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New Self-Driving Cars Bring Up Liability Issues

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New Self-Driving Cars Bring Up Liability Issues

Wisconsin man making selections on the touchscreen of his self-driving car before driving

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the state witnessed 112,516 crashes this year, resulting in 565 deaths and over 40,000 injuries. Of those accidents, nearly 1,200 were pedestrian related which led to 57 deaths and over 1,100 injuries.

Nearly two years ago, Google unveiled what many thought would be the answer to our problems: self-driving cars. But now, many people are wondering if they may cause more problems than solutions.

A majority of the issues, some reports say, will be legal problems. As of right now, a majority of states do not have laws specific to self-driving cars. The biggest issue for lawmakers is: who is responsible if no one is technically driving the car? Though scientists currently working on the car say that the sensors equipped on their prototype can detect not only other vehicles but people as well, they admit that the software lacks natural human intuition that can predict what another person may do in certain situations. Scientists say that self-driving cars also have difficulty with temporary signs as well as snowy conditions.

A teacher from Stanford Law School asks the question: if you put a 15-year-old in the vehicle and press the go button, are you-the person sitting at home-the driver, or is the person in the car? Or perhaps, is it the company that wrote the software?

Questions such as this will be important if this type of technology continues to catch on because as some have already pointed out, there will come a time when the technology will fail, which could end in a fatal car accident. Establishing clear laws regarding liability in these situations will be necessary in the future to ensure that not only are victims' rights being protected but those of the driver as well.

Source: New York Now, "Calif. Green-Lights Self-Driving Cars, But Legal Kings Linger," Eric Risberg, Oct. 3, 2012

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SEE HOW NICOLET LAW MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLIENTS’ CASES

CAR ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,200,000.00

CAR ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$50,000.00

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$700,000.00

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$75,000.00

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$180,000.00

SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$5,000.00

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,050,000.00

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00 - denial

DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$815,000.00

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00

UTV ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$250,000.00

UTV ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$5,000.00
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12 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota to serve you

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Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
Map & Directions

HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
Map & Directions

LA CROSSE:

119 N 19th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 608-527-0876
Map & Directions

NEW RICHMOND:

1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
Map & Directions

RICE LAKE:
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
Map & Directions

RIVER FALLS:
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
Map & Directions

SUPERIOR:
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
Map & Directions

WAUSAU:
408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
Map & Directions

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Minnesota Locations:

DULUTH:
306 West Superior Street,
Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
Map & Directions

HIBBING:
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
Map & Directions

MINNEAPOLIS:
225 South 6th Street
Suite 3900
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (608) 315-5639
Map & Directions

WOODBURY:
724 Bielenberg Drive
Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
Map & Directions

Wisconsin and Minnesota’s Local Award-Winning Injury and Disability Attorneys.
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