Many companies are developing prototypes for driverless cars. The technology is currently in its beginning stages, with some cars having partial autonomy but still requiring an alert driver at the wheel. If cars become fully autonomous, claims could become more complicated, and laws in Connecticut and across the United States have yet to keep pace with the changes. This can leave people who have been injured in a collision with a driverless car uncertain about how their accident claim and lawsuit may play out.
There are many unknown variables involved in a crash with a driverless car. Questions of liability and fault become more complicated. In a traditional accident, one or more drivers is clearly at fault and may face a lawsuit. When no drivers are involved, an entirely new set of possibilities abound. For example, the accident may be caused by a faulty sensor, an error in the software or computer system or a bad software design that did not correctly handle a traffic situation.
Experts believe that accident claims may shift from looking at drivers and their insurance toward looking much harder at manufacturers and software developers. In general, these companies are also likely to have higher levels of insurance and the possibility of paying higher damage awards. Narrowing down fault also becomes much more complicated when a variety of high-tech systems are in play. It is likely that accidents involving driverless cars will be caused by a combination or errors or faults in both sensors and software. Manufacturers and developers admit that as of 2017, they are still a long way from creating a vehicle that could be entirely self-driving in any environment.
Personal injury lawsuits are likely to change dramatically as more autonomous cars hit the roads. Drivers may be able to look to an attorney for guidance when it comes to such actions.