Can You Sue After a Self-Driving or Autonomous Car Accident?

June 6, 2022 Car Accidents

Autonomous or self-driving vehicles are becoming more common in Nevada. With the rise of these vehicles is an increased risk of serious accidents. Under Nevada’s fault rules, you may wonder if you have legal options available after a collision. Who do you hold accountable if the vehicle does not have a driver?

However, an autonomous car is not technically driverless. Drivers still remain in control of the vehicle and must intervene if needed. You do have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the person responsible for your accident, but claims involving the manufacturer of the vehicle are more complex.

Who Is Liable for a Self-Driving Car Accident?

Nevada is a fault-based car accident state. This means that all drivers are financially responsible for any accidents that they cause. This liability may also extend to entities like manufacturers and government agencies.

Whoever caused your self-driving car accident is financially responsible for any losses that you experienced as a result. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your collision, any of the following parties could be liable for a self-driving accident:

The Driver: In most cases, the driver who was in control of the vehicle is liable for a self-driving car accident. As of 2022, self-driving cars do not yet have the technology to completely and safely autonomous. If the driver was not paying attention to the road and failed to intervene before an accident occurred, he or she would be liable for the collision.

The Testing Company: If the driver was an employee of a company that was testing out a self-driving car, his or her employer may be liable as well. Employers are liable for any accidents that their employees cause while performing their job duties.

The Manufacturer: In very limited circumstances, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the self-driving vehicle. Nevada has strict laws and requirements regarding the safety of these cars. If the car or its software contained a defect that led to your collision, you could pursue a claim against the manufacturer.

How to Prove an Autonomous Car Accident Lawsuit

Once you identify who is liable for your accident, you will need to begin gathering evidence to prove your lawsuit. Generally, there are four important facts that you will need to establish in your lawsuit:

The at-fault party owed you a duty of care at the time of the collision.
The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care in some way.
The breach of duty caused your accident.
You suffered damages.

Evidence like medical records, photographs, police reports, and witness testimony can help establish these facts and prove your right to recovery.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Accident Claim

Cases involving autonomous vehicles can be complicated and involve significant legal questions. The driver may argue that he or she was not technically in control at the time of the accident. The manufacturer could deploy a large legal team to defend itself against accusations of product defects.

In these situations, it is important to consult with a car accident lawyer about your legal options. A Las Vegas car accident attorney has the skills, experience, and knowledge to help you navigate this emerging landscape and secure the settlement that you need to recover.

As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney who can represent your case. Your lawyer will analyze your case and identify your optimal path to recovery.