Manufacturers of self-driving cars have been arguing for years that in time they will save lives by eliminating driver error from road safety. However, the actual safety of autonomous cars is yet to be determined, and companies could be putting motorists at risk with allegedly faulty, unproven self-driving cars on the road.
Thus far, accident reports show human drivers and automated vehicles are about even in presenting motorists with safety risks.
At the moment, there is not a wealth of data to determine whether or not automation and self-driving cars are actually better at keeping occupants safe. All crash rates are determined by knowing how many non-collisions occur per mile driven.
Assessing crash rates may be extremely difficult to pinpoint. Self-driving cars have logged about 1.2 million miles in total, while normal cars are driven trillions of miles a year. To determine automated vehicle safety, researchers will need to establish a non-collision rate for all driverless vehicles on the road.
Self-driving software does not get tired, intoxicated or experience road rage, but can these cars detect unpredictable and uncertain human driver behavior? Autonomous cars are driving in the moment and do not have the capability to predict events happening further down the road. Also, almost all safety data on self-driving cars is derived in the dry climate and good driving conditions in California and Arizona.
Automated cars are no doubt improving in their ability to operate safer, though perhaps the time has not come for manufacturers to market them as a safe option. Following accidents and injuries involving self-driving cars, victims may be able to file suit against responsible parties.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Cincinnati, Ohio product liability attorney, well-versed in the economic impact self driving car accidents have on a victim’s life and family.
Because nobody can ask what self-driving software what is thinking or explain why it will protect car occupants, people are naturally hesitant to put their lives at risk without some human accountability involved.
Tech companies and car companies are doing their best to convince the public that autonomous cars are the safest option for the future, though of course they have a motive of making money from the venture.
Lawmakers are wrestling with how to control this technology. As human-controlled vehicles will remain on the roads for decades to come, is it safe for self-driving vehicles and human drivers to merge safely on the road?
U.S. senators are reviewing the activity of Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Google other companies developing self-driving cars. There are concerns about autonomous vehicles and the potential for companies to use forced arbitration clauses in contracts with drivers or passengers to limit the accident liability of carmakers and ride-sharing operations. Recent events like the GM lawsuit and Uber death have highlighted legal issues surrounding autonomous cars.
Some senators and consumer advocates say forced arbitration would prohibit an injured driver or passenger from joining a class-action lawsuit, depriving Americans of legal recourse, and shifting the balance of power in the favor of big business instead of the safety of consumers.
A letter from senators reads: “The innovation driving this technology is exciting, but accountability is critical to ensuring that innovation continues to promote safety first.”
Automakers and self-driving car companies have been put on the spot to answer specific questions whether they currently use or plan to use forced arbitration provisions, and limit the legal options for American motorists.
Even though self-driving cars may not be directly at fault, test cars are involved in crashes at a higher rate of conventional cars. A study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that the rate is about twice as high.
The study called “A Preliminary Analysis of Real-World Crashes Involving Self-Driving Vehicles” concluded that even though self-driving cars vehicles were not at fault in many crashes, it appears they are getting in a fair amount of accidents.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
A motorcyclist in California sued GM stating that a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt, operating in autonomous mode with a backup driver behind the wheel, veered into his lane, striking him and knocking him to the ground in heavy traffic.
Of about 40 crashes involving self-driving vehicles reported to California regulators since January 2017, 33 allegedly involved GM-operated vehicles. After the motorcyclist filed one of several pending autonomous car lawsuits, a GM spokesperson released the following statement: “Safety is our primary focus when it comes to developing and testing our self-driving technology.”
General Motors has been testing autonomous vehicles in San Francisco since August 2017, allowing employees to employ the cars with a backup driver behind the wheel. The vehicles were allegedly involved in six collisions in September 2017. Testing vehicles are operated by GM and liable for any accidents and injuries.
As more self-driving cars take to the streets, lawsuits are inevitable. Law experts expect self-driving tech companies to settle autonomous car lawsuits quickly if they believe their technology is at fault to keep public images clean for a profitable future.
Self-driving cars are outfitted with a system of cameras, radar and sensors that allow them to detect their surroundings: traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists and other obstacles. Testing of autonomous technology has shown driverless cars to be operating safely, though it’s still a work in progress.
The trend in self driving car accident incidents is very concerning for safety agencies. With autonomous systems like driverless cars, pilotless airplanes, and driverless trucks and trains on the horizon, accidents will continue to occur and lawsuits are likely.
Along with GM, Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber have been targeted in personal injury cases, and lawyers are reviewing a case involving car defects from Ford’s autonomous vehicle firm Argo which recently injured two people.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Cincinnati product liability lawyer and self driving car accident attorney, well-versed in the economic impact Ohio road injuries and deaths have on a victim’s life and family.
Uber and other transport-based companies like Waymo and Lyft started testing driverless cars a few years ago. Some state agencies promised to limit oversight as much as possible and companies began testing robotic vehicles on live roads.
To some lawyers and safety agencies following the development, it came as no surprise when an autonomous car operated by Uber, which included an emergency backup driver behind the wheel, hit and killed a woman on an Arizona street.
Arizona police are working with Uber, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the investigation.
It was perhaps the first pedestrian death associated with a self driving car accident, though experts have voiced their concerns with more accidents that may follow. The accident was a brutal reminder that self-driving auto technology is still experimental and must be regulated.
Despite the death, and other reported accidents, Uber, Lyft and other companies say autonomous cars will be safer than regular cars as they take distracted human driving out of the road safety equation.
Meanwhile there is a strong pushback from concerned regulators, including Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who said, “This tragic incident makes clear that autonomous vehicle technology has a long way to go before it is truly safe for the passengers, pedestrians, and drivers who share America’s roads.”
Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has been testing cars without a human in the driver’s seat. Researchers working with autonomous car technology have struggled with how to program the systems to adjust for erratic human driving behavior.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending investigators to examine “the vehicle’s interaction with the environment, other vehicles and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.” In 2016, over 37,000 people died in traffic-related accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In 2016, a man driving his Tesla on Autopilot, a self-driving feature, died on a state highway in Florida when his car crashed into a semi truck.
Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.
Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.
Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.
Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.
Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses. Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.
Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations. Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.
Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.
Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.
In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.
Consumers can follow recall news or search for current and past recalls on the Web sites of the NHTSA, as well as on other car safety advocate outlets. Look on your car windshield for a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card.
If your car has been recalled and you have suffered an injury, contact an auto defect attorney to investigate a potential claim
You may not be aware that your car is defective. It is not always obvious when your seat belt or other safety component fails to function as intended. It can take an expert in auto engineering to determine what contributed to an accident or injury.
You can contact The Lyon Firm, and we will work diligently to review your auto accident case. If an auto defect was in part responsible for an auto injury, a lawsuit can be filed and a large settlement is likely.
If negligent manufacturers and automakers are directly responsible for an auto-related injury, a product liability and personal injury lawsuit may be filed and compensation may be recovered for accident victims. Plaintiffs may seek compensation that may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.
The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer by holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for auto defects that lead to accidents and injuries. When car makers fail to institute basic safety measures and fail to test auto components before releasing cars tot he public, they may be targeted in product liability lawsuits.
Auto defects have been known to cause accidents in tire failure, tread separation accidents, brake malfunction and sudden acceleration cases.
Auto defects may not cause every accident, but they can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is common in defective seat back collapse, seat belt defects and airbag defects. When these crucial safety features fail to function as they were intended.
Auto manufacturers and car makers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many automakers outsource some of their production and may not always be aware of some defects. Honda, for example, purchased all their defective airbags from Takata.
Some defective auto part suits name other defendants like negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops who alter car parts or fail to properly repair automobiles and leave a serious safety risk.
The list of defective automobiles changes each year, and it is more likely that certain components are defective rather than an entire brand name. Nowadays many car makers use the same third-party suppliers, which compounds safety issues when a defective auto part is produced.
In recent years, the most common auto defects have been faulty airbags. Millions of cars were recalled for defective airbags. Other common auto defects are defective throttles, defective car software, and tire failures. Tire failure has been an issue in many car accidents and truck accidents.
A Cincinnati Auto Defect Lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case, but is able to hold large corporations accountable for the negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public.
Auto companies must be held liable in order to keep the roads safe in America. So not only can The Lyon Firm seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for failing to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.
When car makers fail to produce reliable cars and fail to provide basic road safety features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and product liability attorneys can hold them responsible and help mitigate injuries and future damages.
The majority of accidents and injuries on the road are preventable, but defective auto design and manufacturing defects may leave victims with huge medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injuries.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Brown County, Kentucky): The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.
(Cincinnati, Ohio): The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.