VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

How autonomous cars may influence claims and lawsuits

Florida residents may have heard that several companies have been developing self-driving vehicles that do not need a driver to operate. Numerous prototypes have already taken to the roadways and technology only continues to improve towards the goal of a fully autonomous vehicle. However, it is expected that these vehicles will have an impact on the types of claims and lawsuits that are filed.

When a collision is caused by a driver, those who suffer injuries can file personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation. If an autonomous vehicle becomes involved in a crash, the fault could potentially lie with the software or the manufacturer of the car. The claims are likely to shift to product liability claims, as there may be evidence that the vehicle was defective in some way. Product liability claims could target any company that was involved in producing the vehicle, including subcontractors.

Another problem that could potentially arise with the introduction of autonomous vehicles are shared ownership agreements. Autonomous vehicles are likely to be more expensive than traditional vehicles, meaning owners may decide to split the cost of owning one for financial reasons. However, these types of agreements can be difficult for the claim adjusters, especially if they have to determine who is liable.

If a person is injured in a car crash, the insurer of the at-fault driver may attempt to settle as quickly as possible so that it may not have to pay as much as the victim actually needs. It may thus be advisable to have the assistance of an attorney in negotiating for a higher amount or filing a lawsuit if that becomes necessary.

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