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Should carmakers be liable when an autonomous car crashes?

At first blush, it seems that defects in autonomous cars should be treated as any other defect, under products liability. In a products liability suit, the manufacturer, supplier, retailer or seller bears responsibility once the plaintiff establishes that the product was defective and that defect caused her injury.

Typically, the plaintiff must prove a particular party or company caused the defect, however, in products liability, every entity involved in the manufacture and sale of the product is liable ? it is up to each of the entities to figure out who is responsible.

States might be seduced by this easy solution, but it is possible that states, to protect this nascent industry, may restrict their liability.

Also, consider that the prospect of this significantly expanded liability hasn't deterred carmakers and technology companies from developing self-driven cars. Paradoxically, as automakers design safer cars, they are tasked with accepting greater responsibility for any resulting accidents. Under products liability, they are not permitted to incorporate the cost of the accidents they prevent.

It is possible that the car manufacturers believe that the significantly improved safety will counter-act their expanded liability.

If you were injured in a car crash due to a design defect in your automobile, then you may want to contact an experienced attorney for additional information. Product liability cases do not proceed with typical injury lawsuits and implicate other issues. A lawyer can review the details of your case and help you address these matters and get you the compensation you need for your injuries.

 

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