CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH SELF-DRIVING VEHICLE CRASH LAWYERS TODAY
Car accidents are never fun, but some are easier to deal with than others. Minor fender-benders may be able to be resolved fairly quickly with relatively little stress. On the other end of the spectrum, high-speed collisions may cause extensive injuries and extraordinary amounts of damage to a vehicle, which can drastically complicate the post-accident process. What both of these types of accidents have in common, however, is a factor that until recently was a given in any car accident—a human driver. Self-driving cars are making their way onto the road now, and this creates the possibility of crashes. The best way to deal with one of these crashes may be to contact a Tucson autonomous motor vehicle accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been in a self-driving vehicle accident in Tucson, call (800) 863-5312 to speak with a Zinda Law Group attorney today.
WHAT IS AN AUTONOMOUS MOTOR VEHICLE?
Simply put, an autonomous motor vehicle is a car or truck that handles at least part of, and potentially all of, the driving responsibilities that have been handled by human drivers up to this point. Eventually, autonomous motor vehicles may actually create safer roadways by eliminating the potential for human error. Currently, however, autonomous motor vehicles have varying degrees of automation capability.
The vehicle is controlled by the driver, but some features may be included in the vehicle design to assist the driver.
The driver must remain engaged in driving and monitoring the environment at all times, but the vehicle may have combined automated functions like accelerating and steering.
The driver is not required to monitor the environment, but they must be ready at all times to take control of the vehicle with notice.
The vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under certain conditions, and the driver may have the option of controlling the vehicle if they wish.
The vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under all conditions that could be present on the road, though the driver may have the option of controlling the vehicle if they wish.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SELF-DRIVING VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN TUCSON
Because self-driving vehicles are still a relatively new phenomenon, the laws and procedures surrounding self-driving vehicles are still in flux. That being said, there are a few things that everyone who is in a self-driving vehicle crash should make sure to do to ensure that they have the best chance at being able to receive compensation.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
As soon as you possibly can, move yourself to a safe location, and from there, seek medical attention. Getting your injuries treated quickly serves a couple of distinct purposes. First, the quicker your injuries are treated, the better chance that they will not develop into a worse problem. Getting medical attention soon after your accident also may help catch injuries that you weren’t even aware you had incurred. Your claim will depend on being able to tie your injuries to the accident in which you were involved. Getting attention from a doctor quickly helps to establish this link.
2. Report the Accident
After your accident, make sure that you call the police and file a report. Even if the accident seems relatively minor, it is important that the accident is reported. Filing a report with the police gives you an opportunity to give a complete account of the accident while the details are still fresh in your mind. It is also a good way to protect your rights by preventing the other parties involved from claiming that your injuries are actually from a separate incident.
3. Document the Accident
Once the dust has settled, document the accident as thoroughly as you possibly can. This can include getting the contact information for the driver or passenger of the car, taking photos of the scene and vehicles involved, and making sure to collect and keep all of the documentation involved with the process, like medical records or receipts for repairs. It is difficult to determine what kind of documentation will be important during your case, so being overprepared is much preferable to being underprepared.
4. Contact a Self-Driving Vehicle Crash Lawyer
Contacting an experienced attorney soon after your crash is an important part of any car accident. With self-driving vehicles, the importance is intensified because of the potential complications involved. An autonomous motor vehicle lawyer may be able to help you in a few different ways, including by conducting an initial meeting in which they help you get a better idea of what your options might be, advocating for your rights, and assisting you in your fight for maximum compensation, and keeping you advised at every step of the way so you don’t feel like you are getting lost in the process.
WHO IS LIABLE IN AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE CRASH?
Determining liability is an important step in every personal injury claim. Liability is simply the legal term for responsibility for the injuries of another. If someone is responsible, or liable, for your injuries, then they may be on the hook to pay for any of the damages that you sustained.
In a self-driving vehicle accident in Tucson, the most likely parties who might be liable for your accident are the driver of the car, if there is one, and the automobile manufacturer. A manufacturer could be liable for an accident if there is a failure in the software system or some other feature of the vehicle itself that leads to a collision. Another possibility is that a design flaw of the vehicle failed to notify the human driver in time that they needed to take over control of the car. However, to avoid paying anything in damages, the automobile manufacturer will usually attempt to pin the blame for any accident on the human driver.
As mentioned, there are many vehicles that are self-driving to a certain degree while still requiring or allowing for the presence of a human driver. This means that a human certainly could still be liable for your injuries if they were responsible for an accident. If a driver was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted, or simply not paying close enough attention to the road, then they may be liable for your injuries.
WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
Because accident victims often have medical bills and costly repairs piling up, one important question that they have is how much their case could be worth. This is not a question that can be answered generally, but speaking with a Tucson attorney may help you evaluate your claim. However, the overall amount of compensation that may receive will likely be comprised of two main categories of damages.
Economic damages are the tangible, objectively verifiable damages that you sustain as a result of your accident. These can include medical bills, damage to your vehicle and other personal property, and lost wages from being unable to go to work. Economic damages can be proven to a fairly high degree of certainty and can be difficult to argue against for this reason.
Non-economic damages typically refer to the pain and suffering that you experience as a result of your accident. This includes physical pain and suffering, but compensation may also be available for mental anguish, the loss of enjoyment of life, or the loss of time spent with a spouse or loved one. Non-economic damages are not as closely tied to objective factors as economic damages, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be proven and argued for.
In a relatively small number of cases, punitive damages may also be available. While economic and non-economic damages focus on making the victim whole again, punitive damages actually focus on the wrongdoer and aim to punish them, serving as a warning for anyone who might do the same thing in the future. Punitive damages are typically reserved for cases in which the wrongdoer acted either purposefully or very recklessly.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
Every personal injury case is governed by a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have from the date of your accident to bring a claim based on injuries stemming from that accident. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years, which means that you will have two years from the date of your accident to bring a claim. Any claim brought after this time has expired will most likely be dismissed for a lack of timeliness. Certain exceptions to the general statute of limitations may apply to your case, such as if you—the accident victim—were a minor at the time of the accident or you didn’t discover your injuries until much later. Speaking with an attorney as soon as you can is likely the best way to avoid running into problems with legal time limits.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Dealing with a self-driving vehicle accident is not something that any accident victim should have to deal with on their own. Zinda Law Group has the experience to be able to guide you through the process and assist you in seeking maximum compensation. Our clients do not owe us anything unless we win their case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.