Can I File a Lawsuit if My Car Accident was Caused by a Software Malfunction?

The vast majority of modern vehicles are equipped with new and steadily evolving software that is used to enhance a person’s driving experience. However, the novelty of these software applications does not mean that they are infallible. There is still a chance that a driver may be injured if software malfunctions at the wrong time. If the software in your vehicle malfunctioned and caused you to lose control of the vehicle, contact our Texas car accident attorneys to consider your litigation options. In this article, The Arlington, TX car accident lawyers at the Queenan Law Firm, P.C., will discuss whether a victim of a car accident could file a lawsuit if the crash was caused by a software malfunction.

How a Software Malfunction Could Cause a Car Accident

There is a great deal of technology that has been outfitted to cars released in the past five to ten years. Unfortunately, not all of this technology works as it was intended. Here are some examples of software malfunctioning that often leads to a car accident.

Faulty Automatic Braking System

Some vehicles will make use of multiple front-end and rear-end sensors or cameras in order to alert the driver they are encroaching upon another car or barrier. These sensors often work in conjunction with an automatic braking system to stop the vehicle if the driver before they could make contact with another car, person, or another object. However, this system does not always work correctly.

If an automatic braking system malfunctions, it could cause an accident in a number of ways. For example, the system could falsely detect an obstacle while a person is driving, which could cause the brakes to trigger instantly. This is dangerous because it could cause a rear-end accident. Alternatively, if the system does not trigger on time, the driver may end up hitting an object unintentionally.

Defective Self Driving Features

Self-driving cars are becoming more prevalent on the roadways, but there are still many concerns regarding the technology used for the vehicle to self-operate. Many self-driving cars have been touted as safe for use on highways and other traffic-packed roads. However, if the vehicle does not properly recognize an obstacle, there is a great risk of a car accident. If you were harmed because of a technical malfunction, contact our product liability lawyers in Dallas.


Many vehicle software systems connect to the internet in order to use GPS, radio, and other features. If the manufacturer of the vehicle does not equip the car with adequate protections from outside attacks, there is a chance the car could be hacked. This could allow the hacker to take control over certain functions of the vehicle, which would be hazardous for the driver.

There could be other ways that you might encounter a software malfunction in your vehicle. When this happens, our Fort Worth car accident attorneys could help you determine how to get compensation for the incident.

Liability for a Software Malfunction Car Accident

Software malfunctions in a vehicle that leads to a car accident are typically the fault of the manufacturer of the vehicle. The manufacturer has a duty to ensure that the software used in their vehicles are properly calibrated and updated. For example, if a car manufacturer did not provide updates to their self-drive functions, the older software may become dangerous as time passes.

Additionally, suppose you brought your vehicle to a mechanic to perform repairs on the software in the vehicle. In that case, they could be liable if they made a mistake that caused a malfunction. For example, if a mechanic incorrectly attached a sensor needed for an automatic brake function, this would be a serious issue.

The owner of the vehicle should also ensure that they frequently perform maintenance on their car and that they use any software as it was intended. If the driver was using the software in a manner that it was not programmed for, this could affect whether the manufacturer or another party was truly liable for the accident.

Timeframe to File a Car Accident Lawsuit After a Software Malfunction

If you were in an accident because the software in your car malfunctioned, you may have valid grounds to file a product liability or personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. Note that these claims would be subject to a filing deadline due to the statute of limitations. This means that the plaintiff must move quickly to avoid missing the deadline for their case.

Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for product liability cases and personal injury cases. When a plaintiff brings their case to the court too late, the court possesses the discretion to dismiss the case with prejudice. This means that the victim cannot refile the case under any circumstances and would be barred from recovering damages.

Our skilled Dallas fatal car accident attorneys are mindful of how long our clients have to file their lawsuits, and we will ensure that you meet your deadline. It would be wise to avoid waiting close to two years before you file your case. A law firm may be hesitant to accept the case if they know the deadline will soon close.

Call Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers if Your Software Malfunctioned

If you or a family member sustained injuries in a car accident due to a software malfunction, call our Dallas car accident lawyers today. You should be thoroughly compensated if the manufacturer of your vehicle provided you with faulty software that caused your accident. If you wish to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact us at (817) 476-1797. You could also schedule a consultation with the Queenan Law Firm, P.C., online.