New Florida Law Allows Driverless Autonomous Cars 

June 26, 2019 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
New Florida Law Allows Driverless Autonomous Cars 

New Potential Dangers From New Autonomous Car Law

Driverless cars are a modern marvel of technology that shows immense promise when it comes to near future technology that can possibly help reduce accident rates. Unfortunately, the technology is still in its early stages where there are still many problems that must be overcome with years of development and testing. Several people have actually been injured by driverless car technology that was negligently implemented by companies eager to get their products on the roads. Recently, concerns have arisen after Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new legislation that opens up the state of Florida to unchecked implementation and use of driverless vehicles. The legislation was signed into law on June 13th and specify that “A fully autonomous vehicle may operate in this state regardless of whether a human operator is physically present in the vehicle,”.

Driverless Car Accident Injury Lawsuits

This naturally has many people concerned due to how vague the wording of this legislation is and the potential for all kinds of legal headaches that may arise in the event that something goes wrong. It is not a matter of if something goes wrong but when and someone suffers a severe injury or worse. Those that suffer injuries because of a driverless car will wonder who exactly is liable for the damages that they suffered. Driverless vehicles that cause accidents create complex legal situations since there is no sentient driver. Those that are stuck in the tricky situation of needing compensation for driverless car accident injuries should not give up hope. With an experienced car accident attorney assisting them, a plaintiff in a driverless car accident lawsuit may be able to find a way to get the compensation that they need.  Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has years of experience when it comes to helping injured people recover compensation for accidents caused by negligent parties. With our assistance, a person that has suffered significant damages in a driverless car accident here in Florida may be able to determine who exactly may be liable for their damages and how their negligence entitles a driverless car accident victim to compensation. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA offers free consultations to those with questions about what they can do after being injured in a driverless car accident. To set up a free consultation with Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA you can either fill out a contact form online or you can call our offices at 727-451-6900.

Driverless Car Accident Fear in Florida

Driverless cars are certainly not anything new and some forms of the technology have made it onto roads in other states like Arizona and limited driverless car technology has made its way onto Florida roads. Many companies have tested driverless car technology in several states to varying measures of success. Unfortunately, there have been instances where driverless cars have injured and even killed people. With Florida opening its roads to tech companies eager to test these vehicles with minimal regulation, it is understandable that many are concerned and they should be.

What Exactly is a Driverless Vehicle?

For those unfamiliar with driverless vehicle technology, a driverless car also known as a robotic car, autonomous car, or self-driving car, is a motor vehicle that has been outfitted with a computer system that is able to control the vehicle on its own and drive. This is achieved by outfitting a vehicle with sensor technologies such as radar, Lidar, sonar, GPS, odometry and inertial measurement units that send information about the road and surroundings of the vehicle to a computer in the car that calculates the safe path to drive and sends inputs to the engines, brakes, steering, etc. This technology first started gaining traction in the United States around 2013 and many transport tech companies such as Uber, Tesla, and Waymo have all made efforts to implement it into their businesses.

Major Driverless Vehicle Accidents

On March 18th of last year, an experimental Uber vehicle outfitted with new driverless technology struck and hit a 49-year-old woman named Elaine Herzberg and killed her. The Uber vehicle actually had a human driver in the driver's seat as a safety precaution. While the vehicle was engaged in the driverless mode, it struck and killed Elaine Herzberg at a speed of 40 miles per hour while she was walking in the street with her bicycle. The person in the driver's seat was awake and not impaired and the vehicle did not even slow down when it hit Elaine Herzberg.  In addition to accidents caused by driverless cars, there are also a number of accidents that have occurred involving autopilot technology not meant to be completely driverless. This technology is notably a feature of Tesla vehicles and has caused several fatalities. Drivers have trusted this technology too much and ended up hurting themselves and others on the road. Of the five fatalities involving Tesla vehicles using autopilot, three of them occurred in the state of Florida.

What Does This Mean for Future Florida Driverless Car Accidents?

Eventually, someone will be injured by a driverless car in Florida. It is an inevitability that begs the question of who exactly is liable for the damage an accident like this causes? Under current laws, a computer is not exactly a liable party for a car accident nor will one be anytime soon. The search for fault then comes to those who built and implemented the computer and technology that failed and caused the accident. This makes things especially complex since there are typically many companies involved in these endeavors of testing and making automated cars. At the end of the day, it comes down to determining what was the negligence that caused the accident to occur and who is responsible for that negligence. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, it could be any number of parties involved in the implementation of driverless car technology. Rest assured, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA maintains the resources and insight that can determine who owes you compensation and will assist those harmed by negligence that causes driverless car accidents.

Seek an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a driverless autonomous vehicle then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about a free consultation on your potential claim. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a Florida personal injury law firm that specializes in assisting those that have been injured by driverless vehicles in seeking legal compensation for damages that they have suffered. This is a new and growing issue that will develop in complexity with each new incident. It is imperative that you speak to an experienced car accident attorney that can provide the resources, insight, and personal attention that can ensure you get the compensation that you not only need but also deserve. With Florida being the only state allowing non-test driving of autonomous vehicles, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is prepared for the complexity of representing any person who is harmed in an accident involving a driverless vehicle. For a free consultation for any personal injury case, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at 727-451-6900 or fill out a contact form online. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900  


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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