The Fundamentals Of Liability In Self-Driving Semitruck Accidents

Posted on: 3 December 2019

With autonomous semitrucks making the news more frequently as more companies begin testing them, drivers need to be alert. It has recently become public knowledge that self-driving semitrucks are being used in some parts of the country, and other drivers need to understand what this means for them and their safety on the road. If you are in an accident with a self-driving semitruck, who do you hold at fault? Here's a look at what you need to know.

Is There An Operator On Board?

Although these semitrucks are considered autonomous, they are not completely free of human intervention or oversight. There is an operator inside each one of these trucks. The intention is for the human operator to serve as a safety officer of sorts, as well as a backup driver.

The operator should monitor the road conditions and the operation of the truck when the autonomous programming is in control. If the program detects conditions that are unsafe for the truck to handle on its own, such as heavy, unpredictable traffic or inclement weather, the operator is notified through a series of alerts and must take over driving within a certain number of seconds. If the operator doesn't take over in time, the truck will slow and stop until he or she does.

Who Is To Blame In An Accident?

The problem with accidents involving autonomous trucks is the determination of liability. The operator may be considered to be at fault if he or she was either in control of the truck at the time or failed to respond to a safety issue.

The manufacturer of the truck could be to blame if the accident was caused by a faulty part that they failed to address. The programmer and software company in charge of the autonomous system could be to blame if the accident was caused by something that happened as a result of a programming error.

Finally, the company that owns the truck could be to blame if they ignored a safety concern, put the operator in a dangerous situation, or otherwise ignored something that could have prevented the accident.

If you were involved in an accident with an autonomous semitruck, you should reach out to a truck wreck attorney right away. He or she can help you assess the situation and determine who may be at fault. With so many potential outcomes, it is important that you have legal guidance.


Always Know Your Renter's Rights

After my mother suffered a fall on the icy steps of her apartment building, I learned a lot about renter's rights, and I want to share my story and tips to help others. My mother was extremely afraid to pursue action against the apartment owners who were at fault for her fall due to fear she would be kicked out of her apartment. I found out that there are state laws that protect apartment renters from retaliation for asserting their rights as renters. However, it is very important to have any attorney on your side when you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an apartment owner; the owner is less likely to even try to illegally evict you if they know you have an attorney already on your side. I hope you can learn a lot from my story and the other tips I share on this blog!