Most car accident litigation, whether arising from a rear-end collision or a high-speed crash, are the result of driver error or driver negligence; but if there’s no one behind the wheel, there’s no driver to sue. There’s little doubt that self-driving cars will significantly reduce the number of accidents, and consequently, the number of law suits to which they would lead.
But if there’s no driver, who’s at fault for the accident?
For attorneys, even with a significant decrease in auto accident cases, sometimes less can be more. In any accident case involving a self-driving car, the liability door will be swung wide open to a whole new cast of potential defendants, ranging from computer companies, to programmers and developers, and even mapping companies. All of these potential defendants could be held liable for injuries arising from a self-driven car injury under product liability law. If a manufacturing defect is identified as a cause of numerous self-driving car accidents, the potential for class-action suits is ripe.