Auto accidents can happen at any time, even to the most careful and attentive of drivers. Suddenly, you face a lengthy physical recovery, costly medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses associated with your car accident injury. While most people understand their right to pursue compensation following an auto accident in Southern California, the process can become more complex if the other vehicle was driving in Autopilot mode or had other self-driving features engaged. Here are some of the ways that Autopilot features may impact your personal injury claim in Riverside County.
NHTSA Investigating Autopilot-Related Crashes
In August 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a preliminary evaluation into Tesla Autopilot systems and their role in multiple auto accidents. Since 2018, at least 11 crashes involving a Tesla in Autopilot mode have occurred, causing 17 injuries and one death. The Autopilot feature does not mean that the car is fully capable of driving itself; rather, the manufacturer stresses that drivers must still keep their eyes on the road at all times. However, many drivers use the Autopilot feature to text, eat, or distract themselves behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk.
Determining Liability in Crashes Involving Autopilot
Like many states, California is considered an “at-fault” state that adheres to comparative negligence laws. If you sustained an injury in an auto accident in Riverside County, you are entitled to recover compensation proportional to the other driver’s degree of fault for causing the accident. For instance, if the other driver was 80 percent to blame for the accident, you may recover 80 percent of the overall damages you seek. However, determining liability for autonomous vehicles is much more complicated. Depending on the specifics of the accident, you may pursue damages from the other driver or the manufacturer. It’s essential that you work with a knowledgeable auto accident attorney who understands the ever-shifting legal landscape of personal injury claims.
Contact a Skilled Temecula Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you are struggling with your physical and financial recovery following an auto accident injury, get in touch with an experienced Temecula auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Together, you can assess your situation and determine the most strategic path forward to help you recover the compensation you need to support your recovery. Remember, you do not have to go through this stressful period alone—your attorney will work hard to negotiate an equitable settlement on your behalf to keep your future as bright as possible.
Talk to a trusted Temecula and Murrieta auto accident lawyer by calling Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320.