Self-driving vehicles are being seen with increasing frequency on roadways in Florida and around the United States. While far from commonplace, self-driving cars are more common today than they were even a year or two ago. Moreover, their presence is anticipated to increase in the next few years, perhaps markedly so. As a result of this growth, self-driving car accidents are also increasing. This reality has raised the question of who is liable or responsible for self-driving car accidents. As with so many legal matters, the matter of determining liability for these types of accidents is not black and white.
Parties potentially liable for self-driving car accidents
The reality is that research has revealed that a number of parties are often determined to be at least partially responsible for causing or contributing to self-driving car accidents. They include:
- The vehicle manufacturer
- A component part manufacturer
- The vehicle designer
- Defects with the vehicle itself
- The driver
Drivers can and do bear liability in some instances
Many people express surprise when a driver is considered to be one of the responsible parties for a self-driving car accident. How could this be so, they as, because the car supposedly drives itself.
Unfortunately, that evidently is what a considerable number of drivers of these types of vehicles have come to conclude. Some drivers of self-driving vehicles become very lax. They simply are not property attentive to what is going on around them. This lack of attention and overreliance on self-driving systems ends up being the prime cause of a car accident or a major contributing element to a crash.