How Will Increased Ridesharing Impact the Field of Personal Injury Law?
The advent of the automobile changed the course of history, and now we may be on the precipice of several major changes in the automotive industry. The first steam powered car capable of transporting humans was built back in 1769. Since that time, the automobile has continued to evolve into the internal gas fueled combustion engine that up until recently has been the car we know. Our towns and cities across America have been built around cars, as are our lifestyles. But innovators in the field of transportation are urging that this may all change. The future of cars, as they see it, is autonomous, electric, and shared.
A Move Towards Shared Cars
Recently, Lyft’s chief strategy officer pronounced his view that the future of the automotive industry is in shared vehicles. Studies show that most cars are in use just four percent of the time. The remaining 96 percent of the time our cars are just sitting. Cars incur annual expenses, including the price to purchase, insure, and maintain the vehicle. Many believe as ridesharing continues to grow, cars could become more of a service industry.
Increasing rates of ridesharing could not only alter the automotive industry, it would impact personal injury law as well. Currently, most car accidents involve two personal drivers. Insurance will generally cover the cost of vehicle damage and most personal injuries. Ridesharing accidents involve an additional insurance layer, with the ridesharing company often being named in the lawsuit. Most ridesharing policies have large policy limits, potentially opening the door for bigger personal injury awards and creating the potential for calls to reform.
Self-Driving Cars Are the Future
The ultimate goal for most car makers today is the creation of a safe and marketable self-driving car. Autonomous cars are widely regarded as the vehicles of the future. Self-driving cars are anticipated to greatly reduce the rate of car accidents while enhancing passenger experiences.
Despite the many clear advantages of self-driving cars, a move towards autonomous vehicles will surely impact society and specifically personal injury law. Accident cases in the future could shift from a focus on individual liability to product liability, with the potential for automakers encountering lawsuits due to product errors. As evolving technology changes the ways in which we live, it is important for all of us to stay abreast of new laws and shifting attitudes. if you have been involved in a car accident, contact us today.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents