ANN ARBOR, Michigan. In a typical car accident personal injury or property damage case, the insurance policy of the driver at fault for the accident will generally cover medical expenses and damages of the other party. Yet, what happens when there isn’t a driver at fault? What happens when the at fault party is the car’s autonomous driving software or computer? According to Forbes, as many as 10 million cars will have some form of driverless technology by 2020. Will insurance policies cover drivers when they let their car’s computer take over? And if so, how will this affect the cost of insurance?
It can be challenging enough for individuals to speak to adjusters following a car crash. Adjusters may base their settlements on estimates provided by their software. In some cases, these estimates may be on the lower end of what is permitted under the law. A personal injury lawyer can sometimes help work with insurance adjusters to help you get the maximum permitted settlement under the law. Christopher Trainor & Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan are personal injury lawyers who offer assistance to crash victims and their families.
One of the big questions that will need to be answered as self-driving cars take to the road will be one of liability. As it stands, one of the more costly elements of car insurance is liability insurance for personal injury and medical expenses. Will car manufacturers be responsible for liability insurance in the future? After all, if a car accident occurs because of the failure of a car’s computer, then it makes sense that liability would fall on the car’s manufacturer. This could potentially change the way that auto insurance policies are written and the ways in which personal injury lawsuits are handled.
Of course, according to Forbes, car manufacturers would likely pass on these costs to consumers in terms of increasing the price of cars. According to the New York Times, insurance providers are currently treating accidents involving self-driving cars or auto pilot features as they would any other accident involving cars without these features. Essentially, the driver in the car at fault, pays, whether the fault is due to human error or computer error.
Tesla, which may face challenges in the coming weeks after a fatal accident involving a car with an auto pilot feature, claims that auto pilot does not eliminate the driver’s responsibility. Yet, insurers may try to seek money from manufacturers where there were clear computer errors.
The New York Times notes that currently insurers don’t ask about a car’s features when providing insurance. However, with the Tesla auto pilot accident making recent news, it’s possible that insurers may ask more questions about each model’s features. Yet, insurers will likely have to do more research and look at the data about the safety of these new features before they determine whether the features will increase or lower rates for drivers. As it stands, computer technology changes so rapidly, it may be difficult for insurance companies to keep up.
As it stands, even if your car has an auto pilot feature, you are still responsible for any accident that occurs. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, even when using this technology. If you’ve been hurt in an accident due to another person’s negligent or negligence, you may be able to collect money to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit http://www.michiganlegalcenter.com/ to learn more.