these critical statistics can serve as compelling evidence of the potential risks and consequences posed by advanced vehicle technology.
Navigating the Legal Process and Seeking Compensation
Once the lawsuit is initiated, you’ll embark on a legal journey to seek justice and compensation for the harm caused by the autonomous car collision. This procedure may encompass multiple phases, such as collecting evidence, participating in negotiations, etc. Your attorney will be your trusted guide, helping you navigate each step while keeping your best interests at heart.
During the legal process, both sides will give their offers for the settlement, and you may need to provide documentation such as medical records, witness statements, and any financial losses incurred. Your attorney will skillfully present your case, striving to establish liability.
According to TorHoerman Law, a qualified attorney will not only help you effectively navigate the legal process but also ensure you get the right compensation. Lawyers can build your case by gathering crucial evidence, assessing the extent of damages incurred, and determining liability. These factors will act as strong drivers in maximizing the compensation you rightfully deserve.
In the ever-changing landscape of autonomous vehicles, accidents can happen despite the promises of enhanced safety.
With the increasing number of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads, there is a critical need for awareness and preparedness to avoid any untoward incidents. According to Statista, the number of such vehicles is estimated to be 20.8 million in operation by 2030 from 2.1 million in 2025.
While it’s true that technology brings comfort but it can also threaten human lives if not coupled with human intelligence. By using the steps mentioned in this blog, you equip yourself with the tools necessary to pursue a successful legal case during an accident with self-driving vehicles.