Phoenix Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Companies like Tesla assure us that self-driving cars are the way of the future. But in the present, self-driving cars have not yet lived up to their potential—and some safety advocates argue the technology will never work as promised. Self-driving cars continue to cause accidents and severe injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and others. Complicating matters is the question of who caused a crash when no one was behind the wheel.

If you suffered injuries in a self-driving car accident, the team at Gallagher & Kennedy wants to step up and protect your rights. Our self-driving car accident attorneys have more than 40 years of personal injury experience and can help you demand compensation for your injuries. We offer the resources and skills of a major firm with the individual touch of a boutique shop, and we do not charge any attorney fees unless you recover compensation Contact our auto accident lawyers online or call us today for your free consultation.

Why Hire Our Self-Driving Car Accident Attorneys for Your Case?

Who you hire to represent you can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case. You must choose your law firm carefully when so much is on the line.

Here are a few reasons to consider our Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy to handle your self-driving car accident case:

  • Our experience. Understanding the law is one thing, but knowing how to make the law work for your clients takes years of hard-won experience. Our firm has practiced law for 40 years, and that history makes us better advocates for our clients. We will use all our combined knowledge and experience to protect your rights after an accident.
  • Our results. The best way to judge a law firm is by the results they achieve for their clients. We are proud of our track record and have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. While we cannot promise you any particular amount for your injuries, we will fight for every dollar of compensation we can.
  • Our client reviews. Would you trust a mechanic if you knew people regularly had bad experiences at their shop? Probably not. The same idea is true for lawyers. We are proud to be a Most Admired Company in Arizona, a distinction we received for two consecutive years. Our clients rave about us in their reviews. Read what they have to say about us on our testimonials page.
  • Our approach. We pride ourselves on the complexity of the cases we handle and our collaborative approach. Lawsuits involving self-driving vehicles are a relatively new field of litigation, one of which we are at the forefront.
  • Our resources. We have more than a dozen attorneys on staff and an extensive network of support personnel to meet your legal needs. No matter what kind of help you need or when you need it, we will do whatever we can to simplify your life and ease the burden of your injuries.

Notable Personal Injury Case Results

At Gallagher & Kennedy, we are proud of the results we have achieved on our clients’ behalves. Some of our notable results include:

  • $10 million for the family of a child hit by a distracted driver
  • $4.5 million for a client hit by a cement truck
  • $60 million for a group of plaintiffs who suffered injuries or whose family members died in three bus crashes
  • $17 million from General Motors after one of their vehicles killed a woman when the transmission slipped from park to reverse
  • $9.9 million recovered after a woman died when the throttle in her car became stuck
  • $4.5 million recovered after a woman suffered injuries in a crash due to a defective seat
  • $3 million for a client injured by a defective tire

Areas Where Self-Driving Car Accidents Are Common

Bob Boatman Personal Injury Attorney

Phoenix Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer, Bob Boatman

Self-driving car accidents are most common in areas where lawmakers have permitted automakers to test their autonomous vehicles.

Arizona is one of these accident hotspots. In 2015, Arizona governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order that outlined regulations for allowing self-driving vehicles in the state. This order led to a flood of self-driving vehicles in the state and a number of high-profile crashes. According to news reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 12 accidents in Arizona involving self-driving cars in less than a year.

The reality is that traffic in Phoenix is too congested and the patterns remain too complicated for today’s most sophisticated computers to safely drive a car without vigilant human supervision. Turning the car over to a computer—even one named Autopilot—should constitute negligence and subject the driver to liability if an accident ensues.

Compensation After a Self-Driving Car Accident

The compensation you could receive after a self-driving car accident depends mainly on the extent of your injuries and financial losses from the crash. Furthermore, you can break down the compensation from a personal injury case into two major categories.

The first category of compensation in a personal injury case is economic damages.

Economic damages are the direct financial losses you incur due to an accident and include things like:

  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earnings
  • Medical bills
  • Damaged personal property

The other main category of compensation in a personal injury case is non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are the more subjective harms related to an accident that do not have a fixed dollar value.

Non-economic damages in a self-driving car accident case may include compensation for things like:

The companies that manufacture and sell self-driving vehicles have deep pockets and large legal teams. They might try to shift the blame for an accident onto you, especially if you were nominally the vehicle’s driver at the time of the accident. However, these companies have a responsibility to put out safe products—and when they do not, they can be liable for the conseuences. If an autonomous vehicle company tries to say you are at fault for an accident, get in touch with an attorney immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Driving Car Accidents

Given that self-driving cars are a relatively new technology, many people have questions about what happens when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about self-driving car accidents.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Self-driving cars use sophisticated software and an array of sensors to determine where they are and where other people and objects are, read road signs and signals, and take appropriate steps to avoid a crash. Currently, most self-driving cars have a human operator who can take over in an emergency situation.

Some of the systems self-driving cars use to navigate include:

  • Radar. Radar sensors bounce radio waves off nearby objects to measure how far away they are, how fast they are moving, and how big they are. Typically, self-driving cars use radar to detect other vehicles on the road.
  • Cameras. Most self-driving cars have an array of cameras mounted on them to read traffic signals and take pictures of the road to help with navigation.
  • Lidar. Lidar stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and these systems use responses from laser pulses to create a 3-D map of the immediate area around a car.
  • GPS. Self-driving cars can use GPS systems to create a preliminary road map and find a route to their destination.
  • Ultrasonic sensors. Ultrasonic sensors work similarly to radar and lidar, except they use sound waves instead of radio waves or lasers. Ultrasonic sensors are useful in helping self-driving cars detect curbs and other stationary objects.

In addition to these different technologies found in self-driving cars, there are also different levels of automation.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are six levels of autonomy:

  • Level 0: A human driver controls all of the car’s major systems.
  • Level 1: The car can control certain systems like cruise control and braking, but it can only control one system at a time.
  • Level 2: The car can handle at least two automatic functions at the same time, but it still needs a human driver to reach its destination safely.
  • Level 3: The car takes care of all safety-critical functions in certain circumstances, but the driver will take over in an emergency or after an alert.
  • Level 4: The car handles all driving functions in some, but not all, situations.
  • Level 5: The car can handle all driving functions without a human driver.

Currently, few self-driving cars can fully drive themselves without human operators. Level 5 autonomy is the goal for most self-driving car manufacturers, though, and it is not clear that fully autonomous vehicles are safe.

Who Is Liable for a Self-Driving Car Accident?

Proving liability for a self-driving car accident is one of the most challenging aspects of these cases because multiple parties can share liability. The potentially liable parties include the car’s human operator, the company that made the car, the company that made the car’s self-driving software, component manufacturers, and even other entities. An attorney can investigate an accident and tell you more about who could be liable for your injuries.

How Do You Prove Liability in a Self-Driving Car Accident Case?

To recover compensation after a self-driving car accident, you need to show that another party caused your injuries and is liable for the consequences. Sometimes, the driver may have committed an error, making them negligent. In other cases, a defective component, such as the vehicle’s sensors or software, may be to blame.

Some of the evidence you can use to establish liability for a crash includes police reports, medical records, photos from the crash scene, expert testimony, surveillance footage, and eyewitness accounts.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Self-Driving Car Accident?

Every state has different laws concerning how long after an accident you can file a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, how long you have to file a lawsuit depends on where the accident happened. But no matter how long you have to file a lawsuit, speak to an attorney right away after a crash so they can start on your case and preserve critical evidence.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer?

Gallagher & Kennedy works on a contingency basis. This means that you do not have to pay any attorney fees upfront. Instead, you pay our lawyers a percentage of whatever compensation they recover for your injuries. If they are unsuccessful, you do not owe your attorney any fees. That said, always ask an attorney to clarify their pricing structure before you agree to work with them.

Contact a Self-Driving Car Accident Attorney Now

NTL-top-100-member-bDespite what self-driving car manufacturers tell us, these vehicles are not entirely safe. In fact, they have led to severe injuries and even deaths. The self-driving car accident lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy know what it takes to hold these companies accountable for their dangerous products. Call us today at (602) 530-8400 or visit our contact page for a free consultation.

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Gallagher & Kennedy – Phoenix Office

2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 810
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Tel: (602) 530-8400