AV, Self-driving care, driverless car...whatever you call it this machine-programmed type of transportation continues to be tested throughout the world and toted as the way we will all be getting around in the future. Unfortunately, the tests have now turned deadly as Uber's self-driving car has struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.
Elaine Herzberg was crossing the street outside of the crosswalk this past Sunday when she was hit and killed. While there was a safety rider behind the wheel, the car was in self-driving mode at the time of the fatal accident. Tech Crunch reports on the "This is the first time an autonomous vehicle operating in self-driving mode has resulted in a human death and that has huge implications for the future of AV's and their use on the road."
Like any other car on the road, AV's are required to carry insurance and the very likely self-driving car wrongful death suit that will emerge out of this fatal crash will certainly start paving the way for how these types of cases will be handled in the future and how closely they follow a more traditional car accident wrongful death case. Had this case occurred where we practice in California, there's certainly a very strong comparative negligence argument to be made when a pedestrian is struck outside of a crosswalk. Pedestrian accidents are some of the most deadly car accidents out there (accounting for 14% of all fatalities) no matter who is or is not behind the wheel. Two of the top 5 most common factors contributing to a pedestrian death were present in this uber crash: poor lighting (the accident took place in the evening) and outside the designated crosswalk. Other pedestrian death factors include: children, distracted driving and drivers violating traffic laws.
Losing a loved one in a car accident is a devastating event that is not only emotionally draining but can be financially draining as well. Working with a wrongful death lawyer can help make sure that you are compensated for your loss-- something that will never bring your loved one back but can help ease the stress associated with the death and also provide a sense of justice in this otherwise senseless death. If you have lost a loved one and are looking for legal help, give Walch Law a call today to discuss your case further. We are available 24/7, have a 95%+ success rate and have helped our clients get millions of dollars over our 40+ years of practicing.