As technology becomes ever more sophisticated, it raises questions for personal injury law. Principally, who will be at blame when a personal injury is suffered? Is it the owner of the technology, or the developers of the technology? Below, we explore the rise of technology and its impact on personal injury law.
Who or what is responsible?
Usually, the lines of responsibility are fairly simple to establish – whoever drove the car that caused the accident is the one to blame. But technology blurs these lines. For instance, imagine that a personal injury occurs when a drone is delivering a package. Is it the fault of the courier company? The drone dispatcher? Or even the suppliers of the drone? This promises to make the future of personal injury law difficult. In this situation, the victim will find it difficult knowing who to make a claim against.
Is this a personal injury or product liability claim?
One of the worries for legal professionals is that the law will switch from making personal injury claims to product liability claims. This is where you make a claim against the manufacturer of a product rather than against a person or organisation for an injury. The problem here is that product liability is more difficult to navigate and will cost more for the victim. One way around this is to enforce compulsory insurance on new forms of technology such as driverless cars, essentially paying the victim from insurance before the insurance company attempts to recover their money from the manufacturer.
Is technology the hero or the villain?
However, technology can still work to your benefit in a personal injury case too. In a car accident, dashboard cameras can help establish who was at fault and can help you win your case. Plus, mobile phones can help you quickly take pictures of the scene of a crash and get evidence of the road conditions. As such, technology can offer help advance personal injury cases more efficiently. While technology can blur the lines of responsibility, in other situations technology can provide clarity.
Technology is set to have a profound impact on personal injury law. With innovations such as driverless cars on the horizon, it’s going to blur the lines of blame. Fortunately, in the short-term technology is making personal injury cases more efficient than ever before.