Self-Driving Cars Permitted in New York and What Happens if They Cause an Accident


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Vehicles with self-driving capabilities may exist and drive many individuals to various locations throughout the United States, and this includes New York. However, there are sometimes severe negative consequences when an accident occurs with these cars due to no human driver affecting the travel.

It was in May of 2017 that the New York mayor permitted self-driving cars within the state boundaries. The companies that tested these vehicles were able to do so on public roads where others drove as well. The businesses behind the software and cars could suffer litigation where the company is liable when someone sustains damage or harm from these cars. The legal aspects of self-driving cars are not yet fully established throughout the country in 2017. This could cause various lawsuits and millions in damages to injured individuals. Even with insurance policies protecting the corporations, the litigation may tie-up the company’s assets for years.

The Approach for the Future

The mayor’s stance on self-driving cars is that incorporating autonomous vehicles is a step in the right direction. The necessity of these vehicles increases as the dangerous driving habits of various citizens of New York cause accidents and untold damage and harm on the roads. Decreasing the sheer number of collisions is a priority for the roadways in New York. By embracing software as the driver, the city may accomplish a reduction in injuries and automobile destruction. This could also provide fewer instances of damage to the roads. The city’s funds may then reallocate to more important tasks.

Implications with Accidents

Self-driving cars are still in testing stages in various states in 2017 and 2018. They may have become part of certain companies, but implementation with general traffic is still years away. Even with the embrace for the future, accidents could still occur. The company manufacturing and testing autonomous vehicles may face serious litigation when another driver collides with the car.

The various insurance policies purchased for these automobiles may protect the company from greater lawsuits, but it only takes one incident to set a precedent. Legal representation is necessary when facing a lawsuit. Utilizing both a lawyer and insurance policy that covers collisions, the company may face off against these individuals successfully.

Self-Driving Car Technology

The latest software and hardware used in autonomous cars may provide superior benefits for the company manufacturing and testing these vehicles. By using cameras both in front and back to determine when to move, the self-driving car may avoid obstacles and other cars. Through sensors and pressure gauges, the software causes the car to speed up or slow down to prevent collisions. Many accidents that occur with autonomous vehicles are the result of human drivers. In New York, this could become a serious problem until less drivers with erratic behavior are on the roads. Once tests provide enough data, these cars may dominate the highways.

Accident Complications

Attempts to sue the company of an autonomous vehicle may prove difficult. In New York, the testing is ongoing. However, any accidents have surveillance attached. The cameras inside the cars may prove that the fault lies with the driver of the other vehicle. Proving liability against the company of self-driving automobiles then is complex and near impossible in a courtroom. With experienced and numerous lawyers defending the business, the driver involved in the crash may lose more often than win these claims. The insurance companies may still payout medical fees or property damage based on the policy in effect. It is important to understand what these processes may entail for the driver in an accident with an autonomous vehicle.

The advanced technology included in self-driving vehicles measures pressure, sound, variations in numerous factors and records audio and visual changes. These aspects are used in accident claims. Presented to a New York lawyer, the autonomous car company may find success in a courtroom case with enough gathered evidence. However, litigation takes time and additional money. When the plaintiff loses the case, the business may attempt to collect lawyer fees.

The Need for Lawyers in New York Accidents

Even self-driving vehicle accidents necessitate the hire of lawyers. These legal representatives may negotiate a settlement or bring a case to a swift conclusion. An overwhelming amount of evidence may demonstrate to a judge that the driver of the vehicle is at fault. This could lead to fewer cases moving through to trial with a jury. After testing completes in New York, these cars may become part of the natural driving order.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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