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First Fatality for Self-Driving Car Occurred in Florida


Car accidents occur every day in Florida, and self-driving cars are one way that manufacturers are trying to reduce the number of people injured in these accidents.

New stories, however, are raising a lot of questions about legal issues in self-driving vehicle accidents and whether these cars are as safe and prepared as they could be.

If you have already been hurt in a car accident, you know just how much an incident like this can change your life.

Many legal questions have been raised about self-driving vehicles, particularly as these are alleged to reduce the chances of operator error significantly.

Human error is the cause of more than 90% of traffic accidents, which is what spurred the interest in self-driving vehicles to begin with.

A legal hypothetical quandary has just become a reality, however. Who is responsible when a driverless car crashes?

In May, a Florida man driving his Tesla Model S Electric sedan suffered fatal injuries when the self-driving car failed to activate the brake system.

Federal investigators open an official evaluation into what caused the death of that Ohio man.

The National Highway Traffic Safety information released a statement that indicated that he passed away when the car in self-driving mode failed to activate its brakes when a tractor-trailer made a sudden left turn in front of the Tesla.

The legal question raised by this accident is whether or not the Tesla’s technology could be at fault. Neither the driver nor autopilot noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer moving towards the vehicle against a brightly-lit sky, so no brakes were activated.

The liability debate has gotten a lot of attention this year after the national highway traffic safety administration approved Google self-driving software as receiving the same legal status as that of a human driver.

Google was seeking this regulatory detail as it continued to develop more autonomous vehicles, but it does raise quite a few legal questions about who is responsible in the event of an accident.

Most Common Car Accident Causes in Florida Today

Currently, autonomous cars are not available in a widespread fashion across the United States, and the majority of traffic accidents in Florida and beyond are still caused by human error.

Some of the leading causes of accidents in Florida include:

If you have been involved in an accident or someone else was not paying attention or when he or she knowingly violated the laws of the state of Florida, your first step should be to consult with your car insurance company.

Having an accident lawyer by your side to help with these challenging issues is important. Most people don’t understand the full range of their rights in a car accident claim.

For example, you might be under the impression that once you’ve maxed out your Personal Injury Protection benefits that you’re on your own with covering your medical bills and other accident expenses.

This is not the case, and an injury lawyer can help you file a claim to recover the rest.

How Does PIP Figure in After a Florida Car Accident?

Florida’s personal injury protection laws allow you to receive compensation for your injuries when an accident happens but in more severe accidents it may be likely that you could exceed the $10,000 cap on personal injury protection coverage.

If this happens to you, you need to consult with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

A accident attorney can tell you more about how to get compensation for your injuries when they exceed the PIP threshold.

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Consult with a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney

Some of these services that a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney may engage in, in order to help you with this claim, include:

  • Speaking to witnesses
  • Evaluating medical records
  • Reconstructing the scene of the accident

Having an attorney on your side can be significantly helpful when you are challenged as far as moving forward with your life.

A serious West Palm Beach car accident has the potential to shape your life in big ways and consulting with a lawyer sooner rather than later can make a big difference.

Learn more about the moral issues involved with self-driving cars here:

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