Pursuing the Fullest Recovery for Pedestrians Hit by Uber Autonomous Driving Vehicles
State and federal lawmakers continue to wrestle with safety laws and regulations for autonomous driving vehicles, but Uber Technologies, Inc. has already been testing this new technology in various cities with mixed results. Individuals injured by Uber vehicles, which includes pedestrians, have been pursuing legal claims for injuries caused by these vehicles. The surviving family members of the first reported pedestrian fatality caused by an Uber autonomous vehicle recently settled for an undisclosed amount. Pedestrians injured by self-driven vehicles operated by Uber are pursuing legal claims, and you might have the legal right to compensation if you were injured by an Uber autonomous vehicle.
Our autonomous driving vehicle accident injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP know that pedestrians injured by this new technology used by the popular ridesharing service feel concerned because the self-driving system has not been perfected. Our lawyers feel that Uber’s decision to endanger pedestrians while trying to fix bugs in these vehicles needlessly threatens public safety. We also feel that Uber should pay for the adverse consequence of live-testing its new technology on public roads. Our clients find comfort in holding companies responsible when they elect to put profits before preventing injuries and fatalities.
Filing Your Lawsuit for Pedestrian Injuries Caused by Uber Self-Driving Vehicles
While liability in pedestrian lawsuits usually involves proof of negligence by a vehicle operator, these issues become more complicated without a human driver. If you are hit by an Uber self-vehicle operating autonomously, you might have the right to bring a lawsuit against Uber, the suppliers of the technology, and even the vehicle manufacturers. While Uber might be liable based on negligence in implementing this technology or the failure of its backup driver to intervene to prevent injuries to a pedestrian, the companies that design, manufacture, and supply the autopilot system and vehicle might be strictly liable under product liability law.
If you or a loved one has been injured while on foot, certain steps can help preserve your claim. You should gather evidence and seek immediate medical care. If you are hit by one of these self-driving cars, you should obtain the contact information of any witnesses and take photos of your injuries and the surrounding area. You also should seek immediate medical attention to improve your prognosis and obtain diagnostic evaluation and scans, which will provide important evidence of your injuries. Prompt legal advice also will be important because of the complex nature of these types of product liability claims, efforts by Uber and the manufacturers of the technology and vehicle to shift blame, and the need to analyze the defects that contributed to the accident.
What Are Uber Self-Driving Vehicles?
These vehicles are Uber’s version of autopiloted vehicles that use a system comprised of sensors, lasers, radar, cameras, and GPS to calculate the distance between the vehicles and various objects. This technology allows the system to create a 3D image of the surrounding environment and interpret the actions of other vehicles and pedestrians. The Uber version of this system remains in the test phase, so bugs and defects can lead to pedestrian accidents that cause devastating injuries and wrongful death.
Have Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Been Caused by Uber’s Self-Driving Cars?
Uber has recently suspended the trial use of its autonomous vehicles in the wake of a fatal pedestrian crash. An Uber vehicle in autopilot mode struck a woman walking her bicycle as she crossed the street. Although Uber vehicles carry one or more persons to intervene in the event of an emergency, the Uber employee in this incident reportedly was not watching the road at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident according to media reports. This fatal crash was the first reported death of a pedestrian caused by an Uber autonomous vehicle. However, only a small number of vehicles are involved in the trials, but there have been other reports of these vehicles blowing through red lights at intersections.
A growing number of cities began halting Uber trials of self-driving vehicles, and the company suspended their testing of these vehicles in the wake of this fatal pedestrian crash. Unfortunately, this temporary cessation of activities only represents a momentary reprieve until trials of these vehicles resume.
What Injuries Are Caused in Pedestrian-Uber Self-Driving Car Collisions?
While all motor vehicle accidents could cause painful or debilitating injuries, pedestrians who are struck by cars face a greater risk of suffering catastrophic injuries like multiple fractures, bone crush injuries, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, permanent damage to internal organs, and loss of life. The human body does not fare well when hit by a moving projectile composed of metal and other hard materials moving at 25 mph or faster.
Do I Have Grounds for a Lawsuit?
While advocates of self-driving vehicles contend their development will remove driver error, the fatal Tempe, AZ pedestrian accident provides an example of potential liability in this type of collision. You might have a lawsuit based on product liability law if defects in the design, manufacture, or marketing/warnings for the self-driving system or its components or the vehicle cause your accident. Any entity involved in the production or distribution chain might be liable if the defects existed when the vehicle left the company’s possession and control.
You also might have a right to bring a lawsuit against Uber and the employee for negligence in failing to respond when the autopilot system failed. Ultimately, Uber can be liable for using vehicles that cause injury or wrongful death when they are not reasonably safe for customers of the ridesharing service.
Determining the Value of Your Case?
The value of your personal injury claim will depend on a significant number of factors that include:
- Severity of injury
- Lost income
- Diminished earning potential
- Impact on quality or life
- Pain and suffering
These considerations account for only a small number of issues that might impact your damages. You will need an experienced attorney to analyze all the relevant factors and calculate the value of your case.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Motor vehicle accident claims involving autonomous vehicles will involve complex issues related to the technology and defects that contribute to these crashes, so experience with these issues could have a significant impact on your case. Further, experts will be needed to conduct accident reconstruction and analyze system failures involving the components and the vehicle. The expenses involved in paying for these experts and the complex issues make these cases challenging. Parker Waichman LLP has developed a network of highly-regarded experts that we can use when representing clients in complex motor vehicle accident litigation.
The difficulties of taking on large insurance companies with their teams of adjusters, investigators, and insurance defense lawyers become even more challenging in these cases. The defendants often will be large national corporations with virtually unlimited financial resources to engage in litigation, including Uber, the vehicle manufacturer, and multiple technology companies. A law firm with experience litigating sophisticated motor vehicle accident claims and a track record of success can shift the scales of justice in your direction.
Why Our Clients Trust Parker Waichman LLP
When clients ask about what makes our law firm special, we defer to the recognition and awards we have received from respected organizations throughout the legal field:
- Member of Billion Dollar Trial Lawyers
- Highest “Preeminent” Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating System
- Jerrold S. Parker & Herbert L. Waichman Rated by Super Lawyers
- Recipient of 9.8 Rating from AVVO (Perfect 10.0 standard)
Parker Waichman LLP is among the elite firms who have recovered over two billion dollars for our clients. This amount includes nearly two dozen settlements or verdict exceeding a million dollars.
Do Not Delay – Strict Deadlines Can Bar Recovery
While navigating the legal process and insurance company hurdles might not be your highest priority in the wake of a serious pedestrian accident, these lawsuits are subject to strict deadlines (referred to as the “statute of limitations”). If you do not seek legal advice promptly to have your case filed before this deadline expires, you might be permanently barred from pursuing a meritorious claim.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our law firm has built our reputation based on proven results and a commitment to tenaciously advocating for the rights of our clients while pursuing the best possible outcome. This approach combined with our mission of providing effective communication and compassionate representation has enabled us to build a national reputation for exemplary legal services.
Our Uber autonomous vehicle-pedestrian accident lawsuit attorneys provide a free case review with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. Our Uber autonomous accident lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP offer centuries of collective experience and proven results which can provide motivation to the defendants and their insurers to agree to a favorable settlement rather than take their chances at trial.
If you have been hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle or you have lost a loved one in such an accident, call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) for your Free Case Review.
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