In October, General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi unit was involved in a incident where a woman was thrown in front of their vehicle after being hit by another car. They say they braked hard, but could not readily avoid running her over, but after they came to a stop, they soon tried to pull off to the right, dragging the victim and ending up with a wheel on her leg. The victim reportedly remains in hospital with serious injuries.
It’s possible the victim might bring a lawsuit against Cruise, as well as the hit-and-run driver who hit her—this driver has not yet been found. While they probably would not face liability for hitting her while trying to brake, their vehicle’s decision to start moving again, dragging and pinning her, probably worsened her injuries, and they could be liable for that. I contacted Landon Vivian, who is Managing Attorney for The Barnes Firm in the Bay Area, a firm which specializes in car accidents and injury cases, for information on what typically happens in these cases. This case, of course, is quite unlike most of the cases seen every day on the roads, because of the presence of the robot. We’re not used to dealing with robots harming people, and juries are likely to react quite differently to it than they do to human drivers.
Car accidents are probably the most common tort in the world, and they’re usually settled and