Tesla Car Accident Legal Advice Wisconsin
Teslas and other self-driving electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. However, with the increased number of these vehicles on the road comes the increased likelihood of accidents – especially when the technology on these vehicles malfunctions.
In some instances, serious car accidents happen when Tesla drivers are negligent – such as by violating standard rules of the road – and cause a serious accident with another vehicle. These accidents can also happen when the Tesla malfunctions due to a defective vehicle component and brings about an accident.
Fortunately, Teslas are equipped with video cameras that may be used to provide evidence regarding the cause of a car accident. In fact, these cameras monitor activity outside the vehicle, including the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle.
If you sustained injuries in a recent Tesla accident, you must have a skilled team of Wisconsin car accident attorneys on your side during every stage of the legal proceedings. The skilled and compassionate legal team at Mingo & Yankala, S.C. Accident & Injury Lawyers could help you investigate the circumstances of your Tesla accident and pursue a legal claim against the at-fault driver – or against Tesla directly.
We could then help you pursue the monetary compensation you need from the insurance company or initiate a lawsuit in the civil court system.
Seek your no-cost consultation with a member of our legal team today.
Tesla dashcams do record events outside the vehicle; in some instances, the cameras may record an entire accident. However, when pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver – or against Tesla (such as for a product defect) – the insurance company is unlikely to turn over video footage of the accident voluntarily. In those situations, we may be able to prepare an evidence preservation letter and forward it to the insurance company. This requires the at-fault individual or entity to retain (and not destroy or spoil) certain evidence that may be pertinent to the case. If the at-fault party does not preserve the requested evidence, they might be subject to sanctions later.
Alternatively, we may file a lawsuit against the other driver – or against Tesla – and subpoena the requested video footage from the vehicle. In that instance, the at-fault individual or entity would be required to produce the requested footage or face the possibility of sanctions from the court.
Our legal team can guide you through the process, take the necessary legal actions on your behalf, and help you make important decisions throughout your case.
History of Tesla Car Accidents in Court
Since electric and self-driving vehicles are relatively new, there has not been significant litigation in state and federal courts regarding accidents involving these vehicles. When looking at the number of registered vehicles on the road today, Teslas make up less than one percent. However, due to the advanced technology on these vehicles, they frequently receive a significant amount of media scrutiny and attention when accidents happen.
Some accident cases involve criminal liability, while others may involve tort liability and the possibility of monetary damages for injured accident victims. Some recent accidents that have occurred over the past several years – and which received media attention include:
- A fully self-driving Beta Model Tesla that crashed into a pole in January 2022
- A Tesla Model 3 that killed the owner and injured two riders in 2019 while on autopilot
- An August 2021 Tesla crash in Orlando that brought about an investigation by the NHTSA
- In a 2019 accident in Los Angeles the drive claimed that the autopilot malfunctioned, causing his Tesla to proceed through a traffic intersection and kill two people
Determining Liability in a Tesla Self-driving Car Accident
Before self-driving vehicles ever existed, liability for a car crash usually rested solely with one or more drivers. Sometimes, Tesla drivers over-rely on their autopilot features, contributing to a serious accident. Therefore, even in accidents that involve self-driving vehicles, driver error may still play a factor.
In the future, there is a good chance that full liability for a Tesla accident will likely shift directly to the manufacturer (i.e., Tesla) – and away from the driver – as the technology in self-driving vehicles becomes more advanced.
In a Tesla accident, the manufacturer and the driver may be fully or partially to blame. Common examples of a manufacturer’s liability for an accident may include:
- Automatic acceleration that the driver cannot override or control
- Autopilot steering mechanisms that malfunction
- Brakes that unexpectedly lock on the vehicle
- Additionally, some common examples of driver error may include:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles or pedestrians at the appropriate times
- Operating a vehicle in a reckless or overly aggressive manner, possibly due to road rage
- Operating a vehicle while illegally under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Overly relying on Tesla’s autopilot feature to work properly at all times.
Injuries in a Tesla Accident
When a Tesla vehicle strikes another vehicle, the occupants on the receiving end may suffer serious injuries. The physical injuries that a Tesla accident victim might suffer will depend on the type of accident, how their body moves in the vehicle during the crash, the force of the collision, and whether a part of their body makes contact with the vehicle. Some of the most common injuries that Tesla accident victims frequently suffer include:
- Soft tissue neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Rib fractures
- Eye injuries
- Bone fractures
- Mouth and teeth injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Complete and incomplete paralysis injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash involving a Tesla, you must immediately undergo the medical care and treatment you need. By fully completing your medical treatment regimen, you’ll increase your chances of fully recovering from your injuries. Additionally, you’ll show the insurance company that your injuries are serious and warrant appropriate monetary compensation.
While you complete your medical treatment, our legal team can start advocating for your legal interests, gathering important documents, and assembling a settlement demand package to present to the insurance company on your behalf.
Recoverable Monetary Damages in Tesla Car Accident Cases
Victims of Tesla accidents may be eligible to recover various types of monetary compensation and damages. The injured accident victim must first satisfy their legal burden of proof to recover monetary damages. First, they must show that the at-fault party acted unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, a negligent Tesla driver might have violated one or more traffic laws or rules of the road. Additionally, Tesla itself might not have taken the proper precautions when manufacturing, designing, or assembling a vehicle component – especially one that relates to Tesla’s autopilot feature.
Next, the injured accident victim needs to show that the accident occurred as a direct result of the other party’s negligence. Finally, they must show that as a direct and proximate result of the Tesla accident, they suffered at least one physical injury.
To satisfy these legal elements of proof and make you eligible for monetary damages, we may retain one or more experts who could testify in your case, such as a certified accident reconstructionist and/or a treating healthcare provider. An accident reconstructionist could investigate the accident circumstances and determine the cause of your accident. A treating medical provider, on the other hand, could establish the necessary causal relationship between the Tesla accident and your claimed injuries.
If you can satisfy the legal elements of your claim, you may be able to recover various types of monetary damages, including compensation for:
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of spousal consortium
- Mental distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lifetime care costs
- Permanent disabilities and disfigurement
- Loss of the ability to use a body part (such as from spinal cord or paralysis injuries)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our legal team could help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit promptly and pursue the maximum monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.
Never trust an insurance company’s assessment of your damages, as they will usually minimize your losses to avoid paying out a higher settlement. Instead, always have a trusted and experienced car accident lawyer identify and calculate your losses. This is the best way to ensure you have the necessary financial support moving forward.
Why You Need a Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer for a Tesla Accident
Proving the legal elements of your car accident case and retaining experts can be extremely difficult when acting on your own. Additionally, insurance companies routinely try to take advantage of self-represented car accident victims. Therefore, you should always retain experienced legal counsel to assist you with your case as quickly as possible.
At Mingo & Yankala, S.C. Accident & Injury Lawyers, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to aggressively advocate for your legal interests and help you pursue the full monetary compensation you need and deserve.