Tesla is once again facing a lawsuit related to its Autopilot feature. In March, 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner died while using the Autopilot advanced driver assistance system. As a result, his family is suing for damages of more than $15,000.
The wrongful death lawsuit comes after Tesla was sued in May for the death of 38-year-old Wei Huang. In 2018, he died while using Autopilot when his Model X crashed into an off-ramp divider. Banner died on March 1st 2019 after his Tesla Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer on a Florida highway, traveling at 68 miles per hour.
According to data analyzed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Banner had turned Autopilot on about 10 seconds before the crash. The crash tore the roof off the car, which traveled another 1,600 feet before stopping. The agency also determined the driver’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel for the last 8 seconds before the impact.
A Complicated Case
Driver fault is always a factor in an accident lawsuit. In this case, Banner having removed his hands from the wheel indicate he didn’t comply with Tesla’s instructions, which require drivers to always have their hands on the wheel. But the NTSB notes the system didn’t detect the driver’s hands, which doesn’t mean he wasn’t gripping the wheel at the time of the crash. Using preliminary data and video, the agency said no evasive maneuvers were made.
The accident investigation is expected to take up to another year. Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has blamed crashes involving Autopilot on complacency or inexperience, Banner’s crash closely resembles a fatality involving a 40-year-old male in 2016 who collided with a tractor-trailer on a Florida highway. The company said the on-board cameras didn’t recognize the white side of the truck against a bright sky.
While the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded Brown wasn’t paying attention, the NTSB found a lack of safeguards contributed to the accident and resulting death.
Another factor in the Banner case is, while a different version of Autopilot was used, the similarities between both incidents could mean Tesla didn’t address the issue that contributed to the previous accident.
Complicated Lawsuits Require Immediate Funding
In California, as in most states, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of a vehicular crash. If a family brings a wrongful death case against an at-fault driver, company, or manufacturer, the clock starts on the date of the victim’s death, even if it differs from the date the accident occurred.
Only in rare circumstances can a statute of limitations be extended or paused.
Understanding the statute of limitations, and other legal aspects important to a car accident lawsuit, requires the help of an attorney. Hiring a lawyer is just the first step. It can take time to gather all the evidence, determine where most of the fault lies, and build a defense. Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights and provide full assistance in the insurance claim and litigation process.
But to do that, your Los Angeles auto accident attorney needs time. Financial concerns often interfere with a plaintiff’s priorities, which can threaten a case. Lawsuit Cash 24/7 has found a solution to this problem with legal funding. A lawsuit cash advance out of your future settlement requires no out-of-pocket payments and, if your case doesn’t win, you owe the funding company nothing. You can apply online in minutes or call us toll free at 866-319-8730.