Texas Self-Driving Car Crash Attorney

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Legal Representation for Victims of Autonomous Vehicle Collisions

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A self-driving car’s involvement in a crash that kills or seriously injures a person is seemingly inevitable. While statistics show that these cars will likely save lives, they will also be the cause of serious injuries. In cases where autonomous cars are the sole operators of a vehicle, it will likely be difficult for the average person to figure out who is at fault for a crash. But a qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney can help you determine liability.

The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience helping victims of car crashes. Our attorneys understand that along with ever-evolving technology, the laws of liability stay constant. You are eligible to receive compensation from any at-fault party that caused your injuries. A qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you navigate insurance companies and the attorneys from major companies behind self-driving technology. Contact us today to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

What is a self-driving car?

A self-driving, autonomous or driverless car is a vehicle where human drivers are never required to take control to operate the vehicle safely. They combine sensors and software to control, navigate and drive the vehicle. There are currently no fully-autonomous vehicles in the United States, however, there are partially autonomous vehicles. These vehicles have various amounts of self-automation. These levels range from no self-driving features at all through fully-autonomous driving.

Level 0: No automation

This level contains any vehicles without any autonomous technology. For example, vehicles equipped with regular cruise control require driver intervention to set the speed or slow. In addition, it’s still up to the driver change lanes to pass a slower moving vehicle.

Level 1: Driver assistance required

At level one, drivers still need to maintain full situational awareness and control of the vehicle. However, drivers can rely on technology such as adaptive cruise control to sense a vehicle ahead is moving slower and will adjust its speed. Lane keeping assistance falls into the category as well.

Level 2: Partial automation

Vehicles equipped with this partial automation technology will manage both speed and steering under certain conditions. While manufacturers will try to convince you that these are self-driving cars that is not the case. These vehicles know to match your speed to the speed of traffic ahead of you and follow the curves in the road in ideal conditions. However, even with this impressive technology, drivers still need to pay attention to their surroundings. Drivers will need to immediately take control if the conditions exceed the system’s limitations.

Level 3: Conditional automation

In this level of automation, vehicles will be able to take over creeping through traffic. The system will operate at speeds below 37 mph, but still require human drivers to be ready to take over driving once the system is out of traffic.

Level 4: High automation

These vehicles are still on the horizon and will be able to handle “dynamic” driving tasks. In these vehicles, the technology will be able handle to most of the driving task and require driver intervention from time to time. In addition, it will be able to handle poor weather condition and other unusual environments. These vehicles will be able to do most of the driving, but still have a steering wheel and pedals.

Level 5: Full automation

In fully automated vehicles, human are cargo. In these vehicles, you will be able to program a destination or tell the car where to take you. The car will drive itself anytime, anywhere and under any condition—without human intervention.

We have been hearing more and more about autonomous vehicles (AVs), or as they are more commonly know, self-driving cars, in the news every day. Virtually every car-maker is in the process of developing their own version of what many are calling robot cars. Just like with the invention of the Model-T, AVs are likely to change the way we go about our day-to-day business and activities. If you’ve been injured by a partially autonomous vehicle contact The Carlson Law Firm to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney.

Do self-driving vehicles have the potential to save lives?

Studies show that with the adoption of fully autonomous vehicles that as many as 3,000 lives a year could be saved. This could save hundreds of thousands of lives in just three decades.

Since testing began, there have been three deaths related to autonomous vehicles. In each instance of a crash, death or injury, people resurrect the debate behind the safety of driverless vehicles. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 35,092 people died on U.S. roadways in 2015 alone, and 94 percent of crashes can be tied to a human choice or error. Because of these numbers, the head of the NHTSA believes that autonomous cars will need to be twice as safe as human drivers before they are allowed on the road.

Car manufacturers believe that automated driving innovations could dramatically decrease the number of crashes tied to human choices and behavior, thus reducing the number of fatalities on U.S. roadways. Also, proponents of autonomous cars argue that this level of testing would take 15 to 50 years. They say that the best way to begin saving lives is to get these vehicles on the roads as soon as possible. In essence, they believe that car accidents are inevitable, whether by human error or machine error. The obstacle is getting the general public more comfortable with machine-caused deaths.

As manufacturers continue to test fully autonomous and partially autonomous vehicles, lives are put at risk. It is important to know that The Carlson Law Firm has a qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney ready to help you.

Autonomous Vehicle Technology has a long way to go

Experts estimate that the U.S. is about 20 years from the widespread adoption of driverless vehicles. This will not prevent companies from claiming to have successful self-driving cars. However, in many of these cases, these vehicles are tested in safe and controlled conditions. For example, developers test the vehicles:

  • In western U.S. states
  • On open roads where the primary task is staying in the car’s own lane
  • In good weather

Goals of Autonomous Vehicle Technology

While the intentions behind developing autonomous vehicles are good, the technology is far from the perfect accident-free developers are imagining. For example, one of the goals of the artificial intelligence in the vehicles is that they will one day communicate with one another. Being able to communicate will ensure the vehicles will be able to coordinate movements to avoid accidents. In essence, the major goal of the self-driving car is to make driving safer. However, until developers get the technology perfect, there will be crashes and injuries. Other autonomous vehicle goals include reducing carbon emissions and saving lives.

In the news: Self-driving vehicle crashes

Tesla

A Tesla driver was arrested following a crash into a fire truck in late August 2018 on suspicion of drunk driving. Authorities report that the driver believed that the car was in autopilot mode. The driver’s Tesla rear-ended a fire truck that was stopped with its emergency lights on in California on Aug. 25. The crash has brought Tesla’s semi-autonomous mode into focus again, as the car has been involved in several other crashes.

Tesla is responsible for the U.S. death involving a semi-autonomous car. In May 2016, a Model S Tesla failed to recognize a white 18-wheeler truck and trailer crossing the highway. As a result, the vehicle drove full speed under the trailer, which impacts the car’s windshield and killed the driver.

Tesla maintains that the function is not designed to avoid a collision and it warns drivers not to rely entirely on the function.

Google

One of Google’s self-driving Lexus SUVs crashed into a bus in California. It was the 18th accident involving a Google autonomous vehicle, however, it was the first that the Google vehicle was at-fault.

Uber

Uber’s self-drive Volvo killed a 49-year-old Arizona woman. It is believed to be the first fatal U.S. crash involving an autonomous car and a pedestrian. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board showed that the vehicle detected the woman six seconds before it struck and killed her.

Uber engineers intentionally disabled the vehicle’s emergency braking system to reduce erratic vehicle behavior. However, they did no reprogram the system to alert the human operator to brake the vehicle manually. If the emergency braking were activated, it would have triggered the emergency braking system 1.3 seconds before the car hit the pedestrian.

While these fully-autonomous crash injuries are still rare, partially autonomous vehicles are available and increasing in sales. If you were in a car crash with a self-driving vehicle of any level, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney ready to help.

Who is Liable in an Autonomous Car World?

It may be difficult to determine the liability when an autonomous car is in a car collision. But a qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney from The Carlson Law Firm has the resources and knowledge to investigate your case to determine liability. There are several layers of blame depending on how autonomous car is. For example, if the vehicle is partially autonomous, the manufacturer, service center, and the vehicle owner may share the blame.  Different scenarios of liability include:

  • Manufacturer liability. This would be the case if the vehicle had a design flaw or bug in the software system. In addition, a manufacturer may be liable if the collision and injuries could’ve been prevented by a human driver.
  • Service center liability. The center that serviced or made repairs to the vehicle may also be liable.
  • Owner liability. Negligence may fall on the owner if the owner failed to implement a software update from the manufacturer.

Also, legislators will likely enact new laws to govern driverless car and liability. Although self-driving cars have the potential to minimize human driving error, that doesn’t mean that accidents won’t occur. As long as there are still human drivers on U.S. roads, car collisions are inevitable. However, if you suffer serious injury because of someone else’s negligence, you should not be held responsible for the resulting damages.

What The Carlson Law Firm Can Do For You

As personal injury attorneys, we know the importance of automobile safety. We witness first-hand how severe injuries can be if vehicle safety is not a priority. Carlson Law Firm attorneys are paying close attention to the development of autonomous cars. The laws around these types of collisions are confusing and may be difficult to navigate. When it comes to determining and proving liability in a car crash, The Carlson Law Firm is the team you want on your side. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the legal system after a car crash to get the compensation you deserve.

How Can a Texas Self-driving Car Crash Attorney Help?

Self-driving cars have the potential to help the world. However, as of now, there is not enough proof that these cars improve safety on the roads. Despite this information, there are self-driving vehicles on the road. Testing for automated vehicles is occurring on public roads. There are several scenarios where these vehicles can fail, an attorney can help you prove design defects, failure to warn and other forms of negligence. A qualified Texas self-driving car crash attorney can help you recover the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Long-term care
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

We can also help you pursue wrongful death claims against at-fault parties, including car manufacturers. A Texas self-driving car crash attorney from our firm can help you get justice for your loved one.

The experienced Texas car crash attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm can help. We have a team of dedicated professionals with personal injury litigation experience ready to assist. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact a Texas self-driving car crash attorney at any of our offices today for a free, no obligation, case evaluation. We care, we can help.