A car accident in California can be scarring mentally and physically. California is one of the most populated states in the U.S. According to the United States Census Bureau, as per 2019 statistics, 39.51 million people reside in different parts of the state. With such a dense population, the number of misfortunes automatically upswings, including a car accident in California.
Previously, cars whether manual or automatic needed human assistance. However, they upgraded into self-driving cars that require little to no human exertion over time. However, there are many benefits of self-driving cars in this high-tech world. But it has also opened doors to many vulnerabilities for humans, such as their exposure to hackers, the extent to which they are safe, and who is legally accountable for any calamity? This article will help you determine who is responsible for a self-driving car accident in California so that you may decide for yourself when you meet one.
Definition of Self-Driving Cars in California
As the name suggests, self-driving cars are driverless vehicles that require little to no human input for execution. Characteristically, these robotic cars are classified into the following five levels. These are:
Cars That Run With Human Assistance:
A driver runs the first level of autonomous cars, thus involving human interaction. However, other features do not require human help and are solely self-operated.
Cars With Partial Automation:
When the first level of cars extends slightly higher, it reaches level two, which is partially automated. Vehicles that are partly automated need human engagement and monitoring but have more self-operated features to offer, such as an automatic steering wheel and accelerator.
At this level, the autonomous car does not require human assistance but is good to have to tackle any unforeseen situation.
At this level, the cars are now completely automatized and can smoothly execute independently under defined circumstances without obligating a person to monitor.
It is the last and the utmost level of automation where the cars can self-run under every condition.
Self-Driving Car Accident in California:
With over 1,400 autonomous cars in the U.S, according to Policy Advice, it is assumed that a significant number of damages occur as a consequence of self-driving cars. Nonetheless, people are still unsure about the exact number of accidents due to self-driving vehicles.
Who Is Responsible?
We know that self-driving cars are not a fantasy anymore. So, what exactly happens when a car accident in California happens involving these driverless vehicles? Who should be held accountable; the owner, the manufacturer, or any third party? The questions are hard to answer as every state has individual laws regarding these catastrophes. Many states have already passed laws regarding the accountability of driverless cars, while others are yet to give any dogmas. Generally, there are certain conditions under which they can be either partially, equally, or solely accused of misconduct.
Determining the Responsibility of the Driver:
Currently, most autonomous cars are operated on level 2 or 3, which means they require some human assistance despite running independently. At these levels, cars warn their driver about any unlikely situation to take precautionary measures. Thus, for instance, if a licensed driver was present in the self-driving car at the time of the accident, they could be held accountable for their negligence in not averting the calamity. Even if not entirely, they may be partially responsible in legal terms.
Determining the Responsibility of the Manufacturer:
In cases where self-driving cars fail to execute a warning message to their drivers due to a software crash or malfunction, hence leading to the accident, the accountability lies to the car’s manufacturer. Likewise, the manufacturer is also responsible for the California car accident if they fail to alert the driver beforehand about the possible dangerous outcomes of driving the vehicle.
What Should You Do?
As a layman individual, you might not be aware of the legalities of driving a car in California, whether the autonomous vehicle or a human-based conventional vehicle. Nevertheless, our experts have a history of commendable experience dealing with vehicle-related issues such as car accidents in California. Crockett Law Group is among one of those laudable teams of attorneys who have succeeded in countless cases, providing solutions to clients in a stress-free manner.
If you have also been injured in a driverless car during a crash and are unsure who is liable for the collision, you need to contact reliable attorneys like ours as soon as possible to receive the compensation and justice you deserve.