The Legal Issues Presented by the Increased Prevalence of Autonomous Vehicles

Over the past decade, autonomous vehicles have become a reality. Not just that, but also there are more autonomous cars out on the road each month as more and more manufacturers release autonomous and semi-autonomous models. Of course, autonomous cars present a number of benefits to motorists; however, they also present an equal number of safety risks.

Dark RoadNot only do autonomous vehicles present safety risks, but they also present myriad legal issues that have been unanticipated until now. Thus, courts are going to be required to come up with ad hoc rules to govern the determination of liability in Maryland truck accidents involving autonomous vehicles.

Autonomous Truck Kills Pedestrian

Earlier this month, a woman was killed as she crossed the road in front of a driverless truck that was operated by the ride-share company Uber. According to a recent news report, the truck was traveling at approximately 38 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone, when the woman suddenly came out of the shadows and into the path of the truck.

At the time of the accident, there was a back-up driver in the car, but the car was in autonomous mode, and the driver was unable to regain control of the vehicle in time to avoid the collision. After the accident, authorities began an investigation to see what the potential causes could have been. One spokesperson for the Tempe police department told reporters that, given the way that the woman came out of the shadows right into the path of the truck, it is unlikely that the accident could have been avoided even if the car was being operated by a human driver.

Uber later told reporters that it has stopped testing autonomous vehicles for the time being, despite an official stating that Uber will likely not be labeled at fault in the accident.

Establishing Liability in Maryland Truck Accidents

Among the issues that will arise with the increased use of driverless cars is who is at fault when an autonomous car is involved in an accident. At this point, it is too early to tell how courts will handle these claims, but the potentially liable parties would seem to include the manufacturer of the car itself. Anyone who has been injured in a driverless car accident should seek to discuss their case with a dedicated personal injury lawyer prior to filing.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated accident attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling a wide range of truck accident and car accident cases, including those involving cutting-edge legal issues. To learn more, and to speak with an attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Refuses Defense Request for Instruction on Mitigation of Damages in Recent Truck Accident Case, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published March 20, 2018.

Major Truck Accident on Snowy Road Sends 29 to the Hospital, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published March 5, 2018.

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