How Will Autonomous Trucks Affect PI Cases?

self driving truck

Self-driving trucks are relatively new to the roads, but the personal injury laws that govern accidents have remained the same.

Tesla, Waymo, and Uber are just a few of the companies working hard to get autonomous, or self-driving, commercial trucks on the road. The companies working on the technology have promoted it as making the roads safer, as sensors and cameras identify and avoid hazards on the roads. Unfortunately, autonomous trucks are no more immune to being involved in an accident than any other type of truck on the road.

However, the new technology can make the aftermath of these crashes even more confusing. If you have been involved in an accident with an autonomous truck, our Brownsville personal injury lawyer can help determine liability for the crash.

Manufacturer Liability

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe, and that includes those companies that manufacture autonomous trucks. After an accident involving an autonomous truck, a personal injury lawyer will almost always first investigate manufacturer liability. Black boxes may have to be collected and analyzed to determine which systems were working at the time of the crash, and perhaps those that were defective. Other aspects of the crash will also be investigated to determine if the manufacturer was liable.

Manufacturer liability falls under a category of personal injury law known as product liability. In Brownsville, as throughout the rest of Texas, manufacturers can be held strictly liable when their products are found to be unsafe. As such, accident victims do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent. Instead, the burden of proof is on the manufacturer to prove that they were not.

Truck Driver Liability

For the time being at least, autonomous vehicles require a human to sit inside the vehicle when it is in operation. The human is then expected to take over driving responsibilities if something goes wrong, or if the driver simply wants to take the vehicle off auto-pilot and navigate the route on their own. This may sometimes be necessary if the driver has to navigate tight turns, or pull up into a loading dock.

If a person, such as a truck driver, was in control of the vehicle at the time of the crash and they did not meet their duty of care, they can be held liable for paying damages. Determining that a truck driver negligently operated an autonomous truck is extremely difficult. A Brownsville truck accident lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine liability and hold the at-fault party accountable.

Call Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Brownsville Today

It is never easy to determine liability after a truck accident, but when a crash involves an autonomous vehicle, it becomes even more difficult. If you or someone you love has been injured by an autonomous vehicle, our Brownsville truck accident lawyer at the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, PLLC, will bring the experience these cases require. Call us today at 956-621-2738 or contact us online to schedule a consultation so we can review your case.