Feds investigating fatal Tesla accident in Newport Beach to determine role of auto pilot system

Posted: May 20, 2022

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (May 20, 2022) – The U.S. government sent a team of investigators to see a fatal Tesla accident in Newport Beach, and how much of a role its automated driving system played in the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed that it had sent a team to investigate the May 12 crash. Reports say that when the crash occurred, the 2022 Tesla Model S had its auto pilot mode partially on.

The Tesla was heading eastbound on Pacific Coast Highway when it struck a curb and collided into construction equipment, causing the deaths of the three passengers inside the vehicle. Three construction workers on the scene suffered some minor injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

The NHTSA has been investigating accidents involving driver assistance technologies.

Since 2016, the agency has sent teams to 34 crashes in which the systems were either in use or suspected of operating. Of the 34, 28 involved Teslas, according to a NHTSA document released Wednesday,” reports Fox 11 LA.

The names of the victims in this case are still unknown.

Liability In Newport Beach Car Accidents

Despite improved safety measures for cars, motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States.  According to the CDC, “more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes.” There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a car accident including:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Dangerous turns
  • Poorly designed roadways

All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid causing accidents. This is especially true for commercial drivers that work for a city. A number of collisions are due to drivers that make dangerous left turns. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21801, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn left must yield the right of way traveling from the opposite direction close enough to pose a hazard.

If a negligent driver worked for a city, that city could potentially be liable in the event of an accident. Generally speaking, employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. There are a number of steps that should be taken after a car accident.

  • Photos of the accident site should be taken.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • A thorough independent investigation should be conducted.

The family of any victim that has died in a car accident may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. It is essential that evidence is properly preserved after a car accident. A car accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Newport Beach Car Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims killed in this accident. A thorough investigation must be conducted for the sake of all who have lost so much.

Do you need more information about a Newport Beach car accident? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that negligent drivers are held to account for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 395-7234.

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