Will Autonomous Vehicles and Liability Change?

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are no longer the stuff of fiction. While production cars aren’t flying yet, there are cars driving without the need for much human interaction. Companies like Tesla have put AVs on the road, and this technology is getting closer and closer to being perfected - and not only perfected but used widely in other forms of transportation (forklifts, public transportation, and other uses).

But AVs do something else, too. These vehicles change personal injury claims. They change liability claims. They change the road as we know it.


One of the things that AVs will do (and have been doing) is document driver habits, accidents, and other factors that are present at any given time while a vehicle is in operation. AVs will collect massive amounts of data that can then be used at a later time in the case of an accident. But this also brings up the question: who is liable if an AV gets into an accident?

If a human is no longer driving a vehicle (all AVs have a manual mode, but that mode is only used occasionally), and an accident occurs, who is responsible? An AV will record data, but if a human hasn’t actually driven the car can that person still be liable? These are important questions to consider in relation to autonomous vehicles.

Replacing a Personal Injury Lawyer?

There has been some talk that the rise of AVs means that personal injury lawyers will no longer be needed when it comes to car accidents. We have to argue that this is not the case. Even though the data collected by AVs will provide more detailed information about the events that happened at the time of a crash, we believe that a lawyer will still be necessary to decipher, argue, and present that data - as the world has seen time and again, data can be skewed or misinterpreted.

So while autonomous vehicles may change the way that we drive, and will provide more information about drivers and driver habits, AVs will not entirely replace the need for personal injury lawyers.