Bagen Law Firm | January 25, 2023 | Car Accidents
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we know that vehicle technology keeps evolving, and so do accident and injury claims. We stay on top of new technological developments and how they might affect injury cases to best serve our clients.
The idea of a self-driving vehicle was once limited to the pages of science-fiction novels. Self-driving vehicles that can operate without the need for human drivers are not here yet, though some automakers have implied otherwise. With this still flawed technology comes the risk of accidents, and defects in Tesla Autopilot systems are causing them. In fact, several fatalities have occurred due to defective technology on Tesla vehicles.
If you suffered injuries in a Tesla Autopilot accident, you might be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit under a product liability theory of recovery. If you suffer injuries in a Tesla accident, you should seek prompt medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility.
You should also follow through on all medical treatment recommendations from your healthcare provider. Failing to seek prompt treatment for your injuries may cause insurance companies to become skeptical. They may also believe that you did not take your injuries and medical treatment seriously enough after your accident.
Immediately after your accident, you should speak with all involved drivers and obtain their contact and insurance information. Taking pictures of vehicle damage, skid marks, and the accident scene is also a good idea. After you follow up for initial medical treatment, you should talk with a Tesla accident lawyer in Florida right away.
The experienced legal team at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. can immediately investigate your accident’s circumstances and determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages.
If so, we can assist you throughout the entire claims-filing process by gathering the necessary documents and submitting them to the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company does not offer you the compensation you deserve, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf in court.
To find out more about how we can assist you with your Tesla Autopilot accident case, please contact us for more information.
The Tesla Autopilot System and How It Works
The Tesla Autopilot system helps equipped vehicles essentially drive themselves. The system uses several sensors that give the vehicle a circular view of its surroundings.
For the system to work properly, it relies upon sonar, radar, and camera footage. Based on this information, the vehicle can track its own speed, park itself, change lanes in traffic, and remain in the same position while traveling in a lane. Tesla has alleged that they inform buyers that the Autopilot system is not infallible and that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel at all times, to respond to any emergency.
Our car accident attorneys at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. are ready to investigate your legal rights and options when something goes wrong with Autopilot and harms you.
Product Liability Claims Against Tesla
Personal injury claims that others have filed against Tesla for accidents and injuries stem from product liability. Product designers, manufacturers, and others in the chain of product distribution have a duty to exercise reasonable care at all times.
Essentially, this means that entities must take care when designing and constructing their products and make sure to adequately test their products before making them available for purchase on the market. When product designers and manufacturers fail to take all of the reasonable steps and serious accidents and injuries result then they may be responsible for any damages.
Owners of Tesla vehicles across the country have filed lawsuits claiming that the auto-pilot system employs faulty software for essential safety features necessary for proper vehicle operation. For example, some owners have alleged that when they use the Autopilot system to operate their vehicle, the vehicle immediately applies the brakes for no specific reason, lurches forward, and inadvertently swerves into other travel lanes.
Tesla accident victims have also contended that the automatic braking system and side collision warning system do not always work when they are supposed to work, despite victims paying a hefty fee for this important add-on feature.
Some individuals have filed a claim or lawsuit against Tesla via a class action. A class action claim begins when similarly affected accident victims pursue legal action against the same individual or entity in this case, Tesla.
Some individuals have even argued that defects present in the Tesla Autopilot system have led to untimely deaths in several accidents.
- One such death occurred in May 2016, when a Tesla crashed in Mountain View, California, killing a vehicle passenger.
- A Tesla Model X was operating in Autopilot mode during the accident and struck a concrete median strip in the middle of the roadway.
- Another fatal accident occurred in Florida when a Tesla Model X using the Autopilot system, struck a semi-truck while traveling on the highway. The accident victim sustained fatal injuries after the vehicle drove underneath the semi-truck.
If you suffered injuries in an accident resulting from a defective Tesla Autopilot system, you have legal rights and options. At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we can review your legal options with you and help you file a claim pursuing the monetary compensation and damages you deserve.
Responsible Parties in Tesla Autopilot Accident Cases
In some Tesla Autopilot accidents, other drivers may still be fully or partially to blame for negligent vehicle operation. In those instances, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—or with your own insurance company, pursuant to Florida’s no-fault law.
In addition, you may file a product liability claim or lawsuit against Tesla or the software or hardware companies that manufactured and designed the Tesla Autopilot system and related components. In other words, you may have a viable legal claim against all individuals or entities in the chain of product distribution.
We can help you determine if you can file a claim or a lawsuit arising from your Tesla accident, and if so, we can name all potentially responsible parties. We can then aggressively fight for your legal right to recover the full monetary compensation you need and deserve for your accident-related injuries.
Tesla Accident Injuries
Whenever a Tesla Autopilot system malfunctions and a serious accident occurs, drivers and passengers may suffer extremely serious injuries. In some instances, these injuries are permanent in nature and may impact the accident victim for the rest of their life.
The injuries that a Tesla accident victim will suffer frequently depend upon the force of the collision, the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the accident, and how the accident victim’s body moves in the car when the crash occurs. Some car accidents are so forceful that they cause an accident victim’s body to jerk forward and backward, or from side to side, in an abrupt manner, causing serious injuries.
At other times, a part of the accident victim’s body may strike something in their vehicle, causing them to suffer a debilitating injury. For example, a part of the accident victim’s body can strike the headrest, steering wheel, window, door frame, or dashboard.
Some of the most frequent injuries that Tesla auto accident victims suffer include soft tissue neck and back injuries, bone fractures, internal organ damage, open lacerations, bruises, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even death.
If you suffered any of these injuries in a recent Tesla crash, you should follow up with your family doctor or at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility right away. The medical provider on duty can physically examine you and can order all of the necessary imaging studies to render an appropriate medical diagnosis.
Next, the medical provider can recommend follow-up medical care and treatment. Depending upon your injuries, you may need to follow up with a neurologist, orthopedic doctor, or physical therapist for ongoing care.
While you continue treating your injuries, our team can handle the legal components of your personal injury claim. For example, we can start to gather your medical treatment records and bills, obtain lost wage documents from your employer, gather police reports, and obtain photographs of your injuries and property damage.
Once you have a prognosis and treatment plan, we can forward a demand package to the insurance company adjuster handling your case. Finally, we can begin fielding settlement offers and pursuing the monetary compensation and damages you deserve for your injuries.
The Burden of Proof in a Tesla Accident Claim or Lawsuit
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we can help you file a personal injury claim for damages directly against Tesla or against a technology company, distributor, or other potentially responsible individual or entity.
As part of the claims-filing process in your case, we can:
- Gather up your medical treatment records, medical bills, lost wage documentation, and other potential evidence, and submit these documents to the insurance company adjuster handling your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company adjuster on your behalf in pursuit of a favorable settlement offer
- Keep you informed of all updates and changes in your case.
- File a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf, if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your injuries and other damages
- Assist you throughout the litigation stage of your case by preparing you for discovery depositions, settlement conferences, and a jury trial
- Take your case to a jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding and pursue the highest possible compensation on your behalf.
Potential Monetary Recovery in Your Case
Tesla Autopilot accident victims may be eligible to recover various monetary damages for their accident-related injuries. Every car accident case is different, as are the types and amounts of monetary damages that an accident victim can recover. The damages that you recover in your Tesla Autopilot accident case will depend upon the severity of your injuries, the medical treatment that you underwent, the cost of your medical treatment, and the pain and suffering you endured for your injuries.
Some of the most common monetary damages that car accident victims may recover include compensation for their:
- Related medical expenses, medical procedures, and physical therapy
- Lost wages, if they had to miss time from work
- Loss of earning capacity, if they had to switch jobs and take a pay cut due to their injuries
- Past and future pain and suffering damages
- Loss of the ability to use a body part, such as with a full or partial paralysis injury
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
Our legal team can review these damages with you and determine which ones you may be eligible to pursue in your Tesla car accident case. Our legal team will zealously advocate for you during settlement negotiations and in court, if necessary, to maximize the compensation you recover.
Call an Experienced Tesla Autopilot Accident Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
Insurance companies and their adjusters love to see unrepresented car accident victims. Most of the time, settlement adjusters assume that self-represented accident victims do not have the legal knowledge or skills to effectively negotiate a settlement or litigate their case in the court system.
Therefore, if you suffered injuries in a Tesla Autopilot accident, you should retain experienced legal counsel to represent you in your case as soon as possible. Generally speaking, the sooner you involve a lawyer, the better off you will be and the higher your chances of success.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., our legal team can assist you throughout every step of the claims filing and litigation process. Our legal team will be by your side, advocating for you and negotiating on your behalf. We can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer or file a lawsuit and litigate your case in court. If your case goes to trial, our legal team will aggressively fight for your legal interests and help you maximize the monetary compensation you recover.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Florida Tesla Autopilot accident lawyer, please call us today at (800) 800-2575 or contact us using our online form for more information.