Could Tesla Be Sued Under Vicarious Liability In Self-Driving Accident?


As more autonomous vehicles hit the roads in America, there are more questions about who is liable in a car accident when the vehicle is in self-driving mode. For example, can you sue Tesla under vicarious liability if you are injured in a self-driving car accident? Learn more about this and related topics, then speak to our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Shani O. Brooks P.C. for legal assistance.

Determining Liability In Self-Driving Auto Accidents

Many people believe that the increasing number of autonomous vehicles will cause more car accidents. As automated vehicles take control of our roads, Georgia courts must alter how they litigate auto accident liability lawsuits.

In some cases, the issue of vicarious liability could come into play. Vicarious liability means finding a company or entity responsible for an employee’s actions. For example, suppose a delivery driver in a self-driving vehicle hits you in a crosswalk. In that case, it may be possible to sue Tesla under the vicarious liability doctrine for your injuries. 

Or, you may be able to sue the delivery driver’s employer. This is an evolving area of the law, so if you were in a self-driving car accident, you should have your case reviewed by an Atlanta car accident attorney.

Other parties and entities could be liable in a self-driving Tesla auto accident, depending on the case details. Some examples include:

The Driver

Most self-driving vehicles today, including most Teslas, are only partially autonomous. In addition, these vehicles still require the human driver to oversee the technology and take action when the software makes a mistake.

For instance, if the self-driving software warns the driver that weather conditions require him to take over driving, he must do so immediately. If he ignores warning signals from the software, he could be liable for the Tesla accident. In an accident involving test drivers for Tesla, Google, Uber, and others, the company might be held vicariously liable for employees’ negligence.

The Vehicle Manufacturer

Tesla or another self-driving car manufacturer might be liable in an accident if a product defect caused the accident. Therefore, every vehicle manufacturer must ensure that their vehicles are reasonably safe. This means the carmaker should design a safe car model, ensure they are manufactured safely and inspect cars for safety issues.

The Software Company

Many self-driving vehicles have software that a different company makes. Some accidents have happened because of a software flaw. Or, there was a malfunction in the self-driving software. That company could be found negligent if the self-driving software contributed to the accident.

Speak To Our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys Today

Were you in a Tesla self-driving accident recently near Zoo Atlanta or Piedmont Park? There are many legal questions involved regarding liability with self-driving vehicles, and many people or entities could be liable, depending on the case. A self-driving car crash will require an extensive investigation to determine liability. Our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Shani O. Brooks P.C. can help you hold the proper individuals or entities accountable for their negligence. Contact Shani Brooks today at (404) 920-4736.