California regulators have nixed a General Motors suggestion to remove liability from companies whose self-driving cars caused accidents due to the vehicle not being maintained to manufacturer specifications. This recommendation would place the burden of liability on drivers and could have opened a loophole for companies to avoid responsibility for injuries caused by a defective vehicle. Fortunately, the California DMV found the suggestion unfit for consideration. Legislation continues to change and advance in regards to self-driving cars and the parties liable for them. California continues to act as the example of how other state legislation will begin to approach self-driving vehicles. As of now, automakers of self-driving vehicles can still be held liable for accidents that occur due to faulty equipment in the vehicles.
What Do I Need to Prove Fault in a Car Accident?
In the case of the self-driving vehicle, regulators found that car companies were responsible for accidents caused by faulty parts in their vehicles, regardless of whether the owner had completed all maintenance on it. When it comes to regular driving accidents, however, proving that one of the drivers was negligent is key to advancing a case. Negligence is defined as a person acting in a careless manner, resulting in injury to another party. In most negligence claims, evidence must be presented that:
- The law required the individual to be reasonably careful
- The individual was not careful
- The individual’s actions lead to injury
- The injury resulted in damages
Did you recently get into a car accident and are unsure who is responsible? Contact the experienced accident lawyers at Needham, Kepner & Fish LLP. Our accident and personal injury lawyers can assist in answering all your questions and help build your case. Schedule a consultation today.