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Using a Cell Phone to Record Details of an Accident

Cell phone cameras are valuable tools for gathering evidence after an accident. The first priority after an accident should be to call police and emergency services, stabilize any injuries, and get clear of hazards like burning vehicles. Once those essential steps are taken, and provided that circumstances allow for it, taking photos or even video can help attorneys, insurance companies, and police investigators analyze the accident.

What sort of photo evidence is useful?

The short answer to this question is: all of it. A photograph can reveal things that our minds don’t process in the moment. While we’re focused on the damage to a car we may not see an important detail that is outside the focus of our vision. A photograph may capture this detail and make it available later.

There are limitless possibilities about what may be important to photograph at the scene. Here are some important examples

  • All visible damage to the vehicles involved.
  • Roadway conditions, like debris, skid marks, or spilled oil or other chemicals that might have contributed to the crash.
  • The scene of the accident, including the location of traffic signs and signals, the address, weather.
  • Personal injuries, but note that before taking pictures of an injured person it’s important to first get their consent.

Moving around the scene to capture photos from many angles is important for building up a complete record of the scene. One area where this can be important is if the two drivers involved in the crash have different recollections of how the crash occurred. Having photos from various angles of damage to the vehicles may help investigators determine what actually happened.

Be mindful of the photos as evidence

Once photos of the scene are on your phone it’s important to take steps to preserve them. Getting them downloaded to a computer or uploaded to cloud storage should be a priority. It’s very important to preserve the photos in their original format: editing a photo may raise doubts about its authenticity later on.

Also take care before putting accident photos onto social media sites. The best approach is to avoid making any statements about an accident online, but this can be especially true of photos, which may have unintended consequences, such as offending the privacy rights of an injured individual.

GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients who have been injured in auto accidents recover compensation. If you have been injured in an accident please call us for a free, no obligation attorney consultation. Reach out to us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

How Not Wearing a Seatbelt Can Affect Accident Lawsuits

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 40. Over half of the people killed in crashes were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident. As in every state, Nevada law requires drivers and passengers in most motor vehicles to use seat belts. Children under the age of six who also weigh less than 60 pounds are required to be restrained in safety seats, ideally in the back seat. Failing to follow these rules can lead to devastating injuries in the event of an accident.

Although Nevada law requires passengers and drivers to wear seat belts, it also limits how a failure to wear a seat belt can be used in a civil lawsuit. Under NRS 484D.495(4), a violation of the seatbelt requirements “may not be considered as negligence or as causation in any civil action or as negligent or reckless driving.” In practical terms, what does this mean?

  • Not wearing a seatbelt is not a form of contributory negligence. In a personal injury lawsuit the defendant may want to argue that the plaintiff contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries by committing an independent act of negligence. Contributory negligence typically involves some breach of a legal duty, like not using a hand-held cell phone while driving. NRS 484D.495(4) specifically prevents defendants from raising this argument in cases where a plaintiff has been injured in an accident in which the defendant was at fault but the plaintiff’s injuries were made worse by the plaintiff’s failure to wear a seatbelt.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt is not an intervening cause of injury. One of the hurdles for bringing a successful personal injury lawsuit is the requirement that the plaintiff prove that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If the defendant can argue that the injuries were caused by something other than the defendant’s actions, the defendant can’t be held liable. For example, a plaintiff’s car might have suffered a major mechanical problem during the accident that was more to blame for the plaintiff’s specific injuries. But the fact that the plaintiff wasn’t wearing a seatbelt can’t be used in this way.

These rules offer a legal shield for people who were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of an accident in which they were injured. A defendant who was responsible for the accident cannot reduce or eliminate liability by using the mere fact that the plaintiff wasn’t wearing a seatbelt to raise two standard and powerful defenses.

The short takeaway is that people who were not wearing seatbelts at the time of their accident should not be deterred from pursuing legal action. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation in auto accident cases. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Biking in the Rain Increases Injury Risk

As bicycles become more popular as alternatives to cars people are more and more willing to ride in weather that would deter a casual rider. Rain in Nevada can come in dramatic bursts that can make roads unsafe even for drivers. While riding on the road during rainy weather it’s worthwhile keeping a few things in mind.

Tips for safely riding bicycles in the rain

Perhaps the best advice for cyclists who want to ride in the rain is: don’t. But sometimes it can’t be avoided, because there isn’t another mode of transportation available or the weather has turned without warning. When on the road in the rain, these safety tips can reduce the risk of an accident:

  • Take steps to be visible. In addition to having the legally required minimum front and rear reflectors, cyclists who ride in rain should also wear bright colors and ideally should have front and rear lights. It is almost impossible for a cyclist to be “too visible” on the road during wet weather.
  • Ride conservatively. Rain drastically reduces traction. Stopping distances will be significantly greater. Making aggressive turns on wet pavement can easily cause wheels to slide, leading to a crash.
  • If possible, take the lane. Nevada law allows cyclists to take an entire lane on multilane roads that do not have a separate, designated bike lane. It is significantly safer for a cyclist to take an entire lane than to try to hug the shoulder. Even if riding on a single lane road, cyclists are permitted to take the lane if the shoulder is full of debris or standing water.
  • Be prepared to wait out the storm. Riding in an especially heavy downpour is not worth the risk. If the roadway is inundated with water there may be no safe speed at which to ride.

The law and cycling in the rain

Nevada law treats bicycles like other vehicles for traffic purposes, meaning riders are required to obey all the rules of the road. There is no special rule that dictates how drivers must behave during rain, so it remains up to the rider to decide what is safe. In that respect, the rider takes a degree of personal responsibility when riding in the rain.

Riding in the rain will likely become an important issue in litigation if a bicyclist gets into an accident. Cases involving bike accidents have sometimes hinged on the cyclist’s assumption of the risk of injury. In a case where the rain played a factor in causing an accident one should anticipate the argument coming up. For example, if a cyclist rides into a deep puddle and falls in front of an oncoming car, the car’s driver probably will argue that the cyclist assumed the risk of injury or committed an act of contributory negligence by riding in conditions that were unsafe.

Talk to a Las Vegas personal injury firm about your bike accident

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury and accident cases. If you have been injured while riding a bicycle in the Las Vegas area, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

What to Do After an Accident with a Semi-Truck

Accidents with large commercial vehicles like semi-trucks can be especially dangerous for people in passenger vehicles. The weight and size disparity between a truck and an ordinary car can leave the car badly mangled and the people inside severely injured. For the driver of the truck such accidents not only threaten personal injury but can also put a career at risk. After being in an accident with a commercial vehicle there are a number of steps a driver should take:

  • Get medical attention. Anytime someone is injured in an accident the first step is always to ensure that injuries are stabilized. If possible, tell nurses and doctors about the accident. The information gathered by medical professionals about the nature of the injury can become vital evidence in future litigation.
  • Get the truck driver’s details. Like any car accident, the drivers involved in a wreck involving a commercial vehicle should exchange contact information and share insurance details.
  • Get the name and contact information of the driver’s employer. In addition to finding out the name of the truck driver, it’s important to also find out the name of the driver’s employer and get as much information as possible about the employer. Chances are good that the driver’s insurance is carried by the employer, not the driver personally, and any lawsuit that follows the accident will probably name the employer as a defendant.
  • Report the accident. Nevada law requires parties involved in an accident to report the incident to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In crashes where police were involved in the initial post-accident response this report may not be required, as the police prepare the necessary paperwork as part of their process. The insurance companies of both drivers should also be contacted.
  • Consult with an accident attorney. Even if a driver’s insurance carrier will be pursuing legal action on behalf of the driver, it’s often important to have independent legal counsel. Insurance companies have an inherent conflict of interest whenever a claim arises: their profits depend on denying claims and aggressively seeking reimbursement for any costs they incur. Even if the insurer’s interests are aligned with the injured driver’s, the driver should have independent advice to protect against unlawful or dishonest behavior by the insurer.

Accidents involving commercial drivers typically open questions about the legal relationship of the truck driver with the business for which he or she was driving at the time of the accident. Truck drivers may fall into one of several categories:

  • Sole proprietors who operate the truck as a business and are personally liable for damages caused in an accident.
  • Independent contractors who are working for another business. Independent contractors may be treated as sole proprietors from a legal liability standpoint, but their liability will be subject to the terms of their relationship with the “client” business.
  • Employees of a trucking company.

Regardless of the legal form of the relationship between the truck driver and the trucking business, the injured plaintiff’s attorneys will probably seek compensation from the business as well as, or instead of, the truck’s driver. The business may have good arguments for why it is not responsible for the driver’s negligence, but in a typical situation a business is responsible for the wrongdoing of its agents, regardless of whether the agents are independent contractors or employees.

GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in auto accident cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, please give us a call today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Safely Carrying Dogs in Cars

People love taking their dogs with them wherever they go, and dogs love it, too. But dogs moving around inside a car can be dangerously distracting for drivers and can lead to serious accidents. Dogs that aren’t adequately secure in a car can also suffer injuries in sudden stops or collisions. Dog owners should take a moment to think seriously about how they protect themselves and their dogs from injury. Here are a few tips:

  • Dogs should be restrained just like any other passenger. At a minimum, dogs should only ride in the back seat, but keeping them restrained is an even better policy. Like everything else in the car, a dog can be forcefully thrown toward the front of the vehicle in a collision, leading to serious injuries. Ideally a dog riding in a vehicle should be kept in a kennel. Far from being cruel, a familiar kennel can help keep a dog calm and contained. Retailers also sell harnesses one can use to essentially provide a dog with a seatbelt.
  • Never carry a dog in a truck bed. One of the most common sources of injury for dogs riding in vehicles is from falling out of truck beds. It is rarely sufficient to tie a dog to the truck with a leash. Dogs can still fall out and be strangled by the leash. If available, put the dog in the truck’s back seat.
  • Avoid letting the dog hang its head out of an open window. As fun as it is to watch a dog enjoy the breeze, a dog hanging its head out of an open window in a moving car is at substantially greater risk of suffering an injury from flying debris, obstructions like branches, and other vehicles. Dogs also sometimes fall or jump out of open windows.
  • Be mindful of the heat. Like small children, dogs can suffer serious heat-related injuries or even death if left inside a hot car. Nevada law prohibits leaving any pet in a parked or standing vehicle in extreme hot or cold weather unless there is a person at least 12 years of age in the car with the pet. Nevada law authorizes rescuers to use “any reasonable means necessary” to save a pet left in a hot car without incurring civil liability. This means that leaving a dog in a hot car could expose the owner to prosecution but also lead to a broken window or other damage to the car. The best solution, of course, is to avoid do this at all.

Driving with an unrestrained dog in the car probably increases the risk that the driver will be dangerously distracted. If an accident does occur and the dog owner is at fault, the fact that there was a dog loose in the car may become an important fact in determining liability. The driver may find that his or her insurance carrier is unsympathetic and unhelpful in such cases, potentially leaving the driver holding the bill.

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area seek compensation for personal injuries. If you have questions about how driving with a dog may affect your legal liability, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Car Customization and Liability Risk in Nevada

Customizing cars is a hobby almost as old as the automobile itself. The popularity of cable TV shows about custom shops, the availability of consumer aftermarket components, and the deep roots of American car culture combine to make custom cars an increasingly common sight on the road. Although customization is fun, its fans should take a moment to think about how it can affect their legal liability. There are a number of considerations worth bearing in mind.

  • Know your insurer’s position on modifications.

If a custom modification causes an accident an insurer may not be willing to cover the resulting damages unless the insurance policy specifically allows for the custom work. Insurers like to know the details about the vehicles they insure. The vehicle identification number (VIN) provided to the insurer tells it much more than just the make and model of the car: it helps the insurer know exactly what the vehicle is equipped with and how much the vehicle is worth. A customization may alter the vehicle’s value but can also alter its performance. For example, installing an engine enhancer that increases horsepower could make the car more dangerous to drive. An insurer needs to know the kind of risk it is taking on so it can appropriately price its policies.

  • Installing aftermarket parts may complicate products liability protections.

When a consumer is injured as a consequence of design or manufacturing defects in a product the consumer can have the option to sue the manufacturer under a products liability theory. Changes to the stock configuration of the vehicle can free the manufacturer from responsibility. Instead, the manufacturer or installer of the custom part might be responsible. But determining who is at fault in such cases can be tricky, especially if the nature of the problem that caused the accident is difficult to determine.

  • Direct responsibility for unsafe modifications.

A hobbyist who does his or her own customization work often assumes the risk that some part of the work wasn’t completed correctly. Making changes to a car in a way that renders the car unsafe could expose the hobbyist to liability for any resulting injuries. Absent insurance that specifically covers it, the hobbyist could be left bearing all of the cost of the ensuing litigation and compensation to injured parties.

Ask an accident attorney about injuries from custom cars

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients injured in auto accidents in the Las Vegas area recover compensation. If you have questions about an accident involving a customized car, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Rent-a-Scooter Businesses Raise Personal Injury Concerns

Businesses offering fast, low-cost rentals of bikes (both conventional and motorized) and scooters are becoming a common feature in cities around the country. Being able to hop onto a scooter and zip across town is a great convenience for customers. But because scooters on busy urban streets can be dangerous, the risk of personal injury raises questions about how liable the rental business may be for their customers’ injuries. For someone injured while riding a rented scooter, there are several considerations that may come into play in any ensuing litigation.

  • Rental contracts probably limit liability.

Probably the most important way a rent-a-scooter business manages its risk is by requiring its customers to agree to lengthy terms and conditions that undoubtedly will include some form of waiver of liability. Such waivers are usually enforceable, even if the rent-a-scooter company has committed ordinary negligence. For example, if the last customer to ride a scooter leaves it at the rental stand with a punctured tire, and the next customer is injured when the tire goes flat at a bad moment, a waiver of liability might protect the company. That may apply even if an employee of the company inspected the scooter in a reasonably responsible way but didn’t see the puncture.

  • Assumption of risk.

A corollary to a waiver of liability is the inherent riskiness of riding a scooter. In fact, the rental contract probably includes a specific acknowledgment that the customer is assuming the risk of injury. For many types of accidents, the customer’s assumption of risk will be clear. For example, everyone knows that a scooter that gets struck by a larger vehicle is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to personal injury. Assumption of risk may not protect the rental company against suits arising from injuries that the customer could not have foreseen at the time the contract was signed.

  • Gross negligence and willful misconduct.

A rental company still bears liability for behaving especially badly. In the example above, the employee who inspected the punctured tire saw the damage but ignored it may have committed gross negligence by allowing the scooter to be rented again. Even more clear-cut would be the case where the employee allowed a customer to ride away on a damaged scooter with the intent that the customer be injured. A contract cannot waive a business’s liability for wrongful acts of this sort.

  • Insurance considerations.

Before renting any type of vehicle the customer should take a moment to confirm that insurance will cover injuries that happen while on the road. Rental companies probably offer some form of insurance, but its coverage may be limited. People who plan to routinely rent scooters as part of their regular transportation should consider taking out personal policies to provide additional coverage beyond what the rental company provides, both to cover their own injuries and the possibility of injuries to others.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury and auto accident cases. If you have been injured while using a rented scooter and you need help sorting through your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Nevada

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Nevada

Like anyone who is injured in an accident, victims of hit-and-run incidents should do what they can to seek compensation from the person who caused the accident. Unfortunately, in a hit-and-run situation the victim rarely has the presence of mind to capture information about the perpetrator. Especially when there isn’t another witness who can help identify the person responsible, recovering compensation can feel like a long shot. But there are steps victims can take to give themselves a chance.

Nevada law requires drivers who are involved in an accident to give other involved drivers their name, address, registration and insurance information. Drivers are also required to provide aid to people who are injured. Failing to do these things is the definition of “hit and run” in Nevada. A hit and run can involve property damage (i.e., a driver runs into a parked car), personal injury, or a combination. Hit-and-run accidents can also be caused by people on bicycles.

  1. Gather as much information as you can.

In the immediate aftermath of an accident it can be difficult to remember to look for details about an at-fault driver’s car. Part of that is an assumption many of us have that a driver will do the right thing and stop. But victims and witnesses should do their best to remember as much about the accident and the at-fault person as possible. Taking written notes or recording an oral description can provide important evidence later on. Ideally the driver’s license plate information can be recorded, but absent that, information about the car’s make and model and whatever details can be remembered about the driver can all be helpful to police as they try to track down the hit-and-run suspect. If the accident was witnessed by bystanders it’s important to get their contact information as well. Taking photos of the scene and making other “hard” forms of evidence are all good ideas.

  1. Report the incident to the police.

Once any emergency medical treatment has been obtained the first important step for a victim to take is to report a hit-and-run accident to police. Provide as many details as possible about the accident. The police will ask for an accident report to be completed. Sometimes a police investigation can track down a hit-and-run driver who tries to get damage to his or her vehicle repaired.

  1. Report the incident to your insurance company.

Drivers who have insurance policies that include uninsured motorist coverage can often recover something from their policy for a hit and run. The insurance company will be on the alert for fraud, so all the details that were gathered at the scene of the accident will play an important role in bolstering the legitimacy of the claim.

What if the hit-and-run perpetrator is caught?

If the police track down the person who caused the hit-and-run accident they may pursue criminal charges. Hopefully the investigator also lets victims know about the person so the victims have the option of pursuing a civil case as well. Because hit-and-run is a crime, it can be an especially powerful fact in a civil case for damages.

People who commit hit and run violations aren’t necessarily penniless. The urge to flee from responsibility could have many sources besides a driver’s inability to pay for damages. Perhaps the driver was drunk or just in a hurry to get to something important. If the perpetrator can be identified, it’s even more important to talk to an attorney about options for pursuing a lawsuit to recover compensation.

GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or ask us to call you through our contacts page.

Unintended Acceleration Cases in Nevada

Unintended Acceleration Cases in Nevada

Modern cars are enormously sophisticated machines, but they still can have major mechanical problems. One curious issue that is sometimes blamed for causing accidents is unintended acceleration, in which a car lurches forward seemingly without the driver deliberately touching the gas pedal. Thanks to modern diagnostics systems it’s possible to analyze the root cause of acceleration after an accident. People injured in accidents involving unintended acceleration may have the option of suing the car manufacturer.

Potential causes of unintended acceleration

The controversy surrounding the Toyota Prius is the most famous example of unintended acceleration. About ten years ago Toyota responded to numerous claims that its Prius models were suddenly accelerating by arguing that the issue was being caused by slipping floor mats. But Toyota later admitted that they’d also discovered that some of its accelerator pedals were prone to getting stuck in a partially depressed position. Toyota issued a recall for certain car models and paid $1.2 billion to avoid criminal prosecution for its efforts to conceal the real cause of the problem.

Sticky accelerators and badly fitted floor mats are not the only potential causes of unintended acceleration. The complexity of modern car systems exposes them to potential electronic faults that could cause the problem as well. Researchers have identified problems that can arise due to CPU failures caused by voltage spikes. Faulty cruise control systems can also be responsible.

Nevada’s products liability law and unintended acceleration

The chief aim of products liability law is to encourage manufacturers and marketers of consumer goods to make their products safe. It does this by giving injured plaintiffs an advantage in the courtroom, by placing the legal burden upon the manufacturer to show that it should not be held liable. This is called strict products liability, which in Nevada requires the plaintiff to show that each of the following things is true (Nev. J.I. 7.02):

  1. The defendant was the manufacturer or marketer of the product. In addition to the auto manufacturer, the plaintiff might also sue the dealer and other parties that could have had a role in introducing the defect that caused the unintended acceleration.
  2. The product was defective. Proving defects in a car that was totaled during an accident may require expert analysis, especially in extreme cases where the car’s “black box” memory was destroyed.
  3. The product’s defect existed when it left the defendant’s possession. A third-party modification to the car may relieve the manufacturer of responsibility under a strict products liability theory. For example, if a dealer’s mechanic makes adjustments to an accelerator system the fault may lie with the dealer, though the auto manufacturer may have responsibility under other theories, including negligence.
  4. The plaintiff used the product in a way that was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant. Products liability cases often involve novel uses of ordinary objects. Even a novel use can be “foreseeable” within the meaning of this element, but such cases require careful argumentation.
  5. The defect caused the plaintiff’s damages. Causation can often be a focus in litigation. For example, if before the accident the unintended acceleration had stopped, but the driver hadn’t hit the brakes, the driver’s negligence may be an intervening factor.

As the brief comments above show, establishing a case for strict products liability can be complicated even despite the law’s aim of helping injured plaintiffs recover compensation. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. If you have been injured in an unintended acceleration accident, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Accidents Involving Self-Driving Cars: How They Might Look

Accidents Involving Self-Driving Cars: How They Might Look

The advent of the self-driving vehicle promises to revolutionize transportation. As the technology gets adopted across the spectrum, from ride services to interstate trucking, accidents involving self-driving vehicles will inevitably happen. Just this month a self-driving SUV operated by the ridesharing company Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. When such accidents happen, the question of legal liability will always arise.

How self-driving cars work

Autonomous vehicles operate using a sophisticated system of sensors that are designed to continuously evaluate the space around the vehicle. The vehicle’s onboard computers interpret a wide range of data collected by cameras, radar, and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) equipment to ensure that the vehicle can react to changing environmental conditions, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and roadway debris. The systems are designed to work in all conditions: day and night, wet and dry.

The tragic accident in Tempe shows that despite their sophistication these systems still can fail to account for foreseeable road conditions. In Tempe the pedestrian who was struck and killed was slowly crossing the road while pushing a bike. The pedestrian wasn’t behaving erratically, and the car’s system should have detected her and reacted accordingly. Uber’s policy governing its self-driving cars required the vehicle’s driver (dubbed a “safety driver”) to be in control and ready to respond to an emergency at all times, but the driver was apparently not paying attention when the accident happened.

Who is liable in self-driving car crashes in Nevada?

When a self-driving car is at fault for an accident, as appears to have been the case in Tempe, there are a number of potential defendants. Nevada law allows autonomous vehicles to be tested and operated within the state provided that they are self-certified by manufacturers, developers, and operators as meeting statutory and regulatory requirements. When something goes wrong, there are several potential parties from whom a victim could pursue compensation for injuries:

  • The operator (if any) and/or owner. Even though autonomous vehicles drive themselves, they often have a human operator behind the wheel. Nevada law requires that such vehicles be equipped with safety systems to alert the human operator in the event of a system failure, and the means to disable the autonomous system when necessary. NRS 482A.080. Like all drivers, operators are required to carry liability insurance. NRS 485.185, NAC 482A.050. In cases where the car is owned by a business, like Uber, the business may be legally liable as well.
  • The designer(s) of the autonomous system. Autonomous systems can be installed in vehicles that were not originally designed with the systems in mind. When a system fails to operate as intended the designer and manufacturer of the system may be held liable under a theory of products liability. Even more than a case against the driver/operator, a products liability case will probably involve complex, technical questions, like how the specific conditions at the time of an accident may have affected the performance of sensor systems. Products liability cases may need to include a range of parties, as different developers may be involved in building the components of an autonomous system (e.g., the car’s “brain” might work properly, but the “eyes” are defective).
  • The auto manufacturer. Nevada law provides that the original manufacturer of an automobile can’t be held liable for damages caused by the failure of an after-market autonomous system that is installed by a third party. NRS482A.090. But if the manufacturer was involved in the system’s design or construction, for example by incorporating components to facilitate installation, plaintiffs’ lawyers might explore its culpability for the accident.

GGRM is watching the legal landscape for self-driving cars

The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have broad experience with personal injury and accident cases. We are keeping close tabs on the evolution of autonomous vehicles and how they may be involved in accidents on Nevada’s roads. If you have questions about how self-driving cars may impact you, call us today at 702-388-4476 or ask us to reach out to you through our contact page.