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How Self Driving Cars Are Set to Affect the Future of Personal Injury Law

We often hear about how self-driving technology is set to transform the world of transportation, but another area where it could have far-reaching effects is law. Personal injury law to be exact. With drivers out of the equation, who bears the brunt of the blame? How is responsibility established if there's only one witness present? These are only some of the issues that could arise from self-driving cars and cases involving self-driving technology. Let's take a closer look at exactly what are the legal implications of having self-driving cars on the road.

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The Dangers of Self-Driving Cars

Technology enthusiasts may like to harp on about the purported benefits of self-driving cars and how they're superior to human drivers in every single way, but there is really little that is known about their real risks. For one, we still don't know how easily they could be tampered with either through hacking or physical interference. In the case that a vehicle was hacked, how can it be proven, and who will be held responsible? We can only imagine what will happen when different jurisdictions try to come up with their ways to establish fault.

This would also be a great time to speak with a personal injury law professional immediately if you own a vehicle with self-driving features or was implicated in an accident with one. Personal injury lawyers in Allentown are especially well versed in the matter and will be able to help you get compensation or help establish fault if you were the driver.

From a Legal Standpoint

One of the biggest legal shifts with driving cars is that negligence will either go from the driver to the vehicle or both. This will make the process of filing claims especially difficult. Who will be responsible - the carmaker, or the technology? Or maybe a third party who assembled the parts?

Establishing fault could become a nightmare as we shift from personal injury to product liability law. While personal injury cases are usually much easier to determine, the same could take years on a product liability case. With the driver out, damages will be much harder to claim as you’ll now have to face companies with deep pockets and lawyer teams dedicated to paying out as little as possible, if at all.

The Effects on Insurance

One area we should also pay special attention to is insurance. Self-driving cars are likely to completely transform how insurance companies evaluate risk and how much premiums will cost. Cars may be evaluated based on the quality of their technology, or the number of accidents where similar vehicles were implicated.

Adjusters also rely on human error to cheat victims out of proper compensation. This eventually means that they are bound to suffer some losses as self-driving cars become more prominent. How this will reflect on premiums is yet to be seen.

There is no doubt that self-driving technology will be a disruptive force at different levels. Their impact on law will be significant and transform our approach to personal law in more ways than one.


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