Tesla has been making all the wrong headlines lately. First is was serious defects in the computer system while driving then it was the deadly pedestrian accident and now another death while operating the popular luxury electric car. 38 year-old San Mateo resident Walter Huang was in a life-ending Tesla accident when his autopilot system malfunctioned and he crashed in the meridian on the 101 and 85 carpool flyover freeway back in March. The firery crash left Huang seriously injured and he died from those injuries a few days later.
Huang's family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Tesla for defective product design, among other personal injury legal theories. According to Mountain View Voice, Tesla might not be the only defendant in the case, "Both Tesla and the aggrieved family have also pinned blame on Caltrans for allegedly failing to maintain a safety guard, known as an attenuator barrier at the location of the crash. Tesla officials claimed shortly after the accident that the barrier had either been removed or crushed in a prior accident and had not been replaced.
Here's some questions you might have from this important pending Tesla wrongful death lawsuit:
- How much is a wrongful death case work? In general they vary dramatically but this is an example of a potentially multi-million dollar case for many reasons. For starters, the deceased was in his life and working prime which makes a difference in calculating how much the family will lose in income and other support. Another important indicator of a high worth wrongful death case has to do with who the defendant is- Tesla and the State carry HUGE insurance policies to cover for things like this so unlike some other car accident wrongful death cases where the worth of the case might be limited to the insurance policy limits, here those limits are in the millions.
- What is a defective product design? Wrongful death cases take many many forms and getting seriuosly injured or dying because of a flaw in a product you are using is very common. What this type of personal injury case entails is showing that a product (here it is the autopilot navigation system) caused the death. There will surely be arguments on Tesla's part that the driver was warned and was therefore using the product wrong and that will also be an important liability determination in this case.
- How long will the case take? Tesla was very quick to settle the case involving their self driving car hitting and killing a pedestrian earlier this year in Arizona but this case is very different partly because of the precedent it might set for other seriously or deadly accidents of this nature. The time and money of fighting this case in court is usually not worth it to insurance companies or corporations, which is why the overwhelming majority of all Los Angeles personal injury cases settle out of court. That being said, Tesla has already publicly released a statement that Huang ignored the various video and audio warnings to stop using the autopilot feature so they are confident that they have at least a partial defense here which might make this case take longer than most.
Deadly car accidents happen everyday and can leave families looking for emotional and financial answers. If you have lost a loved one anywhere in California and you are curious about your legal options or ready to get started, the lawyers at Walch Law are ready to help you. Get in touch with us today to set up your free consultation.