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How Autonomous Cars May Impact Personal Injury Claims

Kentucky residents who are excited about the prospect of autonomous vehicles may be interested to learn how these cars could affect the different claims that are filed. For example, as software takes over the driving, it is expected that the number of personal injury claims will decrease while product liability claims will increase.

While autonomous vehicles are immune to drunk or distracted driving, their software can fatigue or even malfunction and still cause an accident. In these cases, however, investigators may turn from trying to determine which driver was liable for the accident to determine whether the software failed. If neither driver is liable, neither may be able to file a personal injury claim. Instead, insurance companies may go after the manufacturer of the vehicle and the software designer through product liability claims.

In addition to manufacturers and software companies becoming targets for product liability claims, subcontractors who helped create crash avoidance systems could also begin to become targets. Adjusters may also have more difficulty in apportioning liability for those who share ownership of autonomous vehicles. However, these types of arrangements are expected to increase due to the cost of the technology.

Until autonomous vehicles become common place on the roadways, car accidents will still continue to happen. In some cases, people who become involved in a crash that was caused by a drunk, distracted or fatigued driver could suffer serious injuries that may prevent them from living life as they normally would. A personal injury attorney may try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If the offered settlement does not cover the total cost of the damages the victim sustained, the attorney may recommend T-filing a lawsuit.