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Drivers may be found liable in self-driving vehicle accidents

San Francisco news reports that recently 1 pedestrian was killed and another sustained serious personal injuries when they were struck by a man driving a Tesla. The accident remains under investigation, but raises numerous legal questions concerning fault.

For example, as auto-makers are developing and testing self-driving vehicles, many are wondering if they are safe. In this instance, because the accident involved a Tesla, whether the “autopilot driver assist feature” was in operation or not is an important consideration. Previous accidents have been attributed to potential errors with this technology, and/or in conjunction with drivers not utilizing the technology correctly.

When a manufacturing defect or defective auto part causes or contributes to an accident occurred, a dealership or manufacturer may be held fully or partly responsible in a product liability lawsuit. However, if the driver’s actions are solely responsible for causing the personal injury, then the individual driver will be found liable. In some situations, several different factors may cause of contribute to an accident,

Because California is a comparative fault state, it may be possible to recover from all parties who are responsible. Thus, if both the driver and the auto-maker are found to have contributed to the accident occurring – such as if the auto-pilot technology makes an incorrect adjustment and the driver isn’t paying attention – both parties may be held responsible and be required to pay a portion of the damages based on their percentage of fault.

In this instance, police are looking into whether the Tesla’s auto-pilot ws engaged. Further, the Tesla was on loan from the on-line rental company, “GetAround,” which allows young and potential inexperienced drivers to rent Tesla’s. Whether the rental company may be held responsible for its lax requirements may also be investigated. In this, as in most fatal traffic accidents, numerous avenues of potential fault exist.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been injury in any type of personal injury please contact the dedicated San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation,