Liabilities in Portland’s Self-Driving Car Accidents

Were you involved in A self-driving car accident in Portland, Oregon? If so, here is everything you need to know about proving liability and protecting your rights after a self-driving car crash.

If you are the victim of a self-driving car accident, you may not understand how liability works with these types of highly advanced vehicle’s. The prevalence of self-driving cars is becoming more significant, especially in the Portland area, which can also increase the risk of more self-driving car accidents.

Victims of self-driving car accidents will most likely need to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for their damages. At Henderson Taylor Law Firm, our team of car accident lawyers have extensive experience with these types of car accident cases and can help victims get the compensation they need to recover.

Keep reading to find out how liability is determined in self-driving vehicle accidents in Portland, Oregon.

Understanding Self-Driving Vehicles

Before diving into accidents caused by self-driving cars, you need to understand what qualifies as a self-driving vehicle. There is currently no vehicle that is entirely self-driving in the U.S., as the self-driving vehicle being used today still requires a driver. Here are the different categories that a self-driving car could fall into:

  • Monetary driver assistance: The driver is in full control, but the vehicle has different technical features, such as providing warnings.
  • Driver assistance: The driver is in complete control, but the car can provide assistance with braking, steering, or acceleration.
  • Additional assistance: The driver is in control, but the vehicle can drive itself.
  • Conditional automation: The car can drive autonomously but will prompt the driver to take control.

Who Could Be Liable For Self-Driving Car Accidents?

One of the unique challenges when it comes to self-driving car crashes is determining who is liable for the accident. If you are the victim of one of these car accidents, it is crucial that you gather evidence to prove liability so that you can get the settlement you deserve. Here are examples of who could be found liable for a self-driving car accident in Portland, Oregon:

  • Car manufacturers: Because self-driving cars are so high-tech, there is always a risk of defects or malfunctioning hardware or software that could contribute to a car accident. If this were to happen, the manufacturer of the car could be held liable for not addressing these defects or malfunctions.
  • Other drivers: Just like any other type of vehicle accident, other vehicles on the road may be liable for the accident. Another driver may have driven recklessly, such as speeding excessively or failing to yield or signal.
  • Technology designer: Similar to finding the car manufacturer liable, the technology designer for the vehicle could also hold some fault if the self-driving car causes an accident. This would apply if the company failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the vehicle’s technology and software were entirely safe and effective.
  • Human operator: The driver operating the self-driving vehicle could also be liable for a variety of reasons. They may have driven recklessly, weren’t paying attention, or failed to understand how their self-driving vehicle worked.

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Self-Driving Cars?

Many people wonder if self-driving cars cause more accidents than ordinary vehicles. Self-driving cars do not cause more accidents as they still make up the minority of vehicles on the road. In the U.S., these vehicles are still highly regulated, and there are no truly self-driving cars being used right now.

In 2022, it was reported that there were 400 accidents involving vehicles with partially automated driver assisted systems, and 70% of these vehicles used auto pilot features at the time of the collision. Over half of these accidents involved Tesla’s and five of the incidents resulted in fatalities.

To fully understand the safety concerns around self-driving cars, much more research would need to be done as well as data collecting. As of right now, there still isn’t enough research available or enough self-driving cars being operated to fully understand whether or not they will contribute to more accidents.

Protecting Your Rights After a Self-Driving Car Accident

Even if you are the victim of an accident caused by a self-driving car, you still need to take many of the same steps after the accident as you would in a normal car accident. Following these steps after a vehicle crash will protect your rights and help you build a more substantial claim later on.

  • Call 911: Alert the authorities about the accident so that law enforcement can arrive and create a police report.
  • Receive medical attention: To build a substantial claim, you need to have a paper trail documenting your injuries as a result of the accident. This is also the correct step to take to protect your health and ensure you do not have any significant injuries that may not be initially noticeable.
  • Exchange information: You will need to get information from the other drivers involved in the accident. You should also exchange information with any witnesses who may be able to provide a statement later on.
  • Document evidence: If you aren’t seriously injured, you should try to document evidence through videos and photos, which can be used to prove who was liable. Try to document property damage, your injuries, the crash site, and any essential features nearby, such as stop signs or speed signs.
  • Hire a car accident attorney: After following the initial steps after an accident, you also need to go a step further and hire a self-driving car accident attorney. An attorney can help you file your claim, collect evidence, and represent you in court if necessary.

Hire an Experienced Self-Driving Accident Attorney at Henderson Taylor Law Firm

Being involved in a self-driving car crash can have a serious impact on your life, especially if you have been injured in any way. Most victims of self-driving car accidents will be entitled to receive compensation if they can prove that they were not at fault.

At Henderson Taylor Law Firm, our self-driving car accident lawyers are committed to defending the downtrodden and helping car accident victims get what they are entitled to. For expert legal representation from one of our attorneys, contact us today at 360-737-1478 or fill out our online form.