Who’s at Fault? Navigating Liability Laws in Missouri for Vehicle Technologies like ADAS

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are becoming more common in vehicles today. These technologies, like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, are designed to increase safety and reduce driver burden. However, they also introduce new questions about liability in the event of a crash. This is especially true in states like Missouri that follow traditional tort liability rules.

Missouri’s Tort Liability System

Missouri is an “at-fault” or “tort” state when it comes to financial responsibility for vehicle crashes. This means the driver who was negligent and caused the crash can be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. To prove liability, the plaintiff (injured party) must show:

  • The defendant (negligent driver) owed them a duty of care
  • The defendant breached this duty through negligent actions
  • This breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • Damages resulted from the injuries

The injured party must prove these elements for the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to pay compensation. Missouri does not have no-fault insurance laws.

Liability Challenges with ADAS

Advanced driver assistance systems add complexity to liability claims in Missouri. These technologies are intended to aid the human driver, but they do not replace human control or judgment. As semi-autonomous features become more advanced, it can become difficult to determine if the human or technology was at fault when crashes occur.

Key questions include:

  • Did the ADAS system fail to avoid a crash when it should have?
  • Did the human appropriately monitor and override the system when needed?
  • What party bears responsibility when an ADAS system is involved in a crash – the driver? The automaker? Or the ADAS hardware or software provider?

Plaintiffs may need to demonstrate negligence through expert analysis of ADAS data and extensive investigation into whether the technology worked as intended. The involvement of ADAS muddies the liability waters under Missouri’s tort system.

Navigating an ADAS Liability Claim

Injured parties should take proactive steps to build a strong liability claim involving ADAS:

  • Gather police reports, vehicle diagnostic data, and witness statements at the scene. This will establish the facts about ADAS use and who was in control at the time of impact.
  • Consult an attorney and ADAS expert. An expert can analyze vehicle data downloads to assess if the ADAS system should have prevented the crash based on its capabilities.
  • Identify all potential defendants. Depending on the system failure, the at-fault driver, automaker, and ADAS hardware/software companies could share responsibility.
  • Thoroughly document all crash-related damages. Missouri uses this documentation to award appropriate compensation for economic and non-economic losses.

Well-documented evidence and expert analysis are key to demonstrating liability when ADAS systems are involved. An attorney experienced in these emerging technologies can help navigate Missouri’s tort system.

Don’t Accept Full Liability if the Crash Wasn’t Your Fault

Monge & Associates have over 30 years of experience assisting injury victims in Missouri. If you were in an accident involving ADAS technologies that appeared to malfunction, don’t accept full fault. Contact our knowledgeable legal team to talk about your potential injury claim and options for maximum compensation. We have 32 offices in 19 states including Missouri, Mississippi, and Kansas, and promise to do what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.