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Self-Driving Cars: Safe for the road?

On the surface, a car being able to drive it self sounds about as possible as your pet dog driving the car. However, we live in an age where self-driving, or “autonomous” vehicles are a reality, and it’s raised many new questions regarding road safety.

Though automotive engineers have been working to make autonomous cars a reality for years, it was only until last year that we’ve seen significant strides. In fact, autonomous car developer Waymo announced in November 2017 that not only have they successfully tested self-driving cars with nobody in the driver seat, but have had test vehicles travel autonomously for over 5 million miles.

The aim of this technology is make for a safer driving experience. Ideally, a successfully self-driving car would help an intoxicated, incapacitated, or distracted driver from losing control of the vehicle and causing an accident. In theory, autonomous cars would save millions of lives.

However, many are now asking the question of whether society is ready for this technology due to a recent tragedy.

On March 18, 2018, self-driving Uber car struck and killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, making her the first person to be killed by an autonomous vehicle. Though the specific details of the incident are not completely known, the reality that fatal incidents with self-driving cars can happen raises tons of questions about this new technology, how dangerous it realistically is, and how insurance coverage will change accordingly.

Insurance for Autonomous Cars

Currently, insurance policies can go one of two ways depending on which state you live in. Most states require an “at-fault” insurance policy, where the driver determined to be most at fault will be required to pay all or for the majority of damages through their insurer. Other states, however, are “no-fault,” meaning that drivers are required to have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) plan which will pay for damages despite fault.

Autonomous cars, however, turn the concept of “fault” completely on its head. After all, if there is no person driving the car, can you really blame the person for causing an accident?

A recent article from NPR discusses the matter, arguing that while there is no set standard for insurance policies for autonomous cars, it is assumed that, in the event a self-driving car causes an accident, the cars manufacturer, not the owner of the car, would be held responsible.

Some states, such a Michigan, have already set legislation ruling that automakers assume liability and are responsible for insuring all autonomous vehicles. For the most part, however, legal experts believe that while self-driving cars are still a rarity on the road, determining liability will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

What To Do If You’re Injured

Though many people reading this may never even see an autonomous car for another few years, the risk of being injured by an autonomous car clearly exists. And while the courts may still be figuring out how exactly to approach these situations, there’s one thing that is likely to never change:

If you are waiting on a settlement due to injuries in a car accident, you may be waiting a long, long time before you receive your settlement.

No matter what the situation, it’s clear that having to wait a year or more to receive the settlement you’re owed can be challenging, especially as the basic needs of day to day life won’t wait. Fortunately, there is still a fast, easy, and dependable way you can receive the cash you need now: a pre-settlement advance from Bridgeway Legal Funding.

Similar to your typical loan or mortgage, a pre-settlement advance from Bridgeway will get you a percentage of your expected settlement in as little as 24-48 hours, rather than many, many months. However, an advance from Bridgeway is more ideal than your typical loan as you are not required to pay back your advance if you do not win your case. To learn more about pre-settlement advances, be sure to read Bridgeway's Guide to Funding.

Applying for a pre-settlement advance is incredibly simple and quick as well. The first step: reach out to Bridgeway by calling 1-800-531-4066, or submit an online application here. Following this, a team member of Bridgeway Legal Funding will be in touch to discuss the details of your accident, ask for any required documentation or contact with legal representatives, and let you know how they can help. From here, all you need to do is wait 24-48 hours for our team to determine your eligibility for a pre-settlement advance.

 

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