Waymo Self-Driving Truck-Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Lawyers
Pedestrians Struck by Waymo Autonomous Trucks Need to Know Their Legal Rights
Pedestrians struck by vehicles are always at risk of serious injury and death. In the Peach State, pedestrians now must be on the lookout for self-driving trucks. In March 2018, Google subsidiary Waymo announced the launch of its fleet of self-driving trucks, also known as autonomous trucks, in Georgia. For pedestrians struck by Waymo autonomous trucks, it is essential they understand their legal rights to compensation for their injuries.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our qualified and caring accident injury attorneys are well aware of the massive injuries and deaths that can result when pedestrians are struck by trucks. And when the vehicle is a Waymo self-driven truck, an even higher level of legal expertise is required. In traditional truck-pedestrian accidents, the truck driver is likely to be at fault due to some human error, such as drunk or drowsy driving, or not seeing a pedestrian in the truck’s blind spot. But for a Waymo self-driven truck, the cause of the accident could be the truck’s technology and operating system, and the evidence is likely to be highly technical and complex. A pedestrian hit by a Waymo autonomous truck will need a qualified accident attorney, like those at Parker Waichman LLP, to obtain their fair compensation.
Waymo Launches Fleet of Self-Driving Trucks in Georgia
Waymo’s autonomous trucks are being used to haul loads to Google’s various data centers in Georgia. The trucks use sophisticated technology to primarily operate in self-driving mode, with a human backup driver behind the steering wheel to take control if necessary. The trucks monitor their surroundings on a continuous basis, using radar sensors, lasers, and digital cameras. The truck’s software reviews the incoming data and controls the truck by operating the acceleration, braking, and steering.
Pedestrians Struck by Self-Driving Vehicles
The first pedestrian death resulting from an autonomous vehicle collision occurred the same month Waymo launched its autonomous trucks in Georgia. On March 18, 2018, an Uber self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona struck and killed a 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg. Ms. Herzberg was pushing her bicycle across a 4-lane street road at night, at a location without a crosswalk. A backup driver was sitting behind the wheel at the time of the collision. A video showed the driver was not looking at the road the entire time and did not see Ms. Herzberg until immediately before impact. Uber settled out of court with Ms. Herzberg’s family within two weeks of the accident, for an undisclosed amount.
Because of Uber’s quick settlement, there was no opportunity to test out legal theories against Uber. The Tempe police initially made statements indicating the Uber vehicle was not at fault, and the collision was unavoidable, but other commentators stated there was evidence a human driver would have been able to avoid the collision. Uber later determined that its software had detected the woman several seconds before impact, but it did not react immediately. According to Uber executives, the car’s software was overly inclined to dismiss objects in its path. And the accident led to Uber suspending, then later shut down, its autonomous truck program operating in Arizona.
Just as Uber’s self-driving technology still has deficiencies, Waymo’s autonomous trucks also cannot interpret all potential road hazards, such as temporary road signs or a law enforcement officer directing traffic. And the effect of poor weather on the trucks’ sensors could also pose problems. If it can happen in Arizona, it can happen anywhere, so pedestrians must be vigilant around Waymo self-driven trucks.
Legal Damages for Pedestrians Injured or Killed by Waymo Autonomous Trucks
Due to the large size of trucks and the pedestrians’ lack of physical protection, truck-pedestrian accidents often result in major injuries or death. We can expect this to be true for Waymo autonomous trucks when they inevitably strike pedestrians. Injured pedestrians need to understand their legal rights to compensation.
Pedestrians injured by Waymo autonomous trucks can seek compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Decreased future earning capacity (possibly due to a permanent injury)
- Pain and suffering
If the pedestrian dies from his or her injuries, their loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit, as Ms. Herzberg’s family did against Uber. Potential damages for wrongful death include loss of financial support and loss of comfort and companionship.
Do I Have Grounds to File a Waymo Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit for Being Struck by a Waymo Autonomous Truck?
Any pedestrian struck by a truck will likely want to consider a lawsuit since these collisions so often cause death or catastrophic injuries. For a Waymo autonomous truck collision, a typical auto accident attorney may not be sufficient. Just as with the Arizona Uber accident, there may often be gray areas as to fault, since Waymo’s self-driving technology will not typically make the same mistakes as a human driver. For example, the Waymo truck sensors continually scan 360 degrees around the vehicle, making it far less likely for a pedestrian to not be seen in a truck’s blind spot. Also, the case against Waymo would likely be based on sophisticated technology which the company developed itself. These factors will make a pedestrian lawsuit against a Waymo autonomous truck more difficult than the typical truck-pedestrian accident.
Fortunately for pedestrians hit by Waymo trucks, the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are more than up to the task of taking on Waymo in court.
There are several ways Waymo could be found at fault in a pedestrian collision, such as the following:
- Poor Software Design: If the Waymo software were poorly designed in a way which leads to an accident, Waymo would likely be at fault. In the Arizona Uber accident, Uber admitted after the early settlement that its software underreacted to a pedestrian crossing the road in an unexpected location. There is no telling how many other events or objects could cause an under or overreaction by the software on Waymo trucks: a sudden accident in front of the vehicle, road workers, law enforcement personnel giving directions.
- Poor Sensor Design: The Waymo trucks, as with all autonomous vehicles, depend on their cameras, radar, and other sensors to scan their environment. What could happen if any of those sensors are improperly designed and fail to interpret their surroundings correctly?
- Backup Driver: The backup driver in the Uber Arizona collision was not paying full attention to the road, but she stated afterward she was looking down at the car’s onboard digital display. An error such as this could be the fault of the backup driver, or it could be the fault of the car design. Perhaps the driver felt it necessary to check the onboard display continually, and the system could have been better designed to force the driver to watch the road and prevent accidents.
Parker Waichman LLP Attorneys Have the Expertise to Pursue Waymo for Injuries and Deaths Caused by Their Self-Driving Trucks
Pedestrians struck by Waymo autonomous trucks need aggressive, competent attorneys to pursue their case, especially against a sophisticated technology company like Waymo. The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP fit the bill perfectly, having won numerous verdict and settlements in both trucking accident and product liability cases. With over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements recovered for our clients, the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are ready to take on Waymo for you.
Call Parker Waichman LLP for a Free Consultation
Pedestrians struck by Waymo self-driving trucks, or their loved ones should contact Parker Waichman LLP immediately for a free consultation. At no charge, the specialized attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP can make an initial determination as to the strength of your case. Do not be intimidated by pursuing a technology company like Waymo for compensation. Instead, call Parker Waichman LLP to find out how to enforce your legal rights.
Time is Limited by Law
Every state has statutes of limitation for different types of lawsuits, which put legal limits on the amount of time that can pass before a lawsuit is filed. The personal injury limitation in Georgia, for example, is two years from the date of injury. This is why you should not delay in contacting Parker Waichman LLP to enforce your legal rights after a Waymo truck collision. Also, our attorneys can conduct the initial investigation immediately after the accident, such as inspection of the accident scene. But the longer you wait to move forward on your personal injury claim, the more difficult it can be to collect evidence, so call Parker Waichman LLP today.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our promise is that our attorneys will be zealous advocates for you, handling your case with expertise unmatched in the legal industry. We have recovered over $2 billion for our clients while earning accolades from those same clients and our peers. Give us the opportunity to earn your accolades as well.
Call Parker Waichman LLP Now for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been struck by a Waymo self-driving truck, contact Parker Waichman LLP immediately for your free case analysis. Call us today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-877-984-4522), so we can fight for the compensation you deserve. If you are unsure of your time limitations, a Parker Waichman LLP litigator can inform you of the applicable statute of limitations and other deadlines. With a free initial consultation and limited time to file a lawsuit, you have every reason to talk to our expert attorneys right away.
If you are a pedestrian injured by a Waymo autonomous truck, or if a loved one has been struck by a Waymo truck, call Parker Waichman LLP for your case review, free of charge. Call today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-877-984-4522) so that you can rest assured you have the best attorneys on your side.
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