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Settlement Reached After Tesla Autopilot Fatal Crash

Tesla Settled High Profile Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Apple Engineer Who Died In Silicon Valley Car Accident

Settlement Reached After Tesla Autopilot Fatal Crash

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (April 9, 2024) – Tesla has chosen to settle a wrongful death lawsuit after an Apple engineer died when his Tesla Model X hit a concrete barrier.

The crash took place in Silicon Valley. An Apple engineer was heading down the highway when his vehicle collided with a concrete median and then caught fire.

Attorneys for the victim’s family argued that the Model X was in Autopilot. They also argued that the software for Autopilot was not nearly as safe as Tesla has made it out to be. There have been a number of reported instances where Tesla vehicles in Autopilot have been involved in New York collisions.

  • A man changing a tire on a New York highway was killed in 2021 after he was hit by a Tesla Model Y in Autopilot.
  • A Tesla suspected of being in Autopilot was involved in a multi-vehicle collision on a New York highway in June, 2023.
  • Autopilot may have played a role in a crash that led a Tesla to roll off a New York road in 2022.

The settlement came just before the case was about to go to trial. A number of similar lawsuits have also been pursued after Tesla vehicles allegedly engaged in autopilot crashed into emergency vehicles.

A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Crashes Involving Tesla Vehicles 

Tesla has touted the safety record of its vehicles. But there have still been a number of crashes when its vehicles were engaged in Autopilot. According to Car and Driver, “Tesla’s Autopilot software has been involved with more deaths and injuries than previously known: a total of 17 fatalities and 736 crashes since 2019, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed by the Washington Post.” Autopilot can maintain a vehicle in a lane of traffic, but there are many things it cannot do.

  • Autopilot cannot respond to stop signs.
  • Autopilot cannot read traffic signals.
  • Autopilot cannot account for inclement weather.

Autopilot relies on a blend of software that is integrated with an array of sensors. But this union does not always produce safe driving. Depending on the facts of any case, Tesla could face civil liability for an accident involving one of their vehicles in Autopilot mode. Tesla has a legal responsibility to make sure that its software is reasonably safe. If Autopilot malfunctions and this contributes to a crash, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. It is important that certain steps be taken after any crash with a vehicle in Autopilot.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Footage from the Tesla involved in the crash should be sought.
  • An experienced product liability attorney should be contacted.

Tesla has touted the safety of its vehicles and its Autopilot software. But people have consistently demonstrated that they will misuse the software in predictable ways. It is important for accident victims to understand that they do have rights. Any person who is injured in a collision with a Tesla in Autopilot may be able to seek some measure of aid through a civil claim. A personal injury attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating Crashes Involving Tesla Vehicles

We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to all of the people who have been injured in collisions with Tesla vehicles. It is our sincere hope that this settlement will spur Tesla to make their vehicles safer. People are not aware of all of the potential shortcomings of the Autopilot software.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a collision with a Tesla vehicle? Our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that accident victims get the support and justice that they are entitled to under the law. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.

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Jeff Korek

Jeff S. Korek

Senior Trial Partner​

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. in 1992 as the Senior Trial partner. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, Jeff has obtained some of the state’s highest verdicts and settlements.