When an Automated Product Causes a Personal Injury
Automation is remaking the world. Siri, self-driving cars, and Google Assistant are but a few examples of ways in which artificial intelligence is being integrated into day-to-day life. Importantly, just as humans have a responsibility to act in accordance with laws and norms, so do the companies and individuals who manufacture, design, or direct automated products. This is the case in every sphere of life in which artificial intelligence is utilized, including transportation, sanitation, security, and the service industries. If you are harmed by an automated product, as was recently the case in Tempe, Arizona when a pedestrian was struck and killed by a self-driving car, you may rightfully seek legal damages from the owner, operator, or designer, depending on the nature of event and injuries.
Automation-Related Accidents May Be Caused By Design or Negligence
When a human injures another human, the legal cause of action that is created is typically either negligence or intentionally wrongful conduct (e.g. assault). Negligence is the breach of a duty owed that actually and proximately causes damages. This legal doctrine may still be applicable when an automated product injures a human being, but the context is one of products liability rather than personal conduct. Obviously, it does not make sense to subject a robot, self-driving car, or other embodiment of artificial intelligence to civil or criminal liability.
The proper focus, rather, is the operator, manufacturer, designer, or retailer of the product. Such a distinction places A.I.-related harms within the province of products liability law. This is why the ride-sharing company that was testing and utilizing the self-driving car that caused a pedestrian death was held legally responsible. In this specific instance, the harm suffered was what the law terms a “wrongful death.”
Types of Compensation Available for Personal Injury Victims
It is well known that the Bay Area is home to Silicon Valley. As Google, Facebook, SpaceX, and myriad other ambitious entrepreneurs test and introduce automated products into daily life, accidents, injuries and even deaths, at least for the time being, are an unfortunate inevitability. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of an automated product, you may seek legal compensation for your medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses. In holding an operator, designer, manufacturer, or retailer responsible, rely on an experienced Fremont personal injury attorney.