Legal Complexities in Autonomous Vehicle Accidents

Legal Complexities in Autonomous Vehicle Accidents

Numerous companies have gotten involved in developing autonomous vehicles, promising that self-driving cars will help make car accidents a thing of the past. However, autonomous vehicle development requires testing cars on public roads, where these experimental systems may collide with other motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

People who get hurt in self-driving vehicle accidents may face challenges and obstacles in pursuing financial recovery for medical care, lost income, pain, suffering, and other losses. Working with a knowledgeable self-driving vehicle accident attorney from Geiger Legal Group, LLC, can help crash victims navigate the complexities of the claims process and improve their chances of securing maximum compensation and accountability from autonomous vehicle manufacturers and other liable parties responsible for self-driving car accidents.

Contact us now for a free consultation about your legal options after a crash involving a self-driving car.

How Common Are Autonomous Vehicle Accidents?

While companies developing autonomous vehicles tout them as safer than human-driven vehicles, people may still wonder about the self-driving car accident rate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 130 autonomous vehicle accidents occurred from July 1, 2021, through May 15, 2022.

In addition, manufacturers of vehicles equipped with partially automated driver-assistance systems, such as Tesla, reported that nearly 400 accidents involving such vehicles occurred over the same period.

What to Do After an Accident with a Self-Driving Vehicle

After a crash with a self-driving car, you can take steps that will help put you in a favorable position to recover compensation for your accident injuries and losses. Critical actions to take after a self-driving car accident include:

  • Call 911 to report the crash and request emergency medical treatment for your injuries.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and recovery instructions for your injuries. Remember to obtain copies of medical records from your treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Request a copy of the police crash report if officers responded to the accident scene.
  • Keep any bills, invoices, or receipts for expenses you incur due to the accident.
  • Gather your income statements to calculate your income losses if you take time off work or suffer a reduction in your earnings due to accident injuries.
  • Avoid discussing the crash or your injuries on social media or posting photos or videos of yourself while undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Contact a self-driving car accident attorney from Geiger Legal Group, PLLC, as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and the next steps for you to pursue financial recovery for your harm and loss.

Legal Challenges in Self-Driving Car Accidents

Getting into a collision with an autonomous vehicle can make pursuing a compensation claim challenging. When a crash involves a vehicle driven by a computer, injured accident victims may wonder, “Who is at fault in a self-driving car accident?” The person sitting in the driver seat of an autonomous vehicle could bear responsibility for the crash if they failed to intervene and take control of the car before the accident. The company that developed the autonomous vehicle might also bear liability for a collision.

Autonomous vehicle companies might attempt to shift blame for the accident onto the drivers of the other vehicles involved in the collision. However, errors in an autonomous vehicle’s computer code or the calibration of its sensors might cause the vehicle to make a dangerous maneuver. A person injured in a crash with an autonomous vehicle may find it challenging to obtain the evidence needed to prove that the accident occurred due to a defect in the autonomous vehicle.

Compensation Available in AV Accident Claims

After an autonomous vehicle collides with you, you may have the right to seek compensation for financial and personal losses you suffer due to the crash. A financial recovery in an AV accident claim can provide you with money for your:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs, including emergency care, ambulance services, hospitalization, surgeries, pain management care, and  physical and occupational therapy
  • Long-term care and support for temporary or permanent disabilities, including home health services, housekeeping assistance, mobility equipment, and disability accommodations
  • Lost income from missed time from work or reduced earnings in a part-time or light-duty position
  • Loss of future earning ability and employment benefits after becoming permanently disabled from work
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Loss of quality and enjoyment of life because of disabilities, disfigurement, and scarring that interfere with daily tasks or the ability to partake in activities
  • Vehicle repair expenses or reimbursement for the value of your totaled car

Statute of Limitations for AV Car Accident Cases

Under Georgia’s statute of limitations on car accident cases, plaintiffs typically have two years after a crash with an autonomous vehicle to file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the autonomous technology, the software developers, the vehicle manufacturer, or other liable parties. However, you should speak to a car accident attorney from Geiger Legal Group, LLC, immediately after a crash. Filing a lawsuit after the statutory deadline means the opposing side could file a motion to dismiss your case. If the court dismisses your case, you would lose the opportunity to seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses in civil court.

Geiger Legal’s Approach to AV Accident Cases

At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, our attorneys assist victims of autonomous vehicle accident cases by sitting down with our clients, listening to their stories, and answering their questions. We give you all the time you need so you never feel rushed.

Our team strives to provide you with the legal and personal support you need throughout your case and recovery. Our attorneys work hard to craft thoughtful, tailored legal strategies to secure the results you want and need. A self-driving car accident lawyer from Geiger Legal Group, LLC, is ready now to help you pursue financial relief and justice.

Contact Our Georgia Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you’ve been hurt in a self-driving car accident in Georgia, you need experienced legal counsel to help you pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Contact Geiger Legal Group, LLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Georgia car accident attorneys. We can review the facts of your case and discuss your legal options for seeking compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other losses.

About the Author: Geiger Legal Group, LLC

In 1981, attorney J. Christopher Geiger began practicing law in Canton, GA, determined to provide personalized legal service to the people of Cherokee County. His son Casey followed in his footsteps, first practicing law in Colorado before joining his father in 2017 to form the Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Together, the father and son team have built a law firm that revolves around clients, not cases.