Boston Self-Driving Car Accident Attorneys
Anytime you head out on the road around Boston, you can expect to pass by a somewhat self-driving car, whether it is the popular Tesla Model X or the Nissan Rogue. This new era of cars brings a lot of innovation with it, but it can be scary to see a driver take his hands off the wheel or even dare to sleep while his car is in motion. This overreliance on technology, coupled with negligent behaviors, is dangerous and can cause catastrophic accidents in the wrong circumstances.
If you were injured in a self-driving car accident that was not your fault, you are likely in a lot of pain, dealing with costly medical bills, and worried about your future. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we understand how complex and nerve-racking these accidents are, which is why we stand up for victims at every turn. For more than a decade, our firm has worked with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and other professionals to get our clients the highest possible amount after a run-in with a negligent driver.
Let us use our expertise to fight for you. Call our Boston office at (617) 870-0907 for a free case evaluation.
The capabilities of self-driving cars are often overestimated. Most self-driving cars actually require drivers to operate the vehicle the majority of the time on the road, and no car is truly self-driving yet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are six levels of automated vehicles:
- Automation Level 0: No automation. Driver must be in control at all times.
- Automation Level 1: Driver assistance. A driver must be in control at all times, but there are driver assistance programs and devices in the car.
- Automation Level 2: Partial automation. A driver must pay attention to the road and has some control over the vehicle, but the car has automated features like steering, acceleration, and lane-change warnings.
- Automation Level 3: Conditional automation. The driver is required to take control of the vehicle at all times but does not have to monitor the road and the car has some control.
- Automation Level 4: High automation. The vehicle can control the car at all times under the right conditions, but the driver can take full control if necessary.
- Automation Level 5: Full automation. The vehicle can control the car in all conditions and the driver can take control if necessary.
Currently, only a handful of cars have even reached Automation Level 2, and the higher levels are still in the testing phases. Systems like Tesla’s Automated Car and Cadillac’s Super Cruise are only at Automation Level 2.
Self-driving cars are being tested all across the country at advanced facilities, but companies can test these vehicles on public roads around Massachusetts, according to Executive Order 572, so long as the companies follow proper safety procedures. Here in Boston, automated vehicles are being tested at South Boston Waterfront by two city-approved companies: NuTonomy and Optimus Ride. These companies must follow strict rules and pass multiple approvals by the city before they can move onto public roads. In addition, they are limited in where and when they can test their vehicles based on our city’s standards for safety.
The goal of this research is to help Boston reach Vision Zero, which is a point where there are zero deaths due to car accidents. While this is a noble endeavor, if you were injured by a self-driving vehicle in Boston, you should speak to an attorney about your options for compensation, especially if the accident was the manufacturer or test driver’s fault.
Due to the limits of modern self-driving cars, their drivers must still remain vigilant on the road. Automation Level 2 is only designed to help drivers remain in their lanes, control their speed, and apply emergency brakes – it cannot completely prevent a car accident. That is the responsibility of the driver.
Unfortunately, many drivers are not aware of the limits of their vehicles, making them more likely to crash. Self-driving car accidents are often the result of:
- Drivers taking their hands off the wheel
- Distracted driving, including texting, daydreaming, or eating
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Speeding and relying on cruise control
- Dangerous lane changes and turns
In general, the safety devices in self-driving cars can prevent the majority of accidents on their own, and only a handful of collisions are caused by the vehicle itself. In fact, most self-driving car accidents are the fault of negligent drivers.
At the end of the day, if a negligent driver caused your accident while driving a self-driving car, you can still hold the driver accountable for your injuries in an accident claim. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, meaning you must first go through your health insurance and personal auto insurance to get compensation, but any serious injuries or excess damages can be recovered with a claim against the other driver.
In addition, if your injuries were caused by a defective part or software in the self-driving car, then you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Manufacturers have a duty to make sure their vehicles are safe to operate and all safety mechanisms are up to standard. If a part is defective, or a manufacturer misrepresented the safety of its vehicle, then the manufacturer may owe you compensation for your injuries.
Researchers hope that automated vehicles will eliminate all car accidents one day, but this is a lofty dream. The harsh reality is that human negligence will always be an issue on the roads around Boston, and anyone who harms another person should be held accountable for their actions. But given the sudden advances in vehicle technology over the years, you need to work with an attorney who understands how to merge technology and the law to get you the highest possible award.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we are not your father’s law firm. We do not rely on stuffy old law books and expect our clients to sign stacks of paper. We believe that lawyers should use modern technology to make the claims process easier and more efficient for clients. That means working closely with accident reconstructionists, investigators, engineers, and other specialists while also using the best software available to streamline the process.
If you bring your case to our Boston auto accident attorney, we will use all of our knowledge, resources, and expertise to get you compensation for your injuries. We will investigate every aspect of your accident, from the driver who injured you to the manufacturer of their vehicle, to give you the strongest claim possible. To get a free consultation, call DiBella Law Offices, P.C., at (617) 870-0907 or contact us online.