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Hit by an Autonomous Car in Omaha? Call Now

Fully autonomous self-driving vehicles have been legal in Nebraska since 2018. That’s when Governor Pete Rickets approved Legislative Bill 989, creating legal guidelines and safety standards for testing self-driving cars. There have been a lot of advances in autonomous car technology, and fully autonomous vehicles have already begun operating in two states, Michigan and Arizona.

When fully autonomous cars and trucks come to Nebraska’s roads and highways, it will raise serious legal questions about who is liable for injuries in cases where an automated car is involved in a collision. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by an automated vehicle, call an Omaha car accident attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234, and we’ll help you get compensation to cover the cost of your medical expenses.

What Is a “Driverless Car”?

An automated vehicle is not the same thing as a driverless car. Many of today’s cars are at least partially automated, with cruise control or automatic braking systems that can detect a potential crash situation and then slow down or stop the vehicle before the driver has detected the problem.

There are five levels of automation. Cars and trucks that perform some driving functions but still require a human operator at all times and are called Level 1 automated vehicles. Level 3 autonomous vehicles can function on their own, but they still require a human driver who is always ready to take control. Level 5 autonomous vehicles are fully automated and don’t require any assistance from a human driver.

Fully automated driverless cars are currently operational in the United States. Waymo, a subsidiary of Google, is testing Level 5 cars that are transporting rideshare passengers in Phoenix, and May Mobility is operating a limited Level 5 shuttle system in Michigan.

Driverless Cars Are Coming to Nebraska

It is only a matter of time before we start seeing Level 5 driverless vehicles in Nebraska. Legislative Bill 989 outlines the conditions that must be met before manufacturers are allowed to introduce driverless cars to the state. To be legal in Nebraska, driverless vehicle must:

  • Meet state safety standards
  • Responds to the actions of other drivers
  • Navigate dangerous road conditions
  • Successfully negotiate railroad crossings
  • Effectively avoid crashes

Who Is Liable in Driverless Car Accidents?

Like anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Nebraska, owners of driverless cars and trucks will have to provide proof of insurance to the DMV. But this is where the legal ramifications of driverless vehicles get tricky. If a driverless vehicle causes an accident, you can’t take a robot to court. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine which parties are liable for your accident.

In some cases, a car that is not fully automated may activate an alarm that requires the occupant to take over driver responsibilities in a hazardous situation. That would still leave room for human accountability. But if a wreck is caused by a fully autonomous Level 5 vehicle, either the owner or the manufacturer would have to assume liability for injuries caused by the collision.

Determining which claims to file in an accident involving a driverless car will require expert legal assistance. In these cases, liable parties may include the car’s driver, its manufacturer, or even some other party such as the technology or software company that designed a system that failed to detect an obstacle or failed to apply brakes in a critical situation.

Compassionate Legal Help in Omaha

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence, your car crash attorney can help you get compensation to cover the costs of your injuries and other expenses.

At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we offer a FREE initial consultation with no obligation and we work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. Give us a call at (402) 505-8234 today to learn more. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we’re on your side.

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