Wrongful-Death Claims after a Self-Driving Car Accident 

What is Wrongful Death? 

When someone is killed on New York roads due to negligence or wrongdoing, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death.  New York’s current wrongful death law provides that an appointed personal representative may be recover on behalf of the estate “pecuniary injuries resulting from the decedent’s death.” This claim can be asserted against the party or parties responsible for the wrongful death.  

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Wrongful Deaths Caused By Self-Driving Vehicles? 

In incidents involving “self-driving” cars, it may appear difficult to determine the party or parties who can be considered responsible for the wrongful death. What if, for example, the motorist behind the wheel of the injury causing vehicle claims that  driver-assistance system technology failed, resulting in the injury?  

This is an area of law that is fast evolving, but we are not in a roadway environment of fully automated safety features, which the NHTSA believes we may see sometime after 2025. Generally speaking, New York motorists owe a duty of reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle on the road, and the fact that new technologies offer driver assistance features that can help make driving safer does not generally negate that duty of care. New York courts have held that motorists must comply with the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and observe other obligations contained in caselaw, including the duty to see what is there to be seen.  This is an evolving area of law, and our attorneys will stay apprised of any changes as they happen.  

Looking to File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Self-Driving Car Accident? 

If you are seeking an experienced wrongful death attorney, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at William Mattar, P.C.  for legal assistance. We have experienced wrongful-death attorneys who are familiar with the current law and can help.  Contact us via our website or by calling (844) 444-4444.

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