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Denver Self-Driving Car Accident Attorneys

Active Self-driving Car Programs in Colorado

There are various tech and automotive companies entering the field of self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology. The nation’s largest group of low-speed, self-driving electric shuttles have been permitted to drive on the roads in Colorado. Some of the self-driving vehicle programs in Colorado include:

  • Aptiv
  • Aurora
  • BMW
  • Cruise (General Motors)
  • Drive.ai
  • Ford
  • Nuro
  • Uber
  • Waymo
  • Zoox

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Liability Issues

Self-driving cars are an exciting and innovative mode of transport, however, with any new invention there are obviously challenges. One question that has been raised is how orthodox liability rules may apply to these new vehicles. Liability from a road accident generally lies with the person causing the accident. However, if an accident occurs, involving a self-driving car, the issue of liability is more complex.

For instance, if a self-driving car malfunctions causing an injury to a passenger or other individual, the party at fault may be the manufacturer, rather than the driver. Self-driving cars have software and hardware providing data information. If a malfunction occurs causing the accident, the data is likely to show this and then the manufacturer would be liable. The level of automation is another important consideration. The Society of Automotive Engineers outlines that there are 5 levels of automation for vehicles. These include:

  • Level 1 - Driver Assistance
  • Level 2 - Partial Automation
  • Level 3 - Conditional Automation
  • Level 4 - High Automation
  • Level 5 - Full Automation

It is most common for the car to have a level one option. However, certain manufacturers such as Tesla Autopilot, Volvo Pilot Assist, and Audi Traffic Jam Assist have a level two option. Partial automation is more likely to raise liability issues. It is also expected that more level three vehicles will be deployed onto the roads. Therefore, the level of automation will be an important consideration in a question of liability.

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Liability for Death or Injury

Self-driving cars are a new phenomenon which means it is new territory when we must consider if one of these cars causes an accident leading to death or injury, which party may be held liable?

The law relating to autonomous vehicles is new and several factors will be material to determining liability. It appears the designer or manufacturer may be liable in the event of an accident. Liability may be proven through vehicle data, including cameras, recordings, software, and hardware.

Under Colorado’s law of strict liability, where a product is defective, the company responsible for manufacturing, distributing, or producing it may be held liable for accidents or injuries caused by the defective product. Therefore, strict liability could be claimed in relation to the following:

  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Failure to warn

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Seek the Service of an Experienced Denver Car Collision Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident caused by a self-driving car, it is essential to seek the services of an experienced Colorado automobile injury lawyer.

Injuries and accidents can be a stressful time for the individual involved and the family. The law and technology relating to autonomous vehicles are fluid, complex and subject to change. The team at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. are skilled in accident claims.

Call us at (303) 759-9945 to engage a Denver car collision attorney who understands the complexities and law relating to autonomous vehicles.

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