Liability Issues Surround Google’s Self-Driving Vehicles

- Charles Ruhmann

Since Google Inc. unveiled its plans to put the first self-driving car on the streets a few years ago, people have pondered how the technology will work and what sort of benefits it will have to offer us. After a recent report in mid-May of 2015 revealed that these self-driving vehicles were involved in 11 accidents over a 6 year period, people began to also ask who would be liable when in an accident involving one of these unique cars.

 

A Great Driving Record

 

The analysis of these self-driving cars revealed that of the 11 accidents which the vehicles produced by Google were involved:

 

  • All of the accidents were minor
  • No damage or injuries were the result of the accidents

 

That these accidents occurred throughout the 1.7 million miles of testing being performed by these cars (nearly 1 million of these miles were when the vehicle was in its self-driving mode)

It is also important to note that while the vehicles were involved in accidents, they were not the cause of the accidents.

 

Questions Surrounding Financial Liability

 

Liability for the standard automobile accident is fairly simple and can be assigned in one of two ways:

 

  • The owner or operator of the vehicle has insurance which then covers the costs. It is paid for by the owner/operator through their premiums
  • If the vehicle is faulty, the manufacturer (or their insurance company) does

 

The issue that many have speculated upon when it comes to these new vehicles is that tech giant Google Inc., unlike the regular vehicle operator we see now on the street, has deep pockets. The company has the finances and legal expertise available to fight any claims brought to court. On the other hand, given the bad publicity which would arise from such a case, Google may have a strong incentive to settle outside of court quickly, quietly, and generously.

 

Seeking Legal Assistance

 

As we all know, not every car accident requires the expertise of a personal injury attorney. However, we are also fully familiar of how many car accident claims tend to swing in favor of large corporations or auto insurance agencies.

 

At the Ruhmann Law Firm we offer our clients a free initial consultation to discuss the merits of their case. We never ask for payment from our clients until they receive compensation.

 

We invite you to call us today at (915) 845-4529 or (575) 526-4529 to schedule your free consultation.