Timothy J. Casey Attorney at Law
Representing Clients In Phoenix And Communities Throughout Arizona
602-842-6210

Autonomous cars and changes in the insurance industry

Arizona drivers may be safer in autonomous vehicles, but once self-driving cars are widely they will likely cause major changes in the car insurance industry. The chief one will be who is held liable for an accident. When accidents happen with people behind the wheel, they usually result from human error. Usually, one driver or the other is responsible for the crash, or the two share liability. When autonomous vehicles get into accidents, that liability may shift to the manufacturers, software developers and subcontractors that created the technology.

Hackers might target self-driving cars to disable the brakes. Terrorism might be one motive for hackers.

Whatever happens, it is anticipated that the insurance industry will shrink because, even with these newer dangers, there will be fewer motor vehicle accidents overall. Auto accident investigators will be focusing on issues like how safety technology malfunctioned rather than who was distracted or intoxicated.

Until autonomous vehicles completely replace conventional cars, behaviors such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and drowsy or fatigued driving will continue to cause accidents. When people get seriously injured in such accidents, they may assume that their medical expenses will be paid by insurance. However, if their insurance companies offer too little money, they can find themselves dealing with mounting costs along with lost wages and catastrophic injuries. Injured individuals may want to file lawsuits against the drivers who caused their accidents. A driver does not have to be found responsible for an accident in a criminal court for a civil case to be successful. If it can be demonstrated by a preponderance of evidence that the driver was negligent, the case could be successful, and the injured party might receive compensation.

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