Tesla Accused of Overstating the Safety of Its Autopilot System in New Lawsuit

Tesla, Inc., has found itself embroiled in a lawsuit with respect to the safety of its autonomous vehicles. The company has been accused of misleading consumers in believing that Tesla vehicles can transport passengers on the interstate, traveling at high speeds, safely. The lawsuit is a result of a Florida crash involving a Tesla Model S driver who was injured after operating the vehicle using the car’s Autopilot system which malfunctioned while traveling at interstate speed. The crux of the lawsuit is a claim that the Autopilot system poses what is claimed to be “an inordinately high risk of high-speed collisions.” The problem alleged is that the car’s Autopilot self-driving system malfunctioned, causing the car to steer erratically when traveling at a high speed. The plaintiff’s attorneys allege that the company has not been receptive to ensuring that safety features are installed on these vehicles. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California and is requesting class-action status, which is pending. In response, Tesla has firmly denied the claims and has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the legal claims made are meant only to secure attorney’s fees and have no basis. The concept of autonomous driving has led to concern for many consumers, especially when accidents occur at the hand of these self-driving vehicles. While critics of this technology have warned of the risks, the government has been extremely supportive in promoting the development of self-driving technology in hopes of cutting accident rates, as well as highway deaths. However, lawsuits, such as this one, seem to give pause for concern as...

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween from Aronfeld Trial Lawyers!

Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for children of all ages, but the grim statistics surrounding the holiday are something parents and drivers should take seriously. On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. We encourage parents to talk to their children about Halloween safety, as simple precautions and planning can make it a fun and safe night for all! At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, we hope you and your loved ones have a safe and Happy Halloween. Here are some important safety tips for parents, children, motorists and property owners to remember this Halloween. Safety tips for motorists: • The safest thing you can do is avoid driving on Halloween night. The potential for car accidents involving young children increases four times on Halloween night, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). • If you must drive, do not drive distracted. Distracted driving involves more than using a smartphone while operating a vehicle. It is anything that takes your focus off the road for a second. Focus on safe driving and your surroundings, especially in residential neighborhoods where there is trick-or-treating. • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections waiting to cross the street, on medians and on curbs. • Always keep an eye out for children. Expect them to dart out in front of traffic. Halloween is an exciting night for them and sometimes they can forget the most basic of safety rules, particularly around vehicles. • If you are the parent of a teen driver, establish...

Teen Passengers Pose Biggest Threat to Teen Drivers

Teen cell phone use behind the wheel used to be thought of as the biggest danger to teen drivers, but according to a new study it is the passengers in the vehicle- specifically teen passengers in the vehicle who pose the biggest threat to teen drivers. The fatality rate in a motor vehicle crash, increased 51 percent, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, whenever a teen driver had teen passengers in his or her car. The fatality rate for the occupants of other cars involved in crashes caused by teen drivers with teen passengers went up by 56 percent. If a pedestrian or cyclist was also involved in this type of accident, the fatality rate increased by 17 percent.  In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent AAA reported that teen drivers were involved in more than one million car accidents resulting in more than 3,200 fatalities in the year 2016. This raises the question: Why is the rate of fatality higher when teen drivers are accompanied by teen passengers in the vehicle? One of the main reasons cited by AAA is the lack of supervision and training of these young drivers. One recommendation made by AAA is to require teen drivers log a certain number of supervised driving hours with a parent before being allowed to drive alone or with another teen. As parents and guardians, it is our job to ensure that our young drivers are trained in how to react in various traffic safety situations. There are ways to prevent teen...

How Your Insurance Company Investigates Car Accident Claims

If you have been injured in a car accident and need to file a claim with your insurance company, it is only natural to think they will offer you a fair settlement for your injuries and damage to your vehicle. However, for an insurance company handling an accident claim is about two things: minimizing cost and managing risk. Miami personal injury attorney Spencer Aronfeld details this in confessions of a car accident attorney and explains what you must prove as an accident victim to receive compensation for your injuries. Several factors affect the way your car insurance company will investigate your claim. These include: the nature and severity of your accident, damages, injuries and your insurance company’s specific policies. Immediately after filing your claim, an insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. They will be responsible for reviewing your policy to ensure that you are covered. They may also contact you to obtain further details about your accident. DO NOT give any recorded or written statements to them, before first obtaining legal advice. This is the #1 Tip for Car Accident Victims Injured in an Auto Accident. The Insurance Adjuster’s Investigation of Your Claim will include the following: • Request a copy of your police report; • Contact the other driver(s) involved; • Speak with any listed witnesses to the accident; • Re-visit the accident scene; • Further inspect and photograph your vehicle for damages. Payment of Damages Florida is a no-fault state, therefore drivers are required to $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also known as “no-fault” insurance coverage. This is used to cover your medical...

Types of Permanent Disabilities that Can Result from a Serious Car Accident

Injuries sustained in a serious car accident can be life altering, both physically and mentally. If an automobile accident has left a person permanently disabled, the injuries not only affect the accident victim, but oftentimes the entire family. A permanent disability can leave the family of the injured victim overwhelmed with medical bills, in-home care and lost wages. New medical devices may need to be purchased to accommodate the disability. Regularly attending physical therapy sessions to regain as much movement as possible, ongoing surgeries and medical expenses, possibly 24-hour assistance, along with mental health therapy are oftentimes needed to adjust to life moving forward. Some of the most common types of permanent disabilities we see as auto accident attorneys include: partial or total paralysis, crushed limbs and amputations, vision and hearing loss, traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What Is a Permanent Disability? An individual is permanently disabled if he or she can no longer engage in a substantial income-producing activity due to a physical or mental condition. Further, for the injury to qualify as a permanent disability, a physician has evaluated the person and has determined that this condition has lasted or is expected to last continuously for at least a year. Many permanent disabilities result from an individual being involved in a serious accident and can range in scope depending on the type of accident and type of injuries sustained. What Are the Types of Permanent Disabilities? A permanent disability can be both total and partial. If the victim is totally and permanently disabled, he or she will be unable to ever return...

Deadly Limo Crash Sheds Light on Distracted Driving and the Dangers of ‘Modified’ Vehicles

A tragic accident occurred over the weekend, taking the lives of 20 people in the small town of Schoharie, New York. A limo carrying four sisters, other relatives and friends to a birthday celebration ran a stop sign and crashed into a parked SUV outside a store in upstate New York, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians, officials and victims’ relatives said. It is the deadliest transportation accident in nearly a decade. At least six children lost at least one, or both of their parents in the crash. Following the accident, it was discovered the limo should not have been permitted on the road after a failed inspection last month, and the driver did not have the proper commercial license to operate the vehicle. One of the passengers in the limo texted another individual his concern that the limo was unsafe. As more details emerge on exactly what caused the accident, speculations have come out about whether distracted driving contributed to the accident. As more individuals are connected via technology, the likelihood of car accidents has gone up 12.3 percent, according to a 2018 Distracted Driving Report prepared by Motus. Motus defines the “mobile workforce” as those whose job it is to drive, including drivers who use their own cars, as well as taxi, truck and limo operators who drive for companies. This technology includes devices and systems within a vehicle that allow drivers to receive and process payments. These figures from Motus showed an increase in accidents from 5.7 million in 2013 to 6.4 million in 2017 where the driver of a commercial vehicle,...
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