Driverless cars are currently being developed and tested. It is expected that these vehicles will be on our roads within the next decade. Although the goal for driverless cars is to improve road safety, manufacturers must be prepared for the likelihood of damage and injury being caused by this new technology.
Because there is the potential for injury on the road, without driver involvement, pursuing legal claims for related accidents may challenge traditional liability routes. As the technology continues to evolve, manufacturers and technology providers must address the risks and liability issues that may be associated with driverless vehicles.
The advancement of this technology leaves us to wonder if human error will be ruled out if there is loss and damage, or if the driver will have the responsibility to maintain and service the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Liability will likely fall on the technology products that are used in the vehicle, and on those parties in the supply chain who are responsible for the development of the automated technology.
Insurance companies may also be affected by accidents caused by driverless cars, as they will be responsible for injuries caused by insured vehicles when vehicles are driven by the driver or are in driverless mode. However, liability may be limited or excluded when the insured driver makes unauthorized software alterations, or they fail to install safety updates they should have reasonably known were safety-critical.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or because of a defect in any product, we can help to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Please call the New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey and we represent clients throughout the state.