VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
352-436-4333

Self-driving cars forcing automobile insurance industry to evolve

The American insurance industry generates $220 billion in revenue every year. There are approximately 277,000 people working in positions supported by it in Florida and across the nation. Although car crashes are deeply traumatic and sometimes even fatal, the industry created and supported by American automobile crashes is a thriving one. Now, however, the economic foundation of the industry is at risk.

Autonomous vehicles have been extensively tested in several states now, and the safety data has been exemplary. There has yet to be one fatality or major injury associated with a self-driving car crash, and some manufacturers promise that they can extend their safety record for decades.

Self-driving cars will still be required to carry insurance on the roads of Florida, but the trend has been away from making the occupant or the owner of the personal vehicle carry the insurance. Instead, the manufacturers have volunteered to insure the vehicles themselves. Liability incurred by the vehicle rests with the vehicle and its manufacturer. After all, the owner and the occupant have no direct control over the operation of the motor vehicle, so there is no reason why they should be responsible in a crash.

This means that the economic responsibility for any car accidents involving autonomous cars belongs to the manufacturer. They should also be addressed directly in any civil suits for liability stemming from property damage or personal injury. An attorney's guidance may be beneficial when contemplating civil actions against large corporations. In addition to providing legal advice, the attorney could represent their client in negotiations with the company and appearances in court.

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