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Recent Fatality Shows Self Driving Cars Still Have Risks

 Recent Fatality Shows Self Driving Cars Still Have RisksTV ads are already proclaiming that the future is here thanks to self-driving cars, and they are becoming more common as numerous automakers begin releasing their own versions. Some are designed to be driving entirely by the technology, while others may just have 'driver assist' functions that help with parking or that steer while you cruise on the freeway. But a recent accident shows that they're not foolproof - and brings up interesting questions on fault.

The Accident

The accident involved a self-driving Uber SUV in Tempe, Arizona. The vehicle stuck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed the street, killing her in the process. At the time of the accident a driver was actually in the SUV, but the vehicle was in its autonomous mode. With this mode active, the vehicle drives itself entirely, but since the vehicle was undergoing a testing process there was a driver behind the wheel as a safeguard.

However, that wasn't enough. Despite the driver's presence, the vehicle still caused a fatality, leaving behind a mourning family and plenty of questions. Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is launching an investigation into exactly what occurred, and Uber has released a statement saying that it is fully cooperating. At the moment, the company has pulled its self-driving cars from the roads until more is known about what happened.

A Growing Tech

Self driving cars are becoming more and more common, and Arizona in particular is one of the most popular states for them. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently updated an executive order and the state now allows self-driving vehicles to drive on state roads without a driver in them at all.

Google, GM, and numerous other auto companies are also looking into development of self-driving cars and Tesla vehicles have an 'Autopilot' mode that is only partially autonomous, still requiring a human to handle much of the process.

Currently, the self-driving cars are more suited to highway and freeway driving. They have long had difficulty managing things like pedestrians, stop and go traffic, and other hazards that are common on side streets and downtown areas. But companies are working hard to change that, and it's likely that this latest tragedy is only a small setback that will temporarily slow development.

What If You're Hurt?

Florida roads aren't as filled with self-driving vehicles as Arizona, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some out there. And if you're involved in an accident that was caused by a self-driving vehicle, what does it mean to you?

As with any personal injury situation, seeking financial compensation means determining who caused the accident and who is to blame for your injuries. In an accident involving self-driving vehicles, this could include:

• The auto manufacturer
• The driver behind the wheel
• A company responsible for a specific part of the car's self-driving functions

It's not a simple process to automatically determine who is to blame. Numerous factors have to be reviewed including things like whether or not a part failed, if a design element went wrong, if the driver acted negligently, and more. Simply put, you'll need the help of a skilled attorney to take a closer look at the situaonis and determine who is to blame.

Our offices can help. We have decades of experience in personal injury and auto accident law that we will use to show that you are owed compensation, and then make sure that those responsible pay. Contact us today to get your free initial consultation and learn more about your rights.