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Driverless Cars Will Soon Be Commonplace On Florida’s Roads But In Accidents Who Is At Fault?


But if the future keeps progressing the way it is, the odds are very strong that while cars may still be everywhere, drivers won’t be. That’s because driverless cars are quickly becoming commonplace thanks to companies like Google. And no matter what you think about these driverless vehicles, the fact is that when it comes down to an accident, determining fault will still need to be considered.

It may sound tricky, but most experts agree that determining fault where a driverless car is concerned is actually something that will likely be easier than you think. This is in large part due to the technology itself.

Already, black boxes are installed in every vehicle that rolls off assembly lines. These boxes record things like speed, braking information, steering information, and more. As a result, it’s possible to review the data within them and get a fast, accurate look at what happened in an accident.

With these black boxes being standard issue on driven vehicles, it becomes pretty apparent that there’s no way they wouldn’t be installed on a driverless car. In these vehicles, every single movement of the vehicle – every action that the computer program takes during operation – will be right there for accident investigators to review.

So what does that mean in the event of an accident, exactly? It all comes down to the same thing that it does in any other type of auto accident: fault.

When an accident occurs, fault must be proven in order to determine who is in the wrong and who may be entitled to financial compensation. For instance, someone driving on the wrong side of the road or someone who speeds through a stop sign and causes an accident will be at fault. In those cases, they may be ordered to provide compensation for the driver they injured.

The same will apply to driverless vehicles. It will need to be proven that the driverless vehicle was at fault in an accident – that its computerized operating system did something that led to the accident and injuries sustained by others.

Of course, if that’s proven, the next question becomes just who will be held at fault. An injured party can’t seek compensation from a computer, after all. While laws and insurance policies are still not caught up to this technology, it’s safe to assume that one of two things will likely occur.

  • The vehicle’s owner will be held responsible for failure to properly ensure that the operating system was functioning correctly. Or
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle or the operating system will be held responsible. This will be the case if its’ shown that the problem was a result of poor operation of the system that the owner didn’t have any influence over – an error in code or in wiring from the manufacturer, for example.

Obviously, driverless cars aren’t the norm just yet. But they are becoming more common, and as such it’s important for injury lawyers to understand how to approach an accident involving them.

The laws are yet to be adapted, and insurance companies haven’t yet taken these new cars into consideration, but when you consider the speed at which technology advances, it’s something that everyone involved in the industry will need to pay very close attention to. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Driverless Cars Will Soon Be Commonplace On Florida’s Roads But In Accidents Who Is At Fault?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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