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A look at personal injury claims down the road

If you're interested in technology and have been following the news in recent years, then you know self-driving cars are just around the corner. For more than a year, Google and other tech companies have been testing self-driving vehicles on actual roads, making progress toward a future that could mean major changes to the way we get from here to there.

As a recent CNBC article points out, however, this may not be the only thing affected by the steady increase of self-driving cars. A number of businesses and professions could be impacted by an increase in self-driving cars. Chief among them: personal injury attorneys.

A shift in liability after a crash

A major part of personal injury law involves recovering compensation for people who have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident. But if self-driving cars can stop roughly 90 percent of car accidents simply by eliminating human error, what will this mean for the future of personal injury claims?

While self-driving cars are expected to decrease the number of accidents caused by driver error, automakers have been careful not to promise the complete elimination of car accidents. That's because self-driving cars present a unique problem: crashes caused by system failures. Automakers realize a very important thing: Liability could shift from other drivers to the companies who make the vehicles.

Are our laws up for the change?

Although insurance providers will be forced to make considerable changes to policy language and coverage, personal injury laws in many states, may not need to change much. That's because crashes related to system failures are likely to fall under products liability law.

Despite this fact, state legislatures will need to review existing statutes to determine if they will be sufficient enough when self-driving cars take over our roadways. Failures to make appropriate changes could create major legal headaches, particularly in regards to liability.

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