In New York, autonomous cars may become a reality in the near future. Four states have allowed them to test drive on public roads. These states are California, Michigan, Nevada, and Florida. The limited test grounds are mainly due to the matter of who is liable if an autonomous car is responsible for an accident.
Google, Apple, and Tesla have all tested self-driving vehicles. Mercedes-Benz flagship S550 already has semiautonomous features. The problem with these cars is that in the event of a car collision, and the driver has no control over the car, there is debate over who would be held responsible. Another problem is what the autonomous car would do if the choices were to either drive into pileup or swerve onto a sidewalk with people on it.
Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that Volvo would accept liability for any accident caused by their self-driving cars as did Mercedes-Benz and Google. He also stated that the U.S. government should have federal regulations now to allow the car makers to improve their test programs. In order for proper testing on the cars' development, there must be one set of guidelines for all 50 states to ensure the cars will work as they should.
If a person is involved in a car accident caused by an autonomous car, a drunk driver or a negligent driver, a personal injury lawyer could help them. The attorney could file the proper documents for the injured person and represent them in court proceedings. The lawyer might be able to help them collect the damages they may be due, such as spike in insurance payments, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Source: Cheat Sheet, If an Autonomous Car Crashes, Who's At Fault?, James Derek Sapienza, Oct. 18, 2015