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What happens if my car accident was caused by my car?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Products Liability |

As more and more vehicles have automated and autonomous vehicle features, Texas car accidents caused by the victim’s car are becoming more common. Take the recent uptick in Tesla crashes operating in autopilot mode that are posing unique legal questions. What happens in these unique circumstances? Is it a car accident case or a product liability case?

Is it a car accident case?

In traditional car accidents, fault is typically attributed to the driver responsible for negligent actions, like speeding or driving under the influence, in accordance with Texas law, which operates on a fault-based system. However, with the emergence of autopilot technology, fault determination becomes more intricate.

Who is at fault?

In cases involving autonomous vehicles, fault assessment involves a thorough examination of both the driver’s actions and the vehicle manufacturer’s responsibilities. If a driver misuses the autopilot system contrary to the manufacturer’s guidelines, they might be held accountable. Conversely, if a malfunction in the autopilot system contributes to the accident, the manufacturer could bear liability.

What about insurance?

Regardless of the fault determination, insurance coverage is pivotal in handling the aftermath of a car accident in Texas. The state mandates all drivers to carry a minimum level of liability insurance, which serves to cover damages resulting from accidents.

What happens if my car accident was caused by my car?

It depends. As technology advances, legal frameworks will likely evolve in tandem. With the increasing prevalence of autonomous vehicles, legal cases concerning fault in autopilot accidents are anticipated to rise. While insurance will initially cover drivers, if the driver was faultless, ultimately, the car accident will become a product liability lawsuit. But, proving this may require bringing in an independent third party.


Autopilot accidents have garnered attention due to instances like the Tesla accidents mentioned, highlighting the complexities surrounding fault determination and legal ramifications. In essence, while traditional car accidents in Texas adhere to established fault-based principles, autopilot accidents introduced a new layer of complexity. How your case will be handled really will come down to the facts of your case.