Tesla Sued for Wrongful Death in Connection with Model 3 Autopilot System
All eyes are currently on one lawsuit filed by a state against Tesla in connection with the wrongful death of one of its Model 3 drivers. The lawsuit contends that the company’s autopilot system was responsible for a fatal car crash and the death of the vehicle’s driver, citing negligence and Tesla’s failure to recall the vehicle, in spite of knowing that it had issues before it entered the marketplace. The case is the first one brought involving a death of a driver, and could set a precedent for future claims against Tesla in connection with its autopilot system and negligence.
Victim’s Claims & Tesla’s Response
According to the victim’s estate, the car’s autopilot system caused the car to veer off the highway and crash, in spite of the driver attempting to regain control over the vehicle. The family claims that the company designed, manufactured, and sold the vehicle with a flawed system, all while knowing that it was defective.
Tesla has responded that, in this particular case, the crash was caused by driver negligence and intoxication. In general, the company has emphasized that its autopilot is not a self-driving system and in fact their vehicles require drivers at the wheel who are ready to take over when necessary.
Future Claims Against Tesla
A related lawsuit involved a 2017 Tesla Model S sedan on autopilot mode, which reportedly accelerated on its own as it headed toward a highway offramp, running off the road and crashing into a tree. The injured driver from that accident claims that Tesla’s autopilot mode is still “at best a work in progress” in his lawsuit for breach of warranty, liability, and negligence. His catastrophic injuries include chest pain and fractured and shattered vertebrae, and he required emergency spinal fusion surgery and weeks of hospital recovery.
It is still unclear which autopilot features – such as autobraking, cruising, lane correction, speed controls, etc. – were involved in the current fatal accident in the Model 3. While there are a number of injury lawsuits currently filed against Tesla in connection with its Model 3 autopilot system, this is the first one involving a death, and the jury will likely take the claims very seriously as a result. If the jury decides in favor of the plaintiff’s estate, it will likely serve as fodder for additional related lawsuits, as well as potentially drive up settlement costs if Tesla seeks to avoid similar outcomes in court.
If You’ve Been In An Accident, Contact Our Las Vegas Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence, the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of Cameron Law can help: Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out more.