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Who's responsible for injuries caused by self-driving cars?

A recent car accident between a self-driving vehicle and a motorcyclist is raising questions concerning who’s to blame when an autonomous car causes an accident and injuries occur. The motorcyclist has sued GM as a result of the incident, asserting that the company should be held responsible after the Chevrolet Bolt started to change lanes, then stopped, leading to a collision. The motorcyclist asserts that the autonomous vehicle “knocked him over” after making sudden changes, whereas the police reports states that the motorcyclist was to blame for moving into the lane before it was safe to do so. The incident shines a light on many of the questions raised with the advent of driverless vehicles. Many times, autonomous cars respond to roadway conditions differently than do humans, leading to questions of liability – i.e. was the decision to stop mid-lane change reckless or negligent? Further, what responsibility do human backup drivers bear when accidents occur? “Autonomous” or “auto-pilot” cars assist drivers, but the back-up driver cannot completely abdicate control. Further, how much responsibility does GM bear for the actions and re-actions of self-driving vehicles?

As this technology develops, so too will the laws concerning injuries sustained in autonomous car accidents.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, our San Francisco personal injury lawyers can help. Please contact the experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers at Bostwick Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.