June 21, 2021

Self-Driving Cars and Liability in Louisiana


Louisiana is one of twenty-one states that has passed legislation allowing the testing of self-driving vehicles on its roads. Among other benefits, the introduction of this emerging technology has the potential to bring new revenue to the state. However, there are many questions still unanswered regarding the safety risks that autonomous vehicles could pose to Louisiana drivers in the near future. 

What happens when a Louisiana motorist is injured or killed in an accident with a self-driving vehicle? How will accident victims get the compensation they deserve? The personal injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm are following the development of these laws so they can be prepared to assist clients who have been involved in an accident with an autonomous vehicle. Recent injuries and deaths involving the testing of self-driving vehicles make this issue even more critical for legislators in the state. Do they embrace new technology? Do they wait until other states set the precedents for assigning liability? These are some of the questions Louisiana lawmakers will need to answer. 

What is a self-driving vehicle? 

The state of Louisiana has defined “autonomous technology” as: 

“Technology installed on a motor vehicle that has the capability to drive the vehicle in which the technology is installed in high-or full-automation mode, without any supervision by a human operator, with specific driving mode performance by the automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving tasks that can be managed by a human driver, including the ability to automatically bring the motor vehicle into a minimal-risk condition in the event of a critical risk or system failure, or other emergency event.” 

Louisiana lawmakers who are enthusiastic about the introduction of self-driving vehicles state that safety and traffic reduction are their primary concerns. Yet, they do concede that the issues related to liability in potential accidents with autonomous vehicles are still uncertain. 

Who would be liable in the event of an accident or injury?

This is one of the tough questions that lawmakers will need to answer as autonomous vehicles become more prevalent on Louisiana roads. There are a number of parties who could potentially be held liable for an accident, including: 

  • Vehicle drivers 
  • Car manufacturers
  • Parts manufacturers
  • Self-driving software developers


Vehicles without human drivers are new, and so little is known about how accidents would occur with autonomous vehicles at this time. Regardless of how the accidents occur, determining liability is an issue that will be essential to motorists on Louisiana roads in the very near future. Experts estimate that widespread use of self-driving cars will become a reality for drivers across the state of Louisiana in the 2030s or 2040s. If you become involved in an accident with a self-driving vehicle that results in injury, you will need the legal expertise of a personal injury attorney who understands the new regulations related to autonomous vehicles in Louisiana. 

Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm if you have questions related to your auto accident case, including those that involve self-driving vehicles. 

Our attorneys have helped hundreds of injury victims get the fair compensation they deserve so they can get back to their lives and their families.  Call Cueria Law Firm at (504)-525-5211 today!

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