California Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyers

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Powerful California Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyers Protecting The Injured

California’s unique regulations governing self-driving cars highlight the need for expert personal injury attorneys. If you or someone you love gets injured in a collision with these autonomous vehicles, contact our California self-driving car accident lawyers immediately at (888) 488-1391.

In recent years, California has emerged as a hotbed of innovation and the development of self-driving vehicles. The state’s progressive regulatory environment and research institutions have positioned it at the forefront of technology’s rapid expansion.

Companies like Waymo, Cruise, and Lyft are shifting the urban transportation landscape with their robotaxis. These vehicles first started circulating the roads of San Francisco in 2022, offering driverless rides to the public. This event is a significant milestone for both autonomous car technology and California. However, this concept has since faced numerous challenges, including suspensions and recalls.

Autonomous vehicles still become involved in various accidents despite the promise of improved safety, efficiency, and convenience. Residents and visitors get regularly injured as a result. These incidents call for continuous improvements to existing California laws.

Why Choose Our California Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyers To Win Your Case?

Our lawyers in California are the best partners for protecting your rights in a self-driving car accident. We have a proven track record of success, where we’ve exhibited aggressive advocacy for justice and maximum compensation.

We possess the necessary skills and resources to pursue justice and help families recover financially. Our experienced lawyers have obtained over $500 Million in settlements and verdicts, including a $4.3 Million award for a severely injured car accident client. Our very own Tina Eshghieh, Esq. expertly handled the case and ensured that the victim and his family wouldn’t have to worry about the costs of his ongoing care.

Whether you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one due to a self-driving car, it’s crucial to consult our California accident lawyers immediately. We don’t charge upfront fees, ensuring that finances are not a barrier to pursuing your rights as a victim.

How Do Self-Driving Car Accidents Happen?

Car automation is a relatively new technology. It undergoes strict regulations before release, but it might still encounter bugs and errors that could lead to an accident.

However, we can’t attribute all incidents to the vehicle itself. Even the most advanced Tesla models today still need a human driver behind the wheel. Our lawyers have observed that many self-driving car accidents in California are caused by negligence.

Some of the most common causes we see are:

Mechanical Failures

A self-driving car, however modern it is, still relies on a series of mechanical processes to run. As such, it’s still susceptible to failure due to defective or damaged parts. These components can be subject to wear and tear, leading to malfunctions that can result in accidents.

Software Issues

The development of technology has significantly enhanced the safety and convenience of automobiles. However, there are still potential dangers arising from software issues.

For example, self-driving systems could malfunction and make poor driving decisions. The sensors assessing the surroundings may process inaccurate results or misinterpret the environment.

Any bug or issue can potentially lead to a disastrous event. A software glitch is what caused severe injuries to a woman in San Francisco. In October 2023, a robotaxi dragged the pedestrian after hitting her as it continued driving instead of stopping. The California DMV later revoked the manufacturer’s testing permit.

Human Error and Negligence

The ultimate goal of autonomous vehicles is to drive without human intervention. However, it’s still not a foolproof system. Operators must still be on alert and ready to take over the driving whenever needed. Moreover, most models crawling along California roads can only self-drive in certain conditions.

Our lawyers observe that many self-driving car accidents in California still involve human variables, such as:

Weather Conditions

Our motor vehicle accident lawyers in California regularly handle cases where weather conditions are major contributors. It’s common for car collisions, but it may be an even bigger risk for a machine.

Sensors and cameras feed data to the self-driving car, allowing it to make sense of its surroundings. These systems can easily be compromised by weather conditions like heavy rain, fog, snow, or glare. Reduced visibility and slippery road conditions might cause steering issues, especially if the human driver fails to intervene.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Some situations on the road can pose threats to the autonomous vehicle. Examples are:

  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Construction zones
  • Oil and slippery surfaces
  • Unexpected road obstacles

Both the human driver and the self-driving system are at risk of not responding appropriately to these conditions.

Other Road Users

Self-driving cars face challenges when interacting with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists on the road. They might struggle to understand other motorists’ intentions, especially in complex situations like merging, lane changes, and intersections.

A February 2024 incident in San Francisco highlights this risk. A bicyclist was struck by a driverless Waymo car, which reportedly didn’t see the victim because a truck obstructed its view.

It will be challenging to pinpoint the specific negligible party in an accident. Nonetheless, our trusted self-driving car accident lawyers in California will identify those who are liable and hold them accountable.

Car Accident
Our client was driving with his wife and son on a two-lane highway when a drunk driver crossed the double yellow lines, causing a head-on collision that claimed the life of a loving wife and mother.

Common Injuries Sustained In An Automated Vehicle Collision

Accidents involving self-driving vehicles have consequences similar to those of regular car collisions. Some of the most common injuries arising from these incidents are:

  • Broken Bones – Fractures can range from hairline cracks to severe breaks requiring surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – The impact of a collision can damage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It can cause sprains, strains, bruising, and contusions.
  • Head Trauma – Victims might also experience concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and skull fractures. These conditions can quickly escalate to long-term or permanent cognitive impairment.
  • Back Injuries – Herniated discs, compression fractures, and spinal cord injuries can result in chronic pain and mobility issues. In severe cases, the victim might become paralyzed.
  • Internal Damage – Trauma to the heart, liver, and other organs can lead to internal bleeding and life-threatening injuries.
  • Wrongful Death – In the most tragic cases, self-driving car accidents can result in fatalities. The victim’s family members may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation.

California law may allow you to recover medical costs and other losses caused by the accident. Our self-driving car accident lawyers can help you understand what compensation you might be eligible for.

California Self-Driving Car Regulations

All manufacturers and users of self-driving cars must adhere to specific laws and regulations set by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, autonomous technology and public adoption are still in their infancy stages. The federal and state regulatory frameworks are still expected to evolve as both elements continue to progress.

Nonetheless, our self-driving car accident lawyers in California will be at the forefront of any changes. In the meantime, here are the current laws and regulations you should know about:

For Manufacturers

California imposes stringent requirements for the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles. They must strictly follow these guidelines:

  • Companies that are testing their self-driving cars must obtain permits from the DMV.
  • They must thoroughly assess the units before releasing them to the public.
  • Manufacturers must submit detailed reports on the performance, safety, and incidents related to these vehicles.

The California Vehicle Code 38750(c) also requires that autonomous technology have safety features, including the following:

  • Easily accessible controls for engaging and disengaging the system
  • Visual indicator of engagement status
  • Detection and warning system of failures in the technology
  • Manual override of the brake, steering wheel, and other controls

The DMV will thoroughly review the manufacturer’s application and reports to ensure a vehicle is fit for public use.

For Drivers And Operators

Self-driving car operators are subject to the same road rules and traffic laws as anyone else. They have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming pedestrians and other motorists. Recklessness and negligence on their part might expose them to liability if they cause incidents like bicycle accidents and pedestrian injuries.

California Self-Driving Car Regulations
Emperatriz Ayala
Emperatriz Ayala
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Had a great experience with all the people at Arash law. Long story short was in a bad car accident. It was overwhelming and the whole process was a lot, but they kept me in the loop. They answered all my questions and gave me great advice. Couldn't be any happier. Would definitely recommend anyone looking for a personal injury lawyer. They'll guide you through the whole process!
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Having Arash Law handle my auto accident was the best decision I could have made. Everyone I interacted with was kind, professional and detail oriented. I am extremely happy with the outcome and would recommend them highly.
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Joseph R. Porter
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From start to finish, Arash Law firm is there every step of the way with close, constant, personal contact and attention. I never knew a Law firm could actually care so much for me as a person and what I was personally going through as well as the settlement I was going to recieve once my case was finally completed. Thank you to everyone at Arash Law for your ongoing support and communication. You are the ONLY firm I will ever recommend to someone who is need of a great attorny.
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I had an excellent experience with Arash Law. I will definitely recommend to my family and friends. I interviewed a few firms before deciding to work with Arash Law. What made my experience excellent was (i.e. head attorney being accessible to talk to and he answered all my questions and concerns, sensitive and thorough personel who completed in home intake & follow up process, being connected immediately to quality Physicians who addressed my injuries and recovery process, clear contract-read throughly to ensure its something you can commit to). Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience and I had a sense of peace knowing Arash Firm was walking with me throughout the whole process. Thank you Arash Firm for all your hard work and help. I am so grateful and appreciative for you all! 🙏 With Gratitude, Monica Parra
The Different Levels Of Automation In Vehicles

The Different Levels Of Automation In Vehicles

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has assigned six levels of automation, depending on how much human input is needed to operate the vehicle.

  • Level 0
    The car has no driving automation, and the driver is in complete control. It may have some automated features, like safety warnings and automatic emergency braking.
  • Level 1
    The vehicle assists the driver in either accelerating or steering, but not at the same time. Examples are lane assist technology and adaptive cruise control.
  • Level 2
    The car can control both speed and steering at the same time. This level applies to technologies like self-parking. The driver has partial control, supervising the automation system while preparing to take over if needed.
  • Level 3
    A human operator is still required while the car engages in automated driving under certain conditions. Outside those set parameters, the vehicle will alert the driver to take control.
  • Level 4
    The automated system is capable of operating the car in most normal driving conditions. It doesn’t need a human driver. It will implement safety measures like pulling over in a secure spot in conditions where it cannot drive.
  • Level 5
    No driver is required. A car operating at this level is fully automated, having the ability to drive in all conditions.

Currently, cars with full automation are not allowed on our roads outside of testing. All vehicles must still have a human driver behind the wheel at all times. NBC Bay Area reports that a driver must be present in the vehicle in order for a traffic ticket to be issued in California. Our California lawyers will take this into account when building your self-driving car accident case.

Who Is Liable For A Self-Driving Car Accident?

Determining liability for accidents involving automated vehicles can be complicated. Multiple potentially negligent parties are unique to these incidents. When our lawyers review your self-driving car accident case in California, we may find fault in the following individuals or entities:

  • Manufacturer – Car makers like Tesla or General Motors may be responsible if the accident was due to a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing process.
  • Technology Provider – The vehicle may use an autonomous driving system from a third-party provider. If the software glitches and results in an accident, the developer may also be liable.
  • Human Operator – In California, human drivers are still required to be behind the wheel of a self-driving car. They can still be held responsible, whether or not they were operating the vehicle at the time of the accident.
  • Other Motorists – Automation technology isn’t perfect yet, so it might react dangerously to unexpected road events. Negligence may also be attributed to other motorists if they drove recklessly or violated traffic laws.

Accidents involving self-driving cars require a thorough investigation. We’ll review the circumstances surrounding the accident, including the actions of all parties and road conditions. It’s in your best interest to consult with our attorneys regarding autonomous vehicles and personal injuries.

Comparative Negligence Laws In California

California’s comparative fault system proportions the damages to each liable individual or entity. Multiple parties can share responsibility for one accident. But, the degree will depend on their level of contribution to the incident.

Even victims can be assigned partial liability. Still, California ensures you can still recover damages for your injury. You can receive compensation even if you are 99% at fault. Your percentage of fault directly affects the amount of damage you can recover. For example, the court determines you to be 30% liable while the other parties share 70% responsibility. If your total damages amount to $100,000, you would only get $70,000 after deducting $30,000 (30% of $100,000).

Given that comparative fault laws can be complicated, it’s crucial to work with skilled lawyers in California for your self-driving car accident. We’ll pursue all angles and look at the potential negligible parties we mentioned above.

Your Legal Rights To Compensation After An Autonomous Vehicle Accident

You have the legal right to pursue compensation from the liable parties after getting injured due to negligence. Our self-driving car accident lawyers will ensure to document all the damages you can claim under California laws. In general, we’ll help you recover both economic and non-economic losses.

Economic damages are tangible financial losses resulting from the accident. They aim to compensate victims for monetary damages that are verifiable by receipts, invoices, and other relevant documentation. These may include:

  • Medical Expenses – Hospitalization, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation
  • Lost Income – Lost wages due to missed work
  • Property Damage – Repair or replacement costs for properties damaged in a self-driving vehicle
  • Other Financial Losses – Home modifications, nursing care, and household assistance needed as a result of the injury

On the other hand, non-economic damages compensate victims for intangible losses. They’re harder to quantify in monetary terms. Nevertheless, our California self-driving lawyers will consider the full extent of the accident’s impact on every aspect of your life. Some examples are:

  • Pain and Suffering – Physical pain and discomfort due to the injury
  • Emotional Distress – May include anxiety and fear related to the event
  • PTSD – This can develop after a traumatic event like an accident
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life – Loss of ability to engage in previously enjoyed activities
  • Loss of Consortium – Accident’s effects on family members, like loss of support and affection

Remember, victims are entitled to seek compensation for their injuries. Our California self-driving car accident lawyers will ensure you can get paid for any past and future losses.

What To Do After A Self-Driving Car Collision

Statute Of Limitations For Filing Personal Injury Claims In California

It’s best to act quickly after a self-driving car accident to have the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses. According to the California statute of limitations, you only have a two-year deadline to file personal injury claims. You might lose your rights if you wait too long and exceed this time frame.

The time limit generally starts from the date of the accident. However, some situations may justify an extension. Talk to our self-driving car accident lawyers in California to figure out your deadlines and applicable exceptions.

What To Do After A Self-Driving Car Collision

Experiencing a motor vehicle accident can be disorienting. However, you must stay calm and take immediate steps to ensure your safety and legal rights.

Here’s what you should do after a self-driving car collision:

  1. Prioritize Safety. Move to a safe location away from traffic. Check for any injuries and anyone who might need medical attention.
  2. Contact Law Enforcement. Call 911 right away. Wait for the police to arrive so you can file an official report. Make sure you also submit yourself to an initial assessment by the paramedics, whether or not you feel fine.
  3. Gather Information From Witnesses. Collect the details of all parties and witnesses, including their names, contact details, and insurance policy information.
  4. Collect Evidence. If you’re physically able, take photos and videos of the accident scene. Focus on crucial details, such as the involved vehicle(s), injuries, road conditions, and traffic signs.
  5. Go To The Hospital. Even if you don’t feel immediately injured, ensure you get adequately checked in a hospital. Some injuries may not be initially apparent, especially brain injuries.
  6. Notify Your Insurance Company. Be prepared to provide all the relevant information to your insurance provider. However, stick only to the basic facts. Don’t provide any opinion during all your communications, even when you’re on hold on a call.
  7. Consult With Our Attorneys. Talk to our top-rated self-driving car accident lawyers in California right away. Your prompt action allows us to protect your rights and start the investigation immediately.

By following these steps, you can ensure your safety and gather valuable documentation for building a solid case.

Self-Driving Car Accident Statistics

In 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 512 reports of Level 2 crashes. This figure is slightly lower than the previous year, which recorded 538 incidents.

The NHTSA started recording self-driving car accidents in July 2021. As of January 2024, there are a total of 1,281 reported cases. Around 433 of these incidents are in California – the highest of any other state.

Tesla reported the most crashes, which isn’t surprising given that it has millions of automated vehicles on the road. As of the latest data, the following automakers have the highest Level 2 self-driving car accident rate:

  1. Tesla – 1,084
  2. Honda – 108
  3. Subaru – 25
  4. Toyota – 21
  5. General Motors – 13

The majority of the recorded incidents involved self-driving cars colliding with stationary objects and other automobiles, such as passenger cars and SUVs. Unfortunately, some of these crashes also injured vulnerable pedestrians. If you’re injured in a self-driving car accident, reach out to our trusted California lawyers. We will identify all negligent parties and make them pay for your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions About Driverless Car Accidents
Are Self-Driving Cars Liable For Accidents?

Liability will usually fall on the manufacturer or developer if their negligence contributed to the incident. In some cases, the human driver or other parties might be responsible instead.

What Evidence Do You Need In A Self-Driving Car Injury Claim?

Building a solid case for compensation requires the following evidence:

  • Documentation of the accident scene, including photographs and videos
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Vehicle data from the self-driving car’s onboard systems
  • Medical records, including hospitalizations, the doctor’s findings, and bills

Our self-driving car accident lawyers in California will gather all the valuable evidence that can help your case. We’ll prove that the other party’s negligence caused the accident and, in turn, your injuries.

When Should You File A Self-Driving Car Accident Claim?
The best time to act is right after getting into a self-driving accident or discovering your injury. California imposes a two-year deadline for claims. After that, you might forfeit your right to compensation. There are also other benefits, such as:
  • Maintaining the freshness of evidence
  • Having access to witnesses
  • Protecting your case from insurance adjusters from day one
How Do You Find The Right Lawyer In California For A Self-Driving Car Accident?

Look for the most essential qualities, including knowledge, experience, and compassion. Our California lawyers exhibit them all, allowing us to win complicated cases like self-driving car accidents. We have tons of experience and a deep understanding of specific laws and regulations that may apply to your claim.

Another way to find the right lawyer is by reading reviews. Check out our client testimonials to see how we’ve helped numerous people get the compensation they deserve.

Speak To Our California Self-Driving Car Accident Attorneys Today!

An accident involving automated vehicles requires a comprehensive understanding of the technological, legal, and medical aspects. Victims might be unsure what to do next, but Arash Law can help.

Our California lawyers understand the unique challenges you might face in a self-driving car accident. Rest assured that we are highly experienced and knowledgeable about the specific laws and regulations relevant to your case. Combining that with our fierce advocacy for your rights, we’re confident we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Reach out to us at (888) 488-1391 or fill out our contact form for your free initial consultation. You can also visit any of our offices in these areas: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, Sherman Oaks, San Diego, and Pasadena.

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