While Florida has begun to tackle the legal concerns surrounding ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft by attempting to ensure that adequate insurance coverage is maintained in the event passengers suffer bodily injury during a car accident, the development of self-driving cars is sure to cause more headaches for state lawmakers.
Companies like Google and Tesla are quickly developing the technology for vehicles to operate autonomously. Anyone familiar with the roadways of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and other areas of South Florida, already know how dangerous they can be. The prospect of self-driving vehicles could have a serious impact on the safety of these local roadways, but that would depend heavily on how dependable this technology actually is.
When an auto accident occurs between two traditional vehicles, each driver’s insurance policy extends Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage, to pay for a certain amount of medical treatment related to the accident, regardless of who is at fault, and depending on the coverage, the at-fault driver’s policy may potentially cover the property damage and any additional bodily injury claims, to a certain extent.
However, as self-driving vehicles become more popular, determining who is at fault when an accident occurs could be more difficult. If the vehicles are self-operated, that would theoretically relieve any driver or passenger from liability. Though, in exploring the issue, there are other potential areas of negligence to be found, like determining whether or not the owner properly maintained the vehicle and software system it uses, or if the navigation programs are regularly updated. Liability may also be found on the manufacturer or maintenance person who deals directly with the software that controls the vehicle or activates any safety features it may contain.
The lure of self-driving vehicles as being technologically convenient and a potentially safer alternative is growing. However, as convenient as they may be, it is important for us to remember that accidents can, and will, still occur. And when injuries result from these accidents, we must still be able to determine who may liable to compensate these victims.
The bottom line is that many drivers in South Florida cities like Fort Lauderdale, Weston and Hollywood have little or no insurance at all. Ensuring that your vehicle has the proper and adequate insurance to compensate you for injuries you may suffer in an accident is crucial.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in an auto accident, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Schulman Law Group at (954) 349-3300 or at firstname.lastname@example.org