Self-Driving Cars, Accidents, and Product Liability Lawsuits

Love them or loathe them, self-driving cars would appear to be here to stay, albeit probably with some pretty major tweaks before they become mainstream. It is no secret that there have been some teething problems as this most recent innovation in automotive vehicles has come into effect and, tragically, these have involved some loss of life. This raises the question of who is liable if catastrophic injury, or wrongful death, results from an accident involving a self-driving car?
The latest murmurings from the industry say that self-driving car accidents may fall under the remit of product liability law, which has been devised to produce us all from being injured by defective products. While this appears to make sense – after all, if a self-driving car does not function as intended, it is fair to categorize that as a product defect – it also raises some serious concerns. For one, how can product liability attorneys, most of whom are probably not hotshot coders, go about discovery when what they have to work with is potentially millions of lines of code?
For now, that particular issue is one for the future, but product liability law and lawsuits relating to defective products is most definitely an area of expertise for the attorneys here at Compass Law Group, LLP.

The 3 Types of Los Angeles Product Liability Claims

Manufacturers, naturally, create and produce their goods with the intention of selling them to consumers. As one of those consumers, when you respond to a marketing campaign, or simply make a spur of the moment decision to buy something you spot in the store, you do so under the assumption that the product will both function as intended and be safe for you or your family to use. Sadly, that is not always the case, as any Los Angeles product liability attorney can tell you.
Under California law, there are three types of a product liability claim, namely:

  • Defective manufacturing
  • Defective design
  • Failure to warn

These may seem fairly self-explanatory but, to give you a little more information to work with, here is a brief overview of what each of the three means.

  • A defective manufacturing claim can be filed if you were injured through using a product with a dangerous defect, for example, a car fitted with faulty brakes
  • A defective design claim may apply to a product which has been designed in a way which means using it is dangerous. This may include a smartphone or e-cigarette that explodes when fully charged or a power tool with an exposed mechanism
  • Failure to warn, as the name suggests, exists in cases where injury an occurred due to the manufacturer or supplier neglecting to warn consumers of potential hazards or to provide specific instructions for avoiding harm. For example, products containing hazardous chemicals must clearly display a warning label.

Speak to a Los Angeles Product Liability Attorney Today

If you have been injured by a defective product, whichever category it may fall into, a Los Angeles product liability attorney could help you to recover the maximum amount of monetary compensation.


Find out if you have a case in a few minutes, call us at (310) 289-7126

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