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Self-Driving Uber involved in Fatal Accident

On March 18th a pedestrian, while crossing a four-lane road, was fatally hit by a self-driving Uber car. The car was travelling at 40mph when the pedestrian, Elaine Herzberg (49) was struck. There was a human ‘safety driver’ onboard at the time, but as internal video footage reveals, he was looking down at the time of the accident. Although pedestrian fatalities are (unfortunately) not uncommon, this particular fatality raises many questions about the future of self-driving cars. Our uber accident attorney, Rafael Gonzalez, provides an overview of the questions this incident has raised.

Would the pedestrian still be alive it it had been a human driver?

This question hints at the possibility of Uber’s self-driving technology being at fault. If a human driver would have avoided the pedestrian, then logically the self-driving technology is liable for the fatality. However, as the video footage showed, the pedestrian was crossing in the dark where there was no designated crosswalk. It seems likely that even human drivers would have been unable to see the pedestrian.

Who is liable here? Uber, the pedestrian, or the safety driver?

Ultimately it was Uber’s self-driving technology which was in control and therefore should be treated in the same way that a human driver would be treated in such circumstances. Questions will be asked about how the car’s sensors and radars did not detect the pedestrian.

However, Uber may well argue that there is an element of diminished responsibility, considering the pedestrian was effectively jaywalking.

Is this the beginning of the end of automated cars?

It is highly unlikely that this fatality will stop the momentum of automated cars. First of all, their previous safety record has been superior to that of human drivers. Second, the sheer amount of money to be saved by using automated cars will always act as a huge source of motivation to keep the project moving forward. The savings will come through not needing to pay drivers any more, plus through fewer accidents and subsequently lower insurance.

Where to find a Uber accident lawyer with free consultation near me?

Involved in a Uber accident? Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our Uber accident attorneys in Plantation. We are a firm comprised of experienced accident attorneys and take our clients cases seriously. Our lawyers are known in the community to provide reliable trustworthy answers, aggressive legal representation, and affordable legal services. You NEVER PAY unless YOU GET PAID. We understand you have your choice of no win, no fee personal injury lawyers.

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Understand your legal rights when you are involved in a car accident. Contact us at 954-961-5100 for more information or to discuss your free consultation.

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Meet Atty. Rafael Gonzalez

Attorney Rafael A. Gonzalez received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. 

While at the University of Miami, Mr. Gonzalez earned a judicial clerk position with the Honorable Judge Shelley Kravitz of the County Court House for Miami Dade County and took part in one of the largest product liability litigation cases in the United States. The case, Engle v Liggett, was against tobacco companies and resulted in a 145 billion dollar award to the plaintiffs. 

Mr. Gonzalez earned his stripes working with firms in Downtown Miami and Hialeah, Florida as a civil attorney. In 2010, Mr. Gonzalez joined forces with other civil litigators as a partner in the law firm of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp and Gonzalez specializing in motor vehicle accidents.

Read more about him here.
April 17, 2018
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