In the last few months, there have been a number of incidents involving Tesla’s autopilot system that have led to injuries and even one death of a driver. In May, a man who was driving on a Florida highway was allegedly killed when the car went to change lanes but failed to detect the tractor-trailer next to it. It drove the vehicle right under the truck, killing the driver. The family of the driver has hired a personal injury attorney to investigate the incident.
As autopilot capabilities become more common on the road, it is important to consider an important question regarding liability. Specifically, who is accountable in the event of an accident?
Typically, when the careless conduct of a driver is responsible for causing an accident, that driver can be liable for being negligent. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent driver would act under the same or similar circumstances. Thus, what is considered reasonable will vary depending on the specific situation. In order to establish negligence, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of your harm, and you suffered damages.