Self-driving car accidents in California can result in serious and fatal injuries. Because these vehicles are not completely autonomous now, drivers are ultimately responsible for controlling them. While technical glitches can play a role in a collision, driver error is the cause of most self-driving car accidents. In both cases, it takes an experienced self-driving car accident attorney to hold the responsible party accountable.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an autonomous vehicle collision, turn to the top-rated personal injury lawyers at Ehline Law. Our legal team is a noteworthy consumer watchdog operation, not just litigators. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain just compensation and force policy changes. Given the challenges of determining the cause of a self-driving car accident, it is essential to have our capable attorneys handle your claim. Contact our car accident lawyers now for a free legal consultation to unravel liability in even the most complex cases involving automated driving systems and self-driving car manufacturers.
What Are Self-Driving Cars in California?
Autonomous cars, also known as autonomous vehicle (AV) in California, refer to a self-driving vehicle that is equipped with advanced technologies capable of performing certain driving tasks without human intervention. The state’s legal framework classifies self-driving cars based on levels of automation defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). These levels range from Level 0 (no automation aka human driven cars) to Level 5 (full automation), each denoting a different degree of autonomy and human interaction in driver assistance in case of a self-driving car accident.
In California, a self-driving car typically falls within the following categories:
- Level 2 (Partial Automation): These driverless cars have certain automated features, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, that can work simultaneously. However, a human driver must remain engaged and attentive, ready in the driver’s seat to take control at any moment to avoid autonomous vehicle crashes in support of highway safety, etc.
- Level 3 (Conditional Automation): In this self-driving mode, the vehicle can manage most driving tasks in specific conditions, such as highway driving. However, a human driver must be available to intervene when the automated driving system requests, especially in situations the driverless vehicle system cannot handle.
- Level 4 (High Automation): Vehicles at this level can handle most driving tasks without human intervention but only within predefined operational domains. In certain dangerous circumstances, the automakers might require human intervention to regulate aspects like speed or brakes.
- Level 5 (Full Automation): These vehicles are fully autonomous and capable of performing all driving tasks in all conditions without any human intervention. A steering wheel and pedals might not be present in Level 5, fully automated vehicle functions.
In California, self-driving cars are subject to testing and deployment regulations outlined by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Companies seeking to test self-driving cars on public roads need to obtain special permits from the DMV and adhere to specific reporting and safety requirements. These regulations are designed to ensure the safe testing and eventual integration of self-driving technology while prioritizing public safety.
When these systems fail, our law firm sets out to obtain accident victims maximum compensation for their injuries, including money to cover physical therapy and lost wages from the insurance company. This is the reason we offer free initial consultations. We want to discuss artificial intelligence with you so you can better understand the obstacle you face when suing over your crash. Were you rear-ended by a San Francisco Cruise Taxi? Perhaps a self-driving taxi suddenly stopped in front of your motorcycle. If so, even if there was no other driver present, and it was on autopilot mode, we will ensure the responsible party is liable, come hell or high water!
Top Reasons for Self-Driving Accidents in Los Angeles, CA (1-10)
Self-driving technology promises to revolutionize transportation, but its integration comes with challenges. In Los Angeles, a city renowned for its intricate roadways and high traffic volumes, self-driving accidents can result from a variety of factors.
Here are the top 10 reasons for self-driving accidents in Los Angeles or the country, for that matter:
1. Human Error
Despite their advanced capabilities, self-driving vehicles may still encounter accidents due to human errors by other drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists who fail to adhere to traffic rules or make unpredictable decisions like speeding, unsafe lane changes, etc. Distracted driving is high on the list due to so many new distractions while transitioning back to manual driving mode.
2. Pedestrian and Cyclist Interaction
The complex interaction between autonomous vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists can lead to confusion and misinterpretation, potentially resulting in collisions on California roads. For example, there is no one to make eye contact with in an empty vehicle. This traditional non-verbal communication can save lives and encourage early braking at a higher rate.
3. Sensor Limitations
Self-driving cars rely on sensors to perceive their environment. Environmental conditions like heavy rain, fog, or glare can compromise sensor accuracy, leading to misinterpretation of surroundings. Your legal options may require intensive investigations to delve into this type of winning evidence in a self-driving case accident case. Hiring the wrong lawyer can end up leaving you to worry about your financial well-being for life.
4. Software Glitches and Malfunctions
Software bugs or glitches can impact the decision-making process of self-driving systems, causing erratic behavior or inability to respond appropriately to changing road conditions. Passengers can be tossed around or placed in danger by criminal gangs and BLM protestors blocking the roads. The manufacturer has a reasonable duty of care to make sure the car you operate with autonomous technology doesn’t cause a dangerous road incident. If so, they may share some or all of the fault for all wounded clients involved.
5. Merging and Lane Changes
Maneuvering through congested Los Angeles traffic requires intricate merging and lane-changing skills. Self-driving systems might struggle to navigate these complex situations, leading to accidents. If you have handled LA traffic, you already know it’s hard to get around without thinking ahead to avoid getting stuck in traffic. This is a massive place with many torn-up roads and lighting that can confuse sensors and lead to crashes.
6. Unpredictable Traffic Patterns
Los Angeles traffic can be highly unpredictable, with sudden stops, abrupt lane changes, and non-standard driving behavior. Self-driving systems might struggle to adapt to these variations.
7. Construction Zones
Construction zones, common in a bustling city like Los Angeles, often have temporary changes in road layout and traffic patterns. Self-driving vehicles can find it challenging to navigate through these dynamic environments.
8. Vehicle Communication Challenges
Self-driving cars need to communicate with each other, and human-driven vehicles. Inconsistent communication protocols or non-standard behavior can result in misunderstandings and collisions.
9. Sensor Interference
High-density urban environments can create sensor interference from tall buildings, electromagnetic signals, or reflective surfaces, affecting the accuracy of self-driving systems.
10. Cybersecurity Threats
As self-driving vehicles rely on interconnected networks, they become vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. Hackers could potentially compromise the vehicle’s control systems and cause accidents in certain circumstances. This could potentially mean human drivers being locked out from manipulating control surfaces, even braking.
Addressing these factors in the dynamic landscape of self-driving technology requires a multi-faceted approach involving rigorous testing, improved sensor technology, enhanced communication protocols, and public education. While self-driving accidents are a challenge, they offer valuable insights to refine and enhance the technology’s safety features, bringing us closer to a future of safer and more efficient transportation.
Super Cruise Luxury Market Vehicles Bring More Cars
General Motors is set to introduce a software update for numerous vehicles in its lineup, particularly luxury electric sedans, capable of autonomously handling steering, braking, and even locating parking spots. Its new Cadillac model will be equipped with a groundbreaking feature called “Super Cruise.”
This “Super Cruise” mode will grant drivers the ability to transition their vehicle into a semi-automated state, autonomously ensuring it stays in its designated lane by making the required steering adjustments. This Cadillac’s self-governing capabilities will extend to braking maneuvers, controlling speed, and maintaining a safe distance from other cars on the road. Do you think this technology is ready for prime time, or will it end up as a manufacturing defect nightmare?
How Can Ehline Law Help With Self-Driving Car Accidents?
Although some fully autonomous vehicles are available to the public as taxis, the others operating today are equipped with technology designed to train and program fully automated self-driving cars in the future. Our expert attorneys are trained in the latest technology on these dangerous vehicles and suing on behalf of people hit. We are also well-versed and educated in California’s negligence laws, product liability claims, and navigating insurance laws involving multiple defendants.
Suppose you suffered injuries in an accident involving a vehicle with partial automation. In that case, we will leverage our skills and experience to identify the party with ultimate or partial responsibility and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Damages we will fight for include:
- Medical expenses and bills and related physical therapy rehabilitation costs
- Past, present, and future lost earnings or loss of contracts
- Permanent disabilities, including gross facial disfigurement
- Pain and suffering damages for the hassle and emotional trauma
You can depend on us to cover this and more during our free consultation, which is also totally confidential at no risk to you. We can go over all the details of your potential automated vehicle claim and lead you by the hand at every step of the legal process. If we take your “autonomous mode” accident case, we will get results and answer any question swiftly with confidence before we settle or pave the way for trial. Your rights will be protected with us at the helm.
Contact Our World Class Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Was someone you love killed by accidents involving a car model with recalls or known navigation problems? Do you think you may have a lawsuit due to a failed Tesla autopilot or some other complicated control issue? At Ehline, we offer free consultations, and there is never a fee until we recover for you. Call us to discuss your matter with Michael Ehline today. We are ready to assist with your self-driving car accident claim until we achieve success in the form of maximum compensation on your or your loved one’s behalf. Dial (213) 596-9642 or fill out our online Contact Us form to learn about our no-win, no-fee guarantee and become a new client.