Self-Driving Vehicle Accident Lawyers in New Jersey
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers provides aggressive representation when automated cars cause injury and wrongful death
For more than a decade, technology companies have promised to make our roadways safer by automating vehicles. In theory, cars guided by computers would be safer, because computers aren’t distracted, don’t consume drugs or alcohol, and never tire. They don’t suffer from road rage or take unreasonable risks. Remove humans from the process, we’ve been told, and you remove human error, which is by far the leading cause of traffic accidents. However, in some cases, instead of enhancing safety as promised, self-driving cars have created unreasonable risks, especially in those communities being used as testing grounds, as tech companies race to establish themselves as leaders in the market. Moreover, as numerous deadly crashes over the last few years have shown, the new technology complicates the question of liability for injuries and wrongful death.
Multiple companies have invested millions of dollars in self-driving vehicles and the technology website TechCrunch reported in June 2019 that there are now over 80 companies testing more than 1,400 self-driving vehicles on American roads.
At Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers, our car accident attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death accident cases. But we’re not resting on our laurels: we’re adapting to the new legal implications of self-driving vehicles to better assist accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an autonomous vehicle, you can rely on our knowledge and our determination as we fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need A Self-Driving Vehicle Accident Lawyer?
When a motor vehicle accident involves a self-driving car, there are going to be a lot of questions about exactly who or what was at fault. An attorney is going to be immensely helpful in helping you get answers because as soon as you hire one, they will commence their own independent investigation into your crash to determine the actual cause.
More importantly, a lawyer is also going to be able to identify all liable parties, and some cases could involve both drivers and vehicle manufacturers bearing some responsibility. The insurance companies for these parties will often try to contact victims soon after their accidents and quickly resolve the cases through lump-sum settlements, but you should remember that most settlement offers are dramatically less than what people are actually entitled to.
Even when a representative for an insurance company pledges to fully support you for all medical bills and lost wages, know that an insurer is never on your side. All insurance companies are motivated only to protect their bottom lines, usually by resolving these cases for as little as possible.
When you hire an attorney, they are motivated only to protect the best interests of their clients as though they were their own. This will mean that you will have a legal advocate committed only to helping you receive a truly fair and full settlement for your injuries, or filing a lawsuit to seek damages when a settlement is not possible.
Why Choose Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers To Handle My Self-Driving Vehicle Accident Case?
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers has decades of experience with personal injury litigation. We were ranked a Top 40 Law Firm by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Edward P. Capozzi is a member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Between 2012 and 2018, he secured at least one (and as many as three) of the state’s top 20 verdicts or settlements each year.
Keith J. Roberts is a member of the New Jersey chapter of the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Healthcare Compliance Association, the Health and Hospital Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, and the Bergen County Bar Association. He is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a civil trial attorney.
Charles X. Gormally has also been certified as a civil trial attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He has been licensed in New Jersey since 1979 and New York since 1990 and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and American Bar Association.
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers also will not charge you anything to handle your case unless you obtain a monetary award. We provide representation on a contingency fee basis, so you will pay nothing upfront.
What exactly is a self-driving car?
The term self-driving is a bit of a misnomer, but refers to the automated assistance a computer within the vehicle gives to the driver. Tech companies divide self-driving technology into five categories or levels as follows:
- Level 0 — A standard automobile with no self-driving technology
- Level 1 — With “driver assistance technology,” the car performs a few steering or acceleration tasks without human intervention. These include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Parking Assistance with automated steering, and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA). All other driving tasks are under human control and a human driver must be actively engaged at all times.
- Level 2 — The “partially automated” system executes accelerating, braking, and steering, but the driver must detect objects, obstructions, or traffic events and respond if the automated system does not. The automated system stands down when the driver takes over.
- Level 3 — With “conditional automation,” the driver allows the vehicle to perform limited “safety-critical functions” under certain traffic or environmental conditions, such as the freeway, This level still requires a driver, but the fact that a driver can defer some but not all major tasks to the vehicle raises the danger of the human driver being disengaged at a critical moment.
- Level 4 — At this level of “high automation,” a human driver is not required unless there is uncertain terrain or severe weather. The driver’s most important responsibility is to determine correctly whether the environment is safe for fully automated control.
- Level 5 — At this level of “full automation,” the vehicle is under computer control in all conditions. A vehicle occupant needs only to choose the destination and initiate the system.
When an accident occurs, the level of self-driving technology in use becomes an issue. The tech company may claim the driver was responsible in the moments preceding the crash, and the driver will attempt to shift blame to the tech company.