San Francisco Tesla Accident Lawyers
If you or anyone you know has been in an accident involving a Tesla, contact Cutter Law P.C. today to speak with an attorney. Our team of San Francisco Tesla accident lawyers will help you navigate the legalities of filing a claim for your accident and guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
Self-driving vehicles are a very attractive idea: sit back and relax as you are driven to your destination. The electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is the first automaker in recent history to publicly release a vehicle with autonomous driving capabilities to the public.
Tesla has been offering Full Self-Driving (FSD) capability in its vehicles for several years now, charging customers $10,000 to upgrade to a FSD subscription.
While FSD capability is in demand and sought after by customers, the current state of Tesla’s autonomous systems isn’t without its flaws. Several fatal accidents caused by Tesla’s autopilot system prompted NTSB investigations into the safety and viability of their design.
Upon investigating a fatal crash near Spring, Texas, the NTSB issued a preliminary report stating that the Tesla Model S P100D vehicle was equipped with Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system.
For regular operation of the autopilot mode, two different systems must be available and engaged:
- The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control System
- The Autosteer System
In this particular accident, the NTSB discovered that while the TA Cruise Control was active, the Autosteer system was not available on the section of road where the crash occurred.
This NTSB investigation reveals that Tesla’s autopilot systems are not yet entirely safe and capable of autonomous travel without human intervention. Where safety issues exist, there may be cause for liability of the manufacturer—in this case, Tesla.
Recent Tesla Crashes Near San Francisco
With the growing popularity of Tesla vehicles on the road, we’ve seen an increasing number of crashes involving various Tesla vehicle models.
Several examples of recent Tesla accidents near San Francisco include:
- November 29, 2021, in Union City, CA – A Tesla SUV hit a parked car along Interstate Highway 880 in Union City, just 40 minutes south of San Francisco. The driver of the Tesla was arrested for DUI, a woman was killed, and four others were hospitalized. The CHP stated that the Tesla was not on autopilot when the crash occurred.
- August 13, 2021, in Saratoga, CA – One hour south of San Francisco, an accident involving a Tesla left one man dead and multiple others hospitalized.
- May 5, 2021, in San Jose, CA – A driver of a Hyundai crashed into a Tesla stopped at a traffic light, killing the driver of the Hyundai at the scene.
- July 23, 2019, in San Francisco, CA – On O’Farrell Street in San Francisco, a dashcam captured an incident involving a 21-year old woman who sped into a couple on the crosswalk in her rented Tesla. A 39-year old man was killed.
Due to the increasing number of accidents involving Teslas, many have begun to question whether these electric vehicles are truly safe on the roads.
Controversy Behind Tesla's Self-Driving Cars
Tesla claims that its Full Self-Driving (FSD) system provides “active guidance and automatic driving under your active supervision.” This is achieved through built-in features such as the Autopilot, Smart Summon, Auto Lane Change, and Autopark feature.
Even though Tesla claims their FSD vehicle models are not yet fully autonomous, it is not clear that there are sufficient safety features in place to prevent misuse or negligence by a driver, even if done inadvertently.
A recent publication from Business Insider drew attention to the serious flaws and potential dangers of Tesla’s FSD prototypes, prompting the question: are they really safe?
The Full Self-Driving technology has taken heat from customers, safety experts, and lawmakers alike.
When a Tesla vehicle is involved in a crash, it presents a battery-fire hazard to the vehicle’s passengers and anyone in the vicinity of the crash.
The safety features of Teslas fall further into question when analyzing accidents such as the Model S crash in South Florida. The driver perished after his vehicle hit a palm tree and was engulfed in flames from the burning lithium-ion battery. He was unable to open the futuristic doors of his vehicle to escape.
A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that drivers are less attentive to their surroundings when their vehicle is in self-driving mode. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently opened an investigation into Tesla collisions with first-responder scenes, primarily after dark.
A California regulator has also initiated reviews into the safety of Tesla vehicles and their FSD capabilities.
Statute of Limitations for Accidents in California
The statute of limitations is the number of years a person has to file a lawsuit against another party.
- Wrongful Death Claim: Civil Code §337.60 states that you have up to two years to file a wrongful death claim as a result of an accident in California.
- Personal Injury Claim: Civil Code §335.1 provides you two years to file a claim for personal injury due to the negligence or wrongful act of another individual towards you.
- Property Damage Claim: Civil Code §338 allows you three years of time to file a claim for property damage.
Settlement for Tesla Crashes in California
When it comes to settlement for Tesla crashes in the state of California, Civil Code §17150 states the following about the maximum dollar amount for owner liability: “A maximum of $15,000 per injured person but $30,000 per occurrence even if more than two people are injured, and $5,000 for property damage.”
Who do I contact about filing an injury claim after a Tesla accident?
If you or anyone you know has been in an accident involving a Tesla, contact Cutter Law P.C. today to speak with a San Francisco car accident attorney.
Cutter Law will help you navigate the legalities of filing a claim for your accident and guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
Schedule a free case review and get the justice and compensation you deserve.