Who will be liable if a self-driving car causes an accident?

If you were to get into an accident in Monmouth County today, chances are that accident would be caused by some kind of negligence on the part of another driver. Therefore, that driver would most likely be found liable for the accident and for any monetary damages, which payout would come through his or her insurance company.

As self-driving cars are poised to flood the new car marked over the next several years, the question of who is liable when an accident occurs becomes more complicated. According to Forbes, the statistics for 2015 show that 94 percent of accident fatalities were caused by human error, with drunk driving being one of the leading causes. If a human driver is taken out of the equation totally or even partially, liability for accidents, therefore, will likely shift to the manufacturers of the vehicles.

You would think that this would be met with fierce opposition by the companies who will be producing cars with self-driving technology. However, many of them seem to not only be okay with this but are actually embracing the idea. One reason for this is that self-driving cars are considered to be extremely safe and the number of accidents and fatalities is expected to drop dramatically once they become commonplace. So fewer claims are likely to occur.

Another reason is that much of the cost for accident liability will be passed on to you, as the consumer. By charging you more for your vehicle, the manufacturer will have more money available should it need to make a payout from an accident. In turn, you could then expect to pay less for auto insurance since fewer driver-related claims would be filed. This is provided as general information on this topic and should not be considered legal advice.

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