Self-driving cars bring many liability issues

Self-driving cars, once merely a futuristic fantasy, may soon appear on roadways nationwide. Several auto manufacturers are designing autonomous vehicles, test-driving them and even sending them out into the world. Self-driving cars are still rare on public roads, but may soon become widespread.

The inception of self-driving cars has raised several important issues. Two weeks ago, a woman was struck and killed by a Volvo that was in autonomous mode. Her death raised issues of safety, insurance and responsibility.

Who is responsible?

One of the biggest issues surrounding self-driving cars is liability. In car crashes involving human-driven cars, there are several parties that a victim may sue. The driver, if they were driving negligently; the auto manufacturer, if their vehicle’s design contributed to the accident; even the state or local highway system, if they failed to properly care for the roadways. But an accident, who may be held liable? The driver? The technology supplier? The auto manufacturer? The answer has yet to be decided.

An uncertain legal future

The Police Chief who handled the fatal accident stated that the collision would have been difficult for any car, human-driven or self-driving, to avoid. Still, that does not mean that victims of self-driving car accidents do not have legal options. The family of the pedestrian who was killed by a self-driving vehicle has yet to take any legal action. It remains to be seen whether they will decide to file a wrongful death suit against the driver, the manufacturer, the technology supplier or Uber, the ride-sharing service that owned the vehicle. Without a doubt, in the near future there will be several instances of litigation regarding self-driving cars. The court rulings in these cases will set the precedent for liability in accidents involving autonomous vehicles.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

Learn More
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • ABA
  • Trial Lawyers Association Of Metropolitan Washington D.C | Working For Justice
  • Maryland Association For Justice
  • American Association For Justice
  • MSBA

Call Or Email For A Free Consultation

If you have suffered a personal injury in a car crash or other accident, need help with another type of dispute, we are prepared to help. Contact our lawyer online or call 877-234-4179 to schedule an initial consultation. There is no cost or obligation to contact us. Se habla español. For your convenience, we have offices in Washington D.C., Rockville, Greenbelt and Fairfax.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Rockville Office
200-A Monroe St.
Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Rockville Office

Washington D.C. Office
1150 Seventeenth St. NW
Suite 305
Washington, D.C. 20036

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Washington Office

Capital Office Park
6305 Ivy Lane
Suite 408
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Greenbelt Office

Fairfax Office
10521 Judicial Dr.
Suite 303
Fairfax, VA 22030

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 703-722-6446
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Fairfax Office
  • Toll Free 877-234-4179
  • Maryland/D.C. 301-637-8078
  • Virginia 703-722-6446
  • Fax 301-251-0730
Back To Top