Possible Liable Parties in a Self-Driving Car Accident

Decades ago, self-driving cars were merely a fantasy often depicted in some of our favorite throwback movies and TV shows, like Total Recall, Timecop, Herbie, The Fifth Element, and Christine. Yet today, they are a real thing. You may have seen one or two autonomous vehicles powered by Siri or Google in your community or downtown technology district. You may have already ridden in one. But like virtually all new technological innovations, there are bound to be some stumbling blocks. After all, self-driving vehicles are still a brand-new means of transportation in society. So, how safe are self-driving cars? That is hard to say. What can be said is, self-driving car accidents do happen. And when they do, pinpointing the liable party can be tricky since there are multiple possibilities.

Continue below to review some of the more likely responsible parties in a self-driving motor vehicle accident, plus where to get trusted legal advice after being wrongfully injured by an autonomous car or negligent driver in Indiana.

Self Driving Car Accident Lawyer Indiana 317-881-2700
Self Driving Car Accident Lawyer Indiana 317-881-2700

Autonomous Vehicle Accidents and Liability

When it comes to self-driving car accidents, the most common liable parties include the human operator, technology company, automaker, government, or a third party. It is possible for more than one of these parties to be responsible for any damages suffered by a passenger or driver of an autonomous vehicle.

The Operator of the Vehicle

Self-driving cars are not fully autonomous; they still require a human supervisor or operator. It is very possible for the operator of the autonomous vehicle to be responsible for a car accident. Whether driving or on autopilot, if an operator of a self-driving vehicle is reckless or negligent during the ride, and as a result an accident happens, it could be their fault.

The Technology Company or Vehicle Manufacturer

There is a company that made the actual vehicle, then there is the company that made the technology possible. If a self-driving car accident occurs because the technology company was negligent in some way. For instance, if they did not properly test the vehicle before releasing it or resolve a significant microchip defect in the autonomous technology, they could be held liable for an injured victim’s damages and more.

The automaker of the vehicle might be responsible for a self-driving car collision or accident if there is a defect in the car’s assembly, design, or advertising that directly caused the accident and subsequent damages.

Government Agency

In rare cases, a government agency can be liable for a self-driving vehicle accident. This might happen if an autonomous car accident occurs as a result of inadequate safety testing, safety rules, and fundamental regulations, or due to a serious roadway defect.

Third Parties

Third parties that might be responsible for a self-driving car accident include drunk drivers, reckless drivers, negligent commercial truck drivers, or a business that fails to maintain a safe parking lot.

No matter what kind of car accident you were wrongfully injured in, it is your right to be granted a full and fair settlement for your damages. Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced car accident injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent all motor vehicle-related accident cases throughout the state of Indiana, including truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful deaths, and more.

Related Posts:

Who is Liable After an Uber or Lyft Accident?
How to Make an Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver
Can I Still Sue if My Car Accident Injuries Were Not Apparent at the Scene?

How to Make an Injury Claim Against a Drunk Driver

If you were injured in a car accident due to a drunk driver, there is a very high probability that you are entitled to compensation for your resulting damages and losses. In order to recover remuneration from an at-fault driver, you must make a personal injury claim with the drunk driver’s insurance company or the drunk driver themselves if they were uninsured.  Moreover, if the drunk driver was uninsured, you can make a claim through the uninsured motorist provision of your own automobile insurance policy.  In the unlikely event a settlement is not reached, a lawsuit can be filed and pursued. 

Continue reading to learn how to get started on a car accident personal injury claim in Indiana, as well as, your options for suing a drunk driver.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys
Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Drunk Driving Accidents

The statistics for drunk driving accidents are alarming, regardless of which state the data is coming from. Drunk driving accidents are among the most common types of motor vehicle accidents in the country. In fact, read our blog, “Eye-Opening Drunk Driving Facts and Statistics” to learn just how startling these numbers are. Not only are drivers and passengers common victims, pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, and more are also injured by inebriated drivers.

Compensation for Damages and Losses

With such high statistical numbers, car accident injury claims are also quite common. They fall under tort law, which provides financial relief for those wrongly injured by another person as a result of carelessness, negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness. If you are injured in an accident because of someone else’s actions or inactions, you can make a claim against their insurance company to recover compensation for damages and losses. Such losses generally include hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages from time off work, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

How to Make Your Car Accident Claim

Most of the time, a claim is made by the victim (claimant) against the drunk driver’s insurance company. If a person is killed by a drunk driver, their family or next of kin can make a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver’s insurance company.  If the drunk driver’s insurance company will not settle the claim fairly, a lawsuit can be filed against the drunk driver and the drunk driver’s insurance company would have to pay the verdict received against the drunk driver, up to that driver’s automobile policy limits.

In order to make a claim against a drunk driver that has injured you in an accident, whether as a driver yourself, a passenger, or a pedestrian, your very first step is the most vital one; seek proper and thorough medical treatment. Once you are stable enough, your next step is also incredibly vital: contact an Indianapolis personal injury law firm to represent you in your claim. We have the knowledge, resources, experience, and skills to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your suffering and loses. Just be sure to choose the right personal injury law firm that can provide comprehensive and compassionate counsel.

Choose the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Call us today at 317-881-2700 to discuss your Indiana car accident claim with a licensed accident attorney you can trust. Our licensed accident lawyers gather all relevant information needed for the case, go head to head with the insurance companies, handle all communication and negotiations with the opposing parties and will go to trial if the defendant’s insurance company will not make a full and fair settlement offer, all to obtain fair compensation for our injured clients. We want everyone to have a chance at justice following a serious accident caused by another’s negligence. This is why we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we never collect lawyer fees unless we win compensation for you.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
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When Will My Car Accident Claim Settle?

If you are waiting for a pending car accident injury claim to come to a settlement, the good news is you will not likely have to wait long. Most car accident claims settle without ever going to trial, however, there are infinite factors that can influence the total amount of time it takes to reach a full and fair settlement. Continue reading to learn some of the most common factors that might affect the timeline for your car accident claim.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Common Factors That Affect a Settlement

Although reaching a car accident settlement can be affected by many factors, the most common include whether or not you hire a lawyer, the severity or scope of your injuries, who was at-fault for the accident, the laws surrounding car accident liability in your state, and the court’s schedule.

Legal Representation – If you choose to represent yourself, you can expect the timeline for your car accident claim to take much longer. You simply do not retain the same knowledge, resources, and professional connections that lawyers have, all of which expedite several steps to the car accident claim process.

Extent of Damages – The severity of your injuries and how long you need to obtain treatments, along with the scope of your total damages and losses, will greatly affect the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement since such cases typically require more concentrated investigation and the discovery of facts essential to proving the case.

Liability – If it is clear and undisputed that the other driver is at-fault for the accident, you can expect the claim process to be much quicker since their insurance company should want to settle as soon as possible, depending again upon how badly you are injured, how long you need to obtain treatments and whether or not you are permanently injured. If you live in a state where you might be deemed partially at-fault, a principal known as “comparative negligence”, your percentage of fault will determine your eligibility for compensation.

Court Schedules – If your case does have to go to trial, the court’s hearing schedule can cause conflicts in your settlement timeline. Courts can get backed up, so they are prone to cancelling or postponing scheduled trials, or not having availability to schedule hearings for months.

Reaching a Car Accident Settlement

The process of car accident claims and settlements are quite straightforward here in Indiana. You can expect the process to start with you obtaining medical care and eventually and hopefully, physically and emotionally getting back to where you were before the collision or fall. 

Next a detailed demand letter is drafted and sent to the defendant’s insurance carrier along with all supporting documents, photographs, and more, which basically presents your case to the insurance company.

From the demand letter, negotiations will follow, and perhaps even mediation. See our blog, “Questions and Answers About Personal Injury Negotiations” to learn more about this part of the car accident claim process. After negotiations are complete, the remainder of the process generally involves drafting an agreement, and drawing a check and settlement papers.

Where to Get Trusted Car Accident Claim Advice

Call The Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn the best course of action after being negligently injured in a car, trucking, malpractice or fall accident in Indiana. Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek are seasoned accident attorneys that can fight to recover compensation for your losses. We represent injured persons in Indiana regardless of how the injury occurred, so long as the person was injured as a result of the negligence or “failure to use reasonable care” of another person or entity. We also offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we win a settlement. Call 317-881-2700 to schedule your free consultation with an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, today.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

The Importance of Witness Statements After a Car Accident

Witness statements are used in various areas of the law. When it comes to car accidents, they can be a critical piece of evidence in determining liability. In other words, collecting witness statements after being involved in a car crash can help you prove that you were not at-fault, and therefore, not liable for any losses or damages. Furthermore, such evidence can help support your claim for compensation to cover your personal damages and losses that resulted from the car accident.

Continue reading to learn more about gathering witness statements after a car accident, including where to find seasoned personal injury representation in Central Indiana.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

What To Do After a Car Accident

Your first priority after being involved in a car accident is medical care. Be examined and treated by on-site EMT’s, as well as, your own personal doctor and/or specialists the same day. Accordingly, be sure to keep all records and documents of medical visits, diagnosis’, and treatment.

In less serious car accidents in which you are not unconscious or incapacitated, you can collect your own witness statements after being initially treated on-site. Otherwise, ask someone for assistance to complete the task for you. This could be a police officer, passenger, or anyone else you trust to collect accurate information.

Who do you ask? Anyone that might have seen the accident. This includes pedestrians, road workers, drivers, passengers of either party’s vehicle, restaurant workers, and similar onlookers. You do not need to go into a heavy interview process, but rather, collect witness contact information and reach out to them the next day for their official accounts of the accident.

What do you ask? As mentioned, you do not have to make a full day of interviewing witnesses. Instead, you can simply take down their name, phone number, email address, and if they oblige, even a work number and home address. With this information, you or someone you trust can contact these individuals and ask them to describe their account of the accident.

Keep in mind, the sooner you collect witness statements, the more accurate the information will be. People have busy lives, and even one day in passing can jeopardize their recollection of what too place when the car accident happened. It is strongly recommended to get witness statements at the scene of the accident.

You see, Indiana is a comparative negligence state, which means it is possible for both parties to have liability in a car accident, and yet, both collect compensation for their losses. See our blog, “What is Comparative Fault Analysis in a Personal Injury Case?” to understand this legal principal better. What does this mean for you as a victim of a car accident? It means you must protect yourself by acting fast and getting the evidence you need to prove your claim and avoid being falsely deemed “partially at-fault.”

How Witness Statements are Used

Witness statements can be used by both insurance companies and courts as evidence to determine fault in a car accident case. This is why they are so important, especially when personal injuries and property damages are at play. If you want to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses and damages after being injured in a car accident that was not your fault, be sure to hire a qualified Indianapolis personal injury law firm to deal with the insurance claim proceedings for you.

Indiana Car Accident Lawyers You Can Trust

Call The Law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to file a personal injury car accident claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are eager to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident. We offer free initial consultations and never collect attorney fees unless we recover for you.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Am I Covered By My Own Auto Insurance in a Rented Car?

Car rental companies make substantial revenue from selling insurance coverage to their customers. But do you really need this added insurance protection along with your existing automotive insurance policy? Continue reading to find out more about car insurance coverage in a rented car, as well as, what your options might be if you are injured in an accident while driving one.

Indiana Car Accident Claims 317-881-2700
Indiana Car Accident Claims 317-881-2700

Car Rental Insurance

When renting a vehicle, you will be faced with the option of adding extra insurance coverage, offered by the rental company in a series of packages and prices. The cost of these supplementary protection plans vary from as little as $15 per day, to as high as $100 or more. It all depends on the plan you choose, the type of car you are renting, and more. Most often, customers opt for more insurance coverage for the sake of abating risk and liability. But is the cost worth it?

Your Automotive Coverage

Your existing automotive insurance policy, and even your bank card services, may already provide you with sufficient coverage in the case of an accident in a rental car. You see, most car insurance policies, including liability, comprehensive, and collision, cover any vehicles driven by the policy holder, whether they own the vehicle or not. In the case that a driver of a rental car is found at-fault for the accident, they will likely be required to pay the deductible, as they would for any other standard accident.

Rental Car Injury Claims

For this reason, and for the sake of avoiding liability, it is vital that you have a full understanding of your automotive insurance policy BEFORE renting a vehicle. Your understanding must include what would happen if you were to be involved in a car accident while driving a rental vehicle, your extent of coverage, and the method of payment. See our blog, “Can I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Rental Car Accident?” to learn more about your rights to compensation in a rental car accident.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

If you were injured in a car accident, contact a seasoned car accident attorney who can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your damages and losses. Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn just how to get started on your car accident claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our law firm offers free initial consultations, and never collects lawyer fees unless we recover a settlement for you.

What are Interrogatories in a Car Accident Claim?

If you were recently injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you will likely be making a personal injury claim against the negligent party. In some cases, these kinds of claims must go to trial. If they do, you will become familiar with a term known as “interrogatories”, which will be a vital factor to your overall injury case.

Continue reading to learn more about interrogatories, including how it may affect your car accident lawsuit.

Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

The Discovery Phase

When a car accident lawsuit is set into motion, a complaint and answer are filed with the court. Once this occurs, the discovery phase can begin. During this phase, both the plaintiff party (you) and the defendant party (the party being sued) will exchange information about the facts of the accident. There are two main methods the court system uses to obtain this type of information: depositions and interrogatories.

Depositions are formal, recorded interviews under oath used to learn what a person knows pertaining to the case in question, and as evidence for later use during the trial. Either parties in a lawsuit can have anyone provide a deposition 20 days after a lawsuit is filed.

Interrogatories are a little different, but are used for much of the same purpose. Rather than a formal interview in person, interrogatories are a set of written questions that each party sends to the other. Each party must fill out the entire list in writing, under oath, and within a limited period of time (usually between 20 and 40 days depending on the state).

Although they are not always phrased in the form of questions, interrogatories always pertain to specific factors surrounding the case, such as reckless driving, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving. Since it is common for both parties to have different versions of what happened in an accident, they are designed specifically to get both sides of the story so that each party can prepare their case before trial.

What to Expect on the Form

The number of questions and requests on an interrogatory form is generally limited to 25 or so; however, it is possible for a court to approve more questions. Here are some examples of what you might see on an interrogatory form:

State the make, model, year, and current registrant of the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident.

State the company, address, and policy number of the insurance for the vehicle that was involved in the accident.

State the exact location and time of the car accident.

State where you were traveling to and from when the car accident occurred.

List the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.

In your own words, how did the accident occur?

How fast were you driving when the accident occurred?

In the 24 hours prior to the accident, did you consume any alcohol? If so, which kind and how much?

Were you on any medications when the accident occurred? If so, state the name, dosage, and prescribing doctor of the medication.

As a driver, how many car accidents have you been involved in over the past 10 years? List the dates, nature of accident, and legal outcome for each one.

List all of the traffic violations you have been cited for in the last 10 years.

List all of the physical evidence or documents you know of regarding the accident, including photographs, sketches, diagrams, and reports.

Where to Get Started

Contact a licensed and experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney to make a personal injury claim. They have the knowledge and resources to navigate your case in a way that recovers the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident by a negligent driver.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm
317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for help with car accident injury claims in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here at our personal injury law firm, we are eager to help injured victims recover the full and fair compensation they deserve. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you. Contact us to get started in your financial recovery, today.

What is the Difference Between a First and Third Party Claim?

When you are involved in an accident, particularly a car accident, you have two options for filing a claim if you want to recover compensation for your damages and losses. The option you choose largely depends on who was at fault for the accident, but additional factors will have an influence as well. Continue reading to learn these two options and the difference between them both.

Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Insurance Claims

The two types of insurance claim options you face after being involved in a car accident is a first party claim or a third party claim. A first party claim is an insurance claim that you file with your own insurance carrier, under your own policy. A third party claim is an insurance claim that you file with the opposing party’s insurance carrier.

The purpose of filing a claim, whether for injuries or vehicular damages, is to recover the money you need to make up for the financial losses that resulted from your accident. This may include medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, and sometimes, even pain and suffering. As mentioned, the type of claim you file after a car accident depends on who was at fault.

Who is At Fault?

If you were at fault for the car accident and subsequent damages that resulted, then you would need to file a first party claim through your own insurance company. If you were not at fault for your accident, then you would file a third party claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.

A common example of a first party insurance claim accident would be if you didn’t stop soon enough at a red light and collided into the back of another person’s car. In this same example, the driver you hit would need to file a third party insurance claim with your insurance carrier.

At Fault Parties

In a car accident, there could be many potential opposing parties, including a vehicle manufacturer, a business, another driver, a pedestrian, or even the city. More than one party can be at fault for a car accident as well, and each party can be liable for different levels of fault. Furthermore, the level of fault in a car accident can sometimes be unclear, in which case, you might have to file a first and third party claim.

This means your car accident personal injury claim, or claims, can get very complex, which is why you require a licensed and experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney to help recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured in a car accident. If the opposing party’s insurance is unwilling to settle fairly, an accident attorney can take your case to trial.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a licensed Indianapolis car accident attorney who can determine the best strategies for your case. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to get started on your financial recovery, today.

Are You Responsible if Another Person Drives Your Car and Causes an Accident?

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Car Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

The primary dispute after a car collision is determining who was at fault, namely, who is liable for the damages and losses suffered by those involved in the accident. In most cases, the person who was reckless or negligent is the at-fault party, however, cases can be more complicated than that. Sometimes, a manufacturer defect in a vehicle, stoplight, or some other commodity can be to blame. But regardless, there is always someone, either person or entity, blameworthiness.

If it is not an entity or company of some sort, it is usually pegged on the negligent driver. But what if someone else was driving your car? Would you be responsible for any damages they inflict on another if they were to be involved in a car accident? Continue reading to learn the various scenarios of liability.

Vicarious Liability

Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

In the case that another person drives your vehicle and causes an accident, you could be held responsible for the financial damages and losses incurred to the victims involved. You could be sued for negligence even if you weren’t in the vehicle at all. To better understand this duty of care, you must understand vicarious liability.

Vicarious liability is a form of imputed negligence that results when two parties have a relationship, such as parent-child, employer-employee, teacher-student, and so forth. In such relationships, one person’s actions can actually be another person’s legal responsibility. In the case that you loan your vehicle to someone within such a relationship, you could face consequences for their actions under Vicarious Liability Law.

Kids Driving Parents Car

If you are a parent that allows your child to drive your vehicle, keep in mind that you are the perfect candidate for vicarious liability. In many states, there is a law called “Negligent Entrustment”, in which the “entrusters” (the parents) entrusts their minor to operate their vehicle knowing they are in some way incompetent (i.e. unlicensed, underage, reckless, inexperienced, etc.). There is another law called the Family Purpose Doctrine, which holds the parents liable for any damages caused to another as a result of their child driving their vehicle, regardless if they were given permission or not. However, these law vary from state to state.

Negligent entrustment law also applies to other people outside of family. If you knowingly allow another person to operate your vehicle who is incompetent or unfit in some way, you will be responsible for any accidents they cause.

Employees and Employers

Under vicarious liability law, employers are liable for any negligent driving the takes place by an employee while performing work-related duties. For instance, if a pizza delivery driver is delivering a pizza on the clock, but runs a red light and collides into a van full of people, the employer is responsible for all damages and losses sustained by the victims of the accident.

When it comes to car accidents, liability, and compensation, it is important to discuss these concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you determine what rights you have to compensation after being negligently injured in an accident that was no fault of your own.

Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys

Personal Injury Law Firm Indiana

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our seasoned Indianapolis car accident attorneys, today. Personal injury litigators, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek, are ready to help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call 317-881-2700 to request an appointment to discuss your car accident injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana.