Legal Help After A Crash With An Autonomous Vehicle
Being involved in a car accident is traumatic, but when you discover that the other vehicle was an autonomous vehicle, or driverless car, you are left to worry how the process is going to differ from a standard accident. How are you going to be able to defend your rights when the owner of the driverless car is going to have video, compiled data or other technical material to “prove” that their computer was not at fault?
In driverless accidents, it is more important than ever to consult a legal professional immediately to understand your rights. Call Pendergast Law at 888-539-9211 to sit down with a Seattle car accident attorney in a free consultation. If we take your case, you owe us nothing until we get fair compensation for you.
What To Do After The Accident
Driverless cars are the wave of the future, but car crashes will largely stay the same.
After a driverless car accident in Washington – as you would after any car crash – call 911 and check if anyone has been injured. Even though there is no driver in the other car, there could be people in the vicinity who were injured, such as pedestrians or bicyclists. Make sure that everyone is in a safe location and not in danger of being hit by other vehicles. If the victims are safe where they are, do not move them, as that can cause further injuries. When emergency responders arrive, follow their directions as quickly as possible.
Information To Gather
While you are still at the scene of the accident, if you are able, it is in your best interest to begin collecting information that can be used to help you pursue compensation for your losses. If you can’t get it, your attorney should be able to. This can include:
- Witness statements: These statements can be from occupants of other vehicles or people who saw the accident and are willing to give you their account of the event.
- Photos: Taking photos with a cellphone will allow you to have a record of the damage caused by the accident, the location of the vehicles and any injuries that you might have sustained. Photos can also be obtained from the witnesses of the accident.
- Video evidence: There may be traffic cameras in the area as well as security cameras from local businesses. Check and see if witnesses have some footage of the accident.
In addition, you will want to collect more information as it becomes available, such as:
- Police report: The police report will contain your account of the accident as well as any observations from the police officers or witnesses.
- Insurance company report: You will need to file a report with your insurance company and relate your account of the accident. They might also contact witnesses or speak to the police officer who was on the scene. We strongly recommend speaking with an attorney before giving a statement to your insurance company (or the driverless car’s).
- Medical records: Even if you believe that your injuries are minor or superficial, you need to see a doctor. Obtain a copy of any medical reports as proof of the injuries and the doctor’s professional opinion of the injuries, the cause and any long-term implications.
Can A Driverless Car Be Negligent?
Do computers or automated systems make mistakes? Yes. However, it won’t be the computer that you hold liable for the driverless car accident – it will be the car’s owner, programmer or manufacturer or perhaps someone else behind the scenes who caused or contributed to the accident.
At Pendergast Law, we work diligently with law enforcement, accident investigators and computer forensic specialists to determine the exact causes of our clients’ accidents. And, if negligence or oversight is discovered, you have a right to be compensated for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property loss or damage
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
Since driverless cars are a relatively new contender in the realm of car wrecks, it is critical that you seek the help of an experienced legal team right away to fight for your rights as the victim. A call to Pendergast Law at 888-539-9211 is the first step. We offer free consultations, and if we take your case, we will work hard to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Speak to a Washington state driverless car accident attorney today.