In Texas, like any other state, a simple drive down the highway can turn into a life-altering event when you least expect it. Car accidents are, unfortunately, a part of our daily reality. However, not all accidents are the result of driver error. In today’s technology-driven world, high-tech could fail. What are your legal options if automotive software failure causes or contributes to a collision?
The article below from Anderson & Cummings discusses automotive software, including what legal options you may have if it fails. Our team of experienced auto crash attorneys in Fort Worth have been helping injured victims for decades, recovering over $100 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Need legal help after a crash you did not cause? Our law firm is prepared to help. Call to discuss your situation and find out whether you may have a case – there is no charge for this meeting. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are also no upfront costs to pay.
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What Kinds of Automotive Software Does Your Vehicle Likely Have?
As vehicles become increasingly sophisticated, they rely more on software to function. Cars these days are packed with complex high-tech automotive software. This software contains between 30 to 100 or even more electronic control units (ECUs). ECUs control crucial vehicle functions, including engines, brakes, transmission, and airbag deployment.
Newer automotive software and ECUs make vehicles safer, but they also introduce new vulnerabilities as well.
How Do Automotive Software Failures Occur?
Reliance on technology has brought remarkable advancements in safety, fuel efficiency and overall driving experience. However, it has also opened the door to new vulnerabilities. Automotive software failures can result from various factors, including:
- Programming Errors: Software developers may inadvertently introduce bugs or errors into the code, which can cause unpredictable behavior, including brake assist failures, unintended acceleration, steering issues and more.
- Inadequate Testing: Rushed production schedules or inadequate quality control can lead to insufficient testing of the software, increasing the risk of undiscovered issues.
- Outdated Software: Like any other technology, automotive software can become outdated. Failure to update or maintain the software can lead to vulnerabilities.
- Cybersecurity Threats: In an era of connected cars, the risk of cyberattacks on vehicle software is a real concern. Unauthorized access can compromise safety-critical systems.
- System Integration Problems: Modern vehicles have numerous interconnected systems. A failure in one system can cascade into software failures elsewhere in the vehicle.
What Are the Consequences of Automotive Software Failure?
When automotive software fails, the consequences can be severe, leading to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. Here are some of the potential outcomes of software failure:
- Loss of vehicle control: Software glitches can result in a sudden loss of control over the vehicle, making accidents almost inevitable.
- Braking and acceleration malfunctions: Malfunctioning software can cause erratic behavior in your car’s braking and acceleration systems, putting you and other road users at risk.
- Airbag and safety systems failures: In a collision, your vehicle’s airbags and other safety systems rely on software to deploy correctly. Software failure can mean these systems do not activate as intended, which could increase the risk of injuries to vehicle occupants.
- Delayed or non-existent warnings: Many modern vehicles come equipped with warning systems to alert drivers to potential dangers. Software failures can cause these warnings to fail, leaving you vulnerable to accidents.
- Data loss: When software malfunctions, valuable data regarding the accident and its causes can be lost, making it challenging to establish liability.
What Do Victims Need to Prove Liability and Seek Compensation?
Even if you suspect that automotive software failure played a role in your accident, you will still need to prove it to establish liability. If successful, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. Injury claims are not easy to prove, but this is where an experienced personal injury lawyer can be your greatest ally.
Proving liability in automotive software failure is challenging. It requires a deep understanding of technology, automotive systems and the legal landscape. Calling a lawyer can be greatly beneficial to the outcome of your claim.
Protecting Your Rights and Future Safety
When automotive software failures lead to accidents, it is not just about seeking compensation for your losses. It is also about holding auto manufacturers accountable and ensuring that these issues are addressed to prevent further accidents in the future.
How Can I Prevent Causing a Crash Due to Automotive Software Failure?
Drivers owe a duty of care, which includes taking reasonable steps to avoid a crash or causing harm to others. Here are some things Fort Worth drivers can do to minimize the risk of automotive software failure:
- Stay Informed: Regularly check and read notices from your dealer – they could be informing you about recalls or software updates for your vehicle.
- Maintenance: Proper vehicle maintenance, including firmware updates, are crucial to keeping your vehicle’s software running smoothly.
- Safe Driving: Defensive driving remains your best protection. Always be alert, keep a safe following distance, and avoid distractions while driving.
- Legal Support: If you believe your vehicle’s software either caused or contributed to an accident, you should seek legal help right away to explore legal options.
Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Legal Help Today
In Fort Worth, we depend on our vehicles every day, and your safety is a top priority. Automotive software failures are a hidden danger that can have devastating consequences.
At Anderson & Cummings, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and legal interests. Call our law offices today to discuss your case. We are prepared to work tirelessly to hold the at-fault parties accountable while seeking the full and fair compensation for your damages.
Have legal questions? We are here to help. Call: (817) 920-9000