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Who is Liable When No One is Behind the Wheel?

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Foster Swift 2nd Wednesday Morning Break
February 9, 2022

Women Asleep Behind Wheel of Autonomous VehicleUnder Michigan current “no-fault” system for auto accidents, drivers usually purchase insurance policies to cover accident-related expenses regardless of fault. But who is liable when there is no driver behind the wheel when the accident occurred?

When most people think of self-driving, autonomous vehicles (AV), they think of vehicles of the future that are completely reliable and luxurious. However the reality is that despite the obvious benefits, in recent news, AVs have received a lot of attention for accidents, fatalities and safety concerns. 

We invite you to join us for our next Second Wednesday Morning Break where we will discuss the topic of: Who is Liable When No One is Behind the Wheel? 

This session will feature moderator Patricia Scott discussing AVs with litigator Stefania Gismondi. Stefania's practice includes insurance coverage disputes, no-fault personal protection insurance claims, and defending against uninsured and underinsured motor benefits. Among various aspects of AVs, Stefania will explain:

  • The Levels of Driving Automation as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
  • As there is no current federal regulatory system in the US that governs AVs, who is defined as "the driver" under Michigan law?
  • As laws continue to change, what are some of the future liability implications?

AVs will be a part of our future, as will accidents involving them. Whether it was because of driver negligence or the technology failed, the question remains: who is liable for the injuries and the economic losses? Is it the driver, the manufacturer, or the owner? Adjusters and others in the insurance industry will not want to miss this discussion.

See session information below: