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How Will Driverless Cars Change Car Accident Liability Laws?

Published on May 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm in Auto Accident.

As technology advances, people are always looking how to make tasks easier or safer. Driving is no exception to this rule. Nearly everyone uses a car as their main mode of transportation. Car accidents happen all the time. A car accident claim usually needs to have a person who was at fault so the injured person can get compensation.

So what happens when the cars are driverless? Self-automated cars aren’t so much a hope of the future as they are a reality. While they’re not on every road in the U.S., they’re on their way to becoming more common. But some are worried about how this will affect car accident liability laws.

If you’ve been in a car accident, you can seek legal aid. A Kentucky car accident injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will work on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. You could possibly recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

How Does Human Error Cause Car Crashes?

Car crashes can be caused by something going wrong with the car, poor driving conditions, or by human error. People can easily engage in unsafe driving behaviors that endanger the lives of everyone on the road.

When people are in a hurry or frustrated, they tend to speed or tailgate other drivers. This aggressive behavior reduces a driver’s control of the vehicle and their window to react to the cars ahead of them.

Many people drive while they’re distracted. The biggest culprit for distracted driving is the cell phone. People often always have their phone at their side and may be tempted to check their phone while driving, which leads to car accidents because the driver is no longer paying attention to the road. But even if people are able to ignore their phones while driving, fiddling with the radio or trying to eat and drive simultaneously are still major driving distractions that people consistently do when they drive.

Unfortunately, people try to drive when they’re under the influence or while they’re intoxicated. Alcohol and drugs severely impair a person’s ability to drive. It makes them slower to react, affects ability to perceive situations, and stay in control of the vehicle.

Where Does Liability Fall with Driverless Cars?

When it comes to the future of liability laws with driverless cars, the waters are a but murky. The blame could be put on the manufacturer or the design of the car. There’s also a chance that liability could fall on the company that sold the car. Automated cars still have a human driver and control of the car can switch, so there could always be some confusion between determining if it was the machine’s error or human error.

Strict liability laws could help these situations in the future because they set a precedent for how these cases would go. If the company had to take responsibility, they would focus on producing safer cars. Another part of a strict liability plan is to provide compensation for those who were injured but it wasn’t their fault. The biggest takeaway for the future is that liability laws can and will adapt as technology changes the way we drive. Getting ahead of the curve will protect more drivers when self-automated cars are regular encounter on the road.

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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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