In the last decade, we have seen all facets of technology accelerate our world at an unprecedented rate. Technological improvements have been made in a multitude of industries, most notably in health, transportation, and home.
So, how have these recent technological advancements changed how personal injury law operates? From self-driving cars to social media, this article will dive into how certain technologies have impacted the personal injury legal industry.
Self-Driving Cars and Driving Assistance Systems
One of the most saturated areas of personal injury law is car accidents. The car accident lawyers at Douglas, Haun, and Heidemann P.C., say that car accident cases can be incredibly complex, and are generally compiled on the basis of human-error or outside circumstances.
However, a self-driving car accident shifts liability onto the software and/or auto manufacturer of the vehicle rather than the driver; a significant change to how car accident cases generally work. Usually, the driver at-fault is responsible for the damages, expenses, and injuries they cause.
This poses a new set of challenges for personal injury lawyers, who may need to collaborate with engineers, auto manufacturers, and more to determine who is at-fault in the accident.
Although fully autonomous self-driving cars are not yet widely available to the average consumer, many auto manufacturers have incorporated highly advanced driving assistance systems into their vehicles. Some of these features include emergency braking, blind spot detection, and detection of objects in the rear and/or around the vehicle. These types of vehicles can also make it more difficult to determine fault in a car accident.
“Smart Homes” and Personal Injury Risks
Smart home products have become increasingly popular in recent years, from Amazon’s “Alexa” to high-tech home security systems. There are some risks associated with home technology that pertains to personal injury, one of them being a higher chance of defective products, resulting in product liability lawsuits. If a product causes harm or injures someone, there is a chance a product liability lawsuit may arise against the maker or manufacturer of that product.
One of the fallbacks of having a “smart home” is that they are completely reliant on technology. In circumstances where that technology falters, a slurry of lawsuits could potentially come to life. In the instance of high-tech home security systems, the technology could fail and/or be hacked, leading to a break-in or burglary.
These are just a few ways that smart home technology is changing the face of personal injury litigation, but there are a multitude of other possible situations.