Out of the 14 auto accidents that the Google self-driving car has been involved in since first introduced for testing purposes six years ago, the one that occurred in mid-July 2015 was the first to result in injuries.
While the injuries were not severe—and it is likely that all four people who were injured will recover without any serious complications—the accident does make for an interesting discussion about liability for medical expenses in a driver-less car accident.
Google’s Car Not to Blame
Just as has been the case in the other 13 accidents that the self-driving cars have been part of, Google’s Lexus 23RX450h hybrid was not at fault, despite having no driver. While the law does require that a person be present to take over in case something goes wrong, the vehicle self-operates using high-tech cameras and savvy radar systems. So far, the systems have proven to be very efficient.
In this most recent accident, the injuries of three people who were within the Google vehicle, as well as another driver’s injuries, were caused when a car behind the Lexus rear-ended it while stopped at an intersection.
Minor Injuries Sustained
The injuries sustained by the four people involved in the crash were not serious. The three Google employees located within the Google car reported neck and back pain, while the driver of the other vehicle suffered from minor whiplash. Damage to the vehicles was also minor, just a scape to the Google car’s bumper. The other car lost its front bumper. In fact, total damages were so insignificant that there is no police report.
Who pays for injuries and damages?
We don’t yet know how insurance and liability will work in accidents involving self-driving cars. For now, it’s likely that each car’s owner carries insurance, which will handle paying for damages depending upon circumstance.
If self-driving cars go commercial, there may be a surge in product liability suits against vehicle manufacturers if the self-driving car is at fault. How insurance may work for self-driving cars is that the burden is on the manufacturer rather than drivers.
Learn More About Car Accidents and Liability
Until the average consumer uses self-driving cars, liability for car accidents follows a relatively straightforward system. To learn more about who might have to pay for damages if you’ve been injured in a car crash in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC today. You can reach our offices now at 215-642-2335.