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The Impact of Self-Driving Cars on Personal Injury Law

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The Impact of Self-Driving Cars on Personal Injury Law

There are approximately 33,000 fatalities each year resulting from car crashes. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and texting while driving are considered major contributors to this alarming number. In hopes of reducing the amount of fatalities, many car manufacturers have turned to the idea of self-driving cars. If successful, self-driving cars could improve many tragedies. However, the introduction of self-driving cars in society might not go as smoothly as planned.

Self-driving cars, along with any other technological innovation, create a challenge for the legal world. Most liability laws identify the obvious distinction between a driver and a vehicle which helps to determine fault in an accident. Typically, a driver is in control of a vehicle. Thus, a driver must exercise reasonable care when operating a vehicle. If a driver does not do this, he or she can be found liable for incidents resulting from their negligence while car manufactures may be found liable for products that are defective, including car defects.

Although the intent of self-driving cars may be to reduce the number of vehicle-related fatalities, the advancement creates more questions than answers.

  • If there is no distinction between a driver and a vehicle, the issue becomes who or what is at fault?
  • How is distinction determined?
  • Does a driver have the duty to exercise reasonable care if he or she is not actually driving the vehicle?
  • Does the manufacturer now have the burden of liability?
  • If so, would new technology ever be released?
  • Is it impractical to place the financial burden on manufactures who have the intent to reduce the alarming rate of vehicle-related fatalities?

The answers to the questions posed here are currently being discovered by the legal community.  To that end, we, at the Kubanyi Law Firm, are here to help you navigate through any personal injury questions you may have. Regardless of the complexity of self-driving cars, we are here to help!

For more information about the services we provide, contact us via email at [email protected] or call us at (404) 965-7112.

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