Tesla’s Autopilot Leads to Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Across the country, as well as much of the world, car accidents, and vehicle related fatalities are some of the most common causes of death. And despite becoming the darling of both stock investors and those in the tech space at the same time, Tesla, like any other vehicle, has had its fair share of accidents, and even fatalities. However, what sets Tesla apart, and makes their fatalities that much more controversial is what lies at the center of this whole debate – Tesla’s specialized self driving, auto-pilot system. According to Ms. Anissa Morris, the best wrongful death lawyer Tampa has to offer, as of writing this article, there have been four reported fatalities in accidents involving Tesla’s Model S, Model X, and Model 3 automobiles, all in the last three years. (That’s compared to an estimated 40,000 deaths in car crashes in 2018 alone).Again, as we mentioned however, what’s most striking about the deaths involved in Tesla, however, is that many of the victims were using the company’s autopilot at the time of the accident – a feature many believe will make driving safer in years to come, as the technology continually advances. One of the worst incidents took place in the state of Florida, a man named Jeremy Banner, who was killed when his Tesla slid under a turning semi-truck while travelling 68 miles per hour on a Florida highway. Banner’s family is now filing a wrongful death lawsuit – suing the car manufacturer, claiming its Autopilot system failed and should have braked or swerved to avoid the truck. In this article we will explore these incidents in detail and understand how the fault comes into play in such a unique case.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Tesla auto-pilot system, is that it allows for very detailed updates on the individuals driving and how or if, auto-pilot was put into use. According to Ms. Morris, the best wrongful death lawyer Tampa has in practice, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board looked into the individual’s use of the auto-pilot up close. Banner engaged the Autopilot system about 10 seconds before the crash and his hands weren’t detected on the steering wheel for eight seconds before the collision, which should have set off the car’s automated warning system. The Banner family’s attorneys claim Tesla falsely advertised its Autopilot system as self-driving technology that would “eliminate the risk of harm or injury to the vehicle operator caused by other vehicles or obstacles.” The lawsuit also alleges that Banner “reasonably believed” his Model 3 was safer than a human-operated vehicle based on Tesla’s marketing campaign.
Tesla has not responded to the lawsuit yet, but released the following statement following the crash in May: “Our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance.”Auto manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure their cars and trucks are safe, and there are three main types of product liability claims that injured drivers and passengers can make:
· Design Defects: The design of the autopilot feature is flawed in a way that renders it unreasonably dangerous
· Manufacturing Defects: The vehicle is manufactured in a way that departs from the intended design, causing it to malfunction
· Warning Defects: The manufacturer failed to provide adequate instructions or warnings regarding the dangers present when using the autopilot feature.
The fact is in an effort to win a wrongful death lawsuit in such a case, you would need to prove that there was an actual defect that is separate from the driver’s actual use of the vehicle. And While every death Tesla is part of makes the biggest headlines, other car manufacturers without auto-pilot features cause way more deaths, and injuries than Tesla. As the best wrongful death lawyer Tampa has to offer, Ms. Morris and her team can help you argue such a case on behalf of your deceased or injured loves ones, for more information on personal injury lawsuits and more, be sure to contact Spinner Law Firm today.